How U dey nah? Okay, since you’re still in a conceptual form, I do not think it’s wise for me to expose you to the ruggedness of pidgin English. Maybe when you are real and older, then we can chop knuckles.
Life has so many forms here on earth and it scares me when I think of all I have to teach you. I don’t know how many kids I want to have yet but every time the world celebrates children’s day, nostalgia sets in. Though I’ve tried in the past, I felt temporarily stuck on a plateau, but I am sure in three years’ time, I should be ready to welcome you. So, I have decided to take the first step and find that one person who is willing to risk it all with me. Someone whose two-honeyed syllabic name evokes pleasant emotions on my lips, and in my heart. Then I can say et ecce mulier, ”behold the woman”.
Together we shall toil and sweat to ensure that your grin reaches both sides of your ear. We shall school you in making strings of Igbo sentences with Igbo accent. But what if she is from another tribe? hmmmm……..I guess you would have to learn two languages. She will teach you to love God, to make him your fulcrum, and prayer-your lever. She will instil in you the virtues of patience, how not to give up on mathematics like I did when alphabets got involved. Brace yourself for you would learn how to be intuitive, self-assured and outspoken.
We would try our best to ensure you know about the different perspectives so that you have your own true opinion and not blindly follow trends. Literature, art and science I hope you will love and make part of you. Be curious, curiosity doesn’t kill the cat. It helps her be aware of different ways to die.
I started quite late, but I pray that you love books. That you’d read everything from menus to sign-posts. Because books contain more than just words. Because a well-read kid is a great conversationist. Because when you read books, you’d discover you have wings to fly. And in all honesty, I’d want your peers to grasp for superlatives when they talk about you.
My child, in your relationships, be with someone worthy of your love. Who’ll treat you with same amount of respect and affection. Resist the temptation to value a man/woman by how much he has. Judge them by the size of their dreams and the strength of their efforts. Weigh them by the size of their kindness.
As you journey through life, be resolute in the pursuit of what sets your heart on fire. Know that talent is overrated. That the people who succeed in life are those willing to work harder than anyone else. Know that wealth is the product of diligence and man’s capacity to think.
I’m doing this because I know what lies ahead. Because a man who raises a family deals with the most important Job in the world: being a good father.
So here’s my pledge to you. Someday, you’re going to be twenty, trying to find a Job, struggling at setting up a business, screwing up at relationships, learning how to face the disappointments life throws at you. Celebrate whatever victories you achieve. Even from when your wobbly legs are still learning to walk, for those times when you search for purpose, and in your moments of crippling self-doubts, this is to tell you I’ll always be in your corner. I will walk with you as you grow and guide you as a father, friend, mentor and teacher, in that order.
In a better world, one where love could overcome the prices of SMA and Cerelac, I might already have ‘two’ of you living under my roof. But we don’t live in that world. This time next year though, I hope to sit down and have a chat on this with her, over a chilled beer; the superstitious African in me is tempted to believe my dad has increased the tempo of his prayers.
Happy Children’s day lovelies. So Chiemerie, Irene, Anthony II,………………who comes first?