Kids can be mean!
Take a trip with me down memory lane, to many years back when I was in Primary school. I was given the moniker-Mamacho– that I didn’t care for thanks to my big eyes. It took all my strength not to cry every time someone used this name to call me, I tried telling them to stop but this just made them laugh and use it even more. I even started wishing I had smaller eyes notwithstanding that up until this point, I had not noticed that my eyes were bigger than the average.
One evening, as I sat with my mother, she noticed my sadness and pried to see what was upsetting me. So, I asked, “mom are my eyes big?” to which she promptly responded, “yes they are!” Right there and the floodgates opened. How could she? I trusted this woman to love and care for me and make every wrong thing all right, yet she just agreed with my tormentors! I couldn’t take it, it was way, way too much!
Perplexed she moved closer, held me and asked why that made me sad, and I proceeded to narrate the story of my tormentors. She then said the words that have stuck with me and helped me through so many other moments in my life. “Yes, your eyes are big and they are beautiful. The only reason they are picking on you is that they are different and different isn’t bad, different is just different. Own the nickname and it will quickly disappear”
The next day, with my new-found power, I went back to school and every time someone called out Mamacho, I turned with and nonchalantly replied, yes and once or twice even managed a smile with it. Barely two days later and they were back to referring to me by my given name. This wasn’t the end of the nicknames, I was a fun target, a story for another day, but I was empowered and I was ready and each time the same ammunition worked! Uncanny!
Fast forward to present day, the kids have become adults and they are still mean (well not the exact same kids, but you get what I mean, right?)
I recently became a mother and quite a few people who know me had the same reaction “haukuwa unakaa, you didn’t seem the type to be a mom”. Which frankly can be a hurtful statement. This apparently due to my feisty nature or that coupled with my tomboy nature, makes you wonder if either of those has the potential to dry out my ovaries. Doesn’t help that most of this nurturing business doesn’t come so naturally to me and at times in this short journey thus far I have doubted my own capabilities as a mother numerous times. Even more hurtful is that the biggest number of people throwing this comment around are women, mothers who have threaded the path and instead of offering gems of wisdom offer what comes out as ridicule.
Back to my mother’s words, different is different, own it!
So, I am a mother and an unlikely one at that. I’m doing my best to be the best mother to my child and judging for how happy he is and the love he throws my way, I am not doing too badly. I may have to work harder than the next mom, I may have to read more, ask more, make way more mistakes but I am still a mom.
I am happy and blessed to walk this path.