Thursday, February 14, 2013

My 'Accidental' Twenty Fifth Birthday Gift to my Parents.

It was lazy on Monday the 11th- February; I would turn 25 the next day and decided to take work a little easy. I thought to myself, I must do something different: buy my parents a gift; after all, you do not turn 25 twice.

Indulging in the slow pace of work I created for myself, I brood over what gifts to get, and then it hits me. My boss publicly presented his book, ‘The Accidental Public Servant’ 6 days ago, I decide to give them copies of the book.

Both my parents love books. When we were a lot younger, they would force us to read them. I did read, for a while, and then settled for just the freshness of new books. On occasions, I would sneak into bookshops, open books, take in the fresh scent, and then leave. How mischievous I would feel!

Starting out as a journalist, my father always had a passing interest in governance and my mother long ago dedicated most of her life to activism, it only seemed appropriate that they would be very interested in the memoirs of a politician. One as controversial as Nasir Ahmad El- Rufai nonetheless.

I climb down two flights of stairs to a colleague’s office where I buy the books. A bookshop agent waiting to be attended to keeps smiling at me and I wonder what is wrong. I feel good; the thoughts of buying the books make me feel good. I think to myself, remembering how much of a gift my parents have given me.

For the 25 years I have lived, the one love I have counted on and known would always be constant has been my mother. At times when I took advantage of my parent’s separation, and collected fees from both parents, amidst scolds, my mother’s love was constant. I remember fondly a time when I took money out of her purse, she pondered over it for days, and then finally asked,

‘Is there anything you want that I deny you of?’ She had not accused, but I knew where it was headed. I apologized and her forgiveness was quick.

Thing is, for mothers like mine, my tongue would not cease to sing their praises. I do not doubt her strength for a second: the things she went through, struggles she survived, anyone with will not strong enough would have broken down. And I see this will in my 2 sisters, it reminds me of a T-Shirt design I had seen previously ‘Protect Your Woman, Broken Women Raise Broken Girls’

‘Momoh’! my colleague calls, knowing my attention for a few seconds was stolen. I compliment his shirt, say it is very impressive. He squirms happily like a puppy offered treats.

1 paperback and 1 hard back? Yes. I pay him the N14,000 due. Collect the books and thank him.