Mums and Pies
Yesterday she came over to bring me maize from Cucu, can we call her Mama J? Yes she is so young and if you met her, you would think she is just another students doing her computer packages waiting to join college. Mama J is my cousin and she used to be my permanent baby sitter before she became a mother. I would call her without notice and she would just show up, she really was there in those first few years; we need people like these in our lives for sure.
So yesterday she came over, brought the maize that cucu had boiled for me and was instructed to tell me that I should store it in the freezer and eat it at a later date. When cucu sends food with instructions you better call her to say that you got it and have actually followed the instructions.
She had a few minutes to kill and we got talking, she told me how motherhood has changed her.
“You know I talk to people and realise that if I hadn’t got J, I would be thinking like them, you think about here and now.”
“What do you mean?”
“You never think about tomorrow, hardly, for example if you are a foodies, any little money you get, you want to fulfil that crave.” When I used to baby sit and you give me money, my thought was okay, now where can I go since I have money. It’s not like that anymore.”
She went on to describe how she would not be working where she is working now, the folly of youth. “I used to call almost every Monday morning to say I will not make it to work, it was never a big deal for me. Now I know I have to work because J depends on me. I have just become more disciplined.”
Motherhood has this way of making us the most selfless humans, the other day I read online a mum was saying how when she cooks something nice and her kids are asleep, she will wake them up and tell them to taste just so that she can know they got to taste what she cooked in case they wake up and it’s over.
You know how sweet the last bite is, it doesn’t matter how much more is in the sufuria, your plate carries the exact portion you wanted and that last bite is always well planned. You know the taste you want to linger in your mouth long after you have swallowed. My son has this habit of asking for that last bite from my plate, it doesn’t matter what I was eating, I could have offered it from the moment we sat down to eat, and get no response, then the last bite comes along and he asks for it. He will ask to eat the sausage ends, and announce “crunchy!” even when it’s my favourite part of the sausage, I will give it to him. In fact, I have found myself offering those ends even before he asks for them just because I know he loves them.
‘A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.’ Tenneva Jordan. How true this is.
I am currently reading Unbowed by Wangari Maathai, yes I can see all you readers looking at me in shock, how can I be reading the book 10 years later. Well, the way she describes her childhood experience, motherhood seems to be universal, the sacrifice her mother made and the lessons she passed. I can almost see myself in the pages of the book as she describes her mother and even herself. And as Mama J sat in my house yesterday and talked about how motherhood had transformed her, changed her mentality, belief, behaviour, thinking, life, confidence, courage and general perspective I knew that there are some things that are natural to most mothers.
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