By Nancy Cherotich
I love my mother. I have always loved her. However, the day I gave birth, our love of love and connection went to another level. Without any words being said, I understood why she was constantly worried about us. I understood why she would ask why we no longer talk to her because we have not talked to her in two days.
The fact that she would get hysterical simply because she had a bad dream about any of us now made perfect sense. Once you hold a baby in your hands, life stops being about you. It is easy to get lost in motherhood and totally forget about yourself and those around you. It is a lifetime job. The person who said that having a kid is signing to have a heart walk outside your body did not lie at all. Every mother has a drive for what makes them raise their children in a certain way but the one factor that never changes is the love.
I remember one time my brother came home from playing with his friends and he was crying and coughing hysterically. One of his friends said that he had swallowed a bottle top and my mom lost it at that point. She picked up my brother as she wailed and started to run out of the compound. I realized that she was running barefoot and I picked up a pair of Bata rubber shoes and ran after her.
I caught up with her and I handed her the shoes. She took the shoes from my hands and threw them in a nearby thicket and continued running. I was later asked to look for them. Cars were not so common those days especially in the villages, but she eventually got a lift from a good samaritan and it was established that my brother had swallowed a stone and not a bottle top as earlier indicated.
Of course it did not make sense to me at that time as to why my mother would just choose to run barefoot and risk being pricked by thorns and stones and not even bother to change before going out of the compound, until it was my turn as a mother. Kyle was around two months old and on this particular night, he could not sleep. He kept crying and curling himself up like he was in great pain.
By 4 am, nothing could soothe him. Not even breast milk. My breasts at that time were in fact too sore and I did not want them touched. I could not find my cab guy and Uber was not yet with us. Knowing that matatus did not ply on that route at that time, I picked up my son, put on a sweater and my shoes and walked to Kikuyu hospital which was quite a distance from Kikuyu town where I stayed at that time. He was diagnosed with colic (I dread this thing) and my heart went back to knowing peace. I later heard many stories about how unsafe that route was at night and I never opened my mouth to tell people about my crazy walk because I knew it would not make sense to them.
I had a persistent knee problem and I had to have it operated on. I did not want my parents to be worried so I texted them about the surgery few hours before I was wheeled into the theatre. I am told that everything came to a stop the moment my mother received my text. S he called me and asked me to postpone the surgery until she got to the city and she confirms that the surgery is really necessary. I told her that her request was not possible and assured her that I was going to be well and I would travel home as soon as I got home.
Little did I know that my mother took the next available shuttle to Nairobi as I was being wheeled to the theatre. When she arrived and confirmed that I was okay, she said that she could now travel back home. With tears in my eyes, I told her that she really need not to have come and all she did was give me the ‘You must be out of your mind’ look and asked me if I have another mother somewhere else. I know that I would do the same for my kids even if they were 40 years old.
Like I said, everything your mother did make perfect sense once you are in charge of bringing up a child. The beatings, the sacrifices, the calls, the sleepless nights, the tears, the protectiveness…..everything makes sense. The joy of being seeing these young ones grow, every little milestone is what every mother lives for. Seeing our hearts grow into being people that we desire them to be is everything! The smiles and winks that my son gives me make everything worthwhile. As I prepare to bring forth another tiny heart to walk outside, I am filled with joy and anxiety knowing too well that motherhood is not an easy journey.
To all the mothers, mothers to be, aunties, sisters, friends and well wishers who have taken up the role of being mothers, happy mother’s day to you all. You are heroes. May these hearts walking out of your chest and cause you sleepless nights be your source of joy and blessings. May they grow up and be tech savvy to the point of telling you to just switch off your phone and then switch it on when you will be too old to operate the gadgets. May they never forget about you for the rest of their lives. May you survive all the heart attack scares that can be caused by our very daring hearts and see them grow old. You are special. Take a day off once in a while and sleep.