Growing old is mandatory, Growing up is optional. – Cindy Gerard.
I started out writing a father’s day entry, an open letter for my son and the siblings that are bound to follow. Well, another open letter that is, one detailing the relationship I had with my father. It was an emotional entry, one in which I didn’t realise the emotional depth I had to go, depth I was not ready for. I shall revisit it for next week or the one after that or for next month; this series has never been one to stick to the timetable.
Today, my son hits the Two year mark and this entry is to wish him a Happy Birthday. Yes, a simple Happy Birthday. I’m a Nigerian father; we don’t do mushy, mushy greetings. That kind of parenting leads to entitled kids that grow up believing you owe them something.
Oh, who am I kidding? I love my boy scatter. A love I didn’t even know existed, not the kind you have for your wife, your parents or your siblings. This kind of love appears when you see your child for the first time. Not everybody instantly develops this kind of love, so I’m really happy I did.
Through this series, I’ve tried to chronicle the relationship I have with my son. So far, it’s been a roller-coaster ride, one that’s been going on for two years now and one I pray will continue till I leave this earth. A beautiful roller-coaster ride that leaves one on an endless high, a high even Prozac can’t generate.
Like yesterday, I remember when he was born, when he started crawling, his first laughter, his first word, his first steps, his first day at school, his first tantrum, his first fever. Basically his first everything! I remember them all and I’m filled with beautiful nostalgia. Having him has been one of the greatest things that ever happened to me. Yeah, I know I probably did like two hours of work while madam did the remaining nine months, but still, na combined effort. Two hours was not beans at all. Maybe it was all that foreplay that made our boy turn out so cute. A word of advice to aspiring parents, don’t do quickie, else you’ll just have a quickie baby. An angry, quickie baby.
Today, he will celebrate with his friends in school. They will eat cakes, have surgery drinks, and lots and lots of candy.
Damn! We haven’t bought the candies yet.
Anyway, we’re going to pump the other kids with too much sugar and send them home to their parents. This is a revenge mission!
Birthday celebrations in school are really great for a child’s development. The teachers and pupils gather, they sing happy birthday songs, share gifts and generally dot over the child. This makes the child feel extra special until the next day when he is back in school and can’t understand why all the teachers are dotting over Bimpe in Nursery 2B.
Happy Birthday, Son.
You are a big energetic ball of fun all wrapped in a 15KG body.
Enjoy the vanilla cake mummy baked for you while we enjoy the rum cake. Always remember to not collect gifts from strangers except that stranger is Dangote.
We love you, son. We always have and always will.
Written by Anyibaba