Tough love?

It feels funny crawling in here 13 days into 2018. In fact I feel so strange in my own blog, I had to sneak in this way. How time flies. 2018???!!!

An extra year. More things to think about, more sad songs to relate to and more time to break people’s hearts. And get heart-broken too. I’m not mean, it’s just reality. Good thing, I already found time this year to get out away, sit in a park and dream way back into the past; and actually wake up before a serial killer or the government got me. I like how I’ve fit the two on the same side in one sentence.

But I’ve been pondering about the decades. It’s not easy to do so, in fact “Like a Bridge Over Troubled Waters” had to be playing somewhere in the background to wake the muse. But straight to the point, any Kenyan, or African perhaps, born in the 90s is obviously an aftermath of tough love African parenting. We probably deserved it.  Let’s roll back the reel.

You were likely raised the old-fashioned way  – “you spare the rod, you spoil the child” kind of style. Of course you were not just supposed to know that you can’t eat the outside of the pineapple, like you’re some sort of scientist. You had to get whipped to get it. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, anyone who suggests they were brought up another way must have missed a lot. Sorry, that ship has sailed.

Look at us today. The ‘born 90s’ (the younger ones found us and followed suit of course) are the lot to actually blame for the lost art of expressing ourselves with only words and no emojis. ‘No emoji, no emotion in that statement.’ No wonder the crafty art of writing is fading. We obviously ‘don’t talk any more like we used to’ too.

Oh, and how we were taught pieces of advise that today sound like mythical tales. I remember one of my sisters being told that ladies don’t swear; they need to have lovely queen mouths that open up and doves fly out of their heads. It’s my sister’s birthday and I’m disappointed I haven’t seen a handful of ladies around. Hours ago, a woman in front of me in the bus pushed her seat back so far into my knees that by the end of the journey, we were almost the same person. And a mere poke with my index finger into her ribs let’s loose her tap of expletives. Where do they want me to poke surely?

While my parents always taught me to wake up before the sun does, the world has changed and I do have plenty to do later in the day while nothing to do when I’m up early. Life’s intrigues!

And dads? For instance, they are the people we gentlemen always wanna talk to, yet the hardest to actually talk to. That description weirdly fits my crush too. My dad would encourage me to think for myself. He’d in fact answer some of my queries with ‘think!’. And I do that till today. That’s why I sometimes sit, think and wonder what the alligator that was killed and used to make my belt would be doing if not dead. If you think that’s merely a story, well, a food vendor’s cart has rolled past by me and I’ve wondered for about 3 seconds how I could take a selfie with the aroma. And now I want to arrest myself. Think! Think hard this year. That’s from pa.

I always had issue with a parent on that useless topic of haircut; especially because I was always that type of kid who touched stuff with “DO NOT TOUCH!” signs on them. ‘You should look decent and professional, otherwise you won’t make it!’ Recently, I went to see a lawyer in his office and he was comfortably rooted in his seat sporting dreadlocks and an Italian suit, which is official regalia. I muttered, ‘Damn colonialism!’. How our upbringing doesn’t match reality is very much similar to what the colonialists did to society.

Before you judge the writer’s IQ, I was always the brilliant kid. When my peers craved shoes that lit up, I loathed them because they let monsters find you in the dark. So you’d rather take this to the bank. One thing I’ve learnt about parents, if you can’t convince them, confuse them. Do it in a smart way. And don’t mention me. You obviously don’t play dumb because a writer asked you to. Whether it’s about that life partner, an extra course you need funding for, a project that needs capital boost or a decision involving career; it’s essential they have your back in any way. I’m picturing my sister telling my mum that her boyfriend is a DJ – get what I mean?

Maybe we are not many in this but there was that era when asking a parent ‘what?’ was blurting out a curse word. Just wondering whether this affects how we don’t really ask questions, we just follow trends. And I mean things socialites do.

Soak in the privilege if your parents are still around this year. See more of them. You’ll probably reach that age when your ears will be hairer than your head; and your favorite person will be the blanket. And you won’t see much of them because you “just can’t”.

If you’re still brooding in their nest, God help you. And I mean it. Get lost in the moment and enjoy. You’ll later celebrate this nostalgia of ‘tough love’ like the ‘patriots’ do when they celebrate our national independence days. I’ve realized, 2018 needs some tough love too. I’ll pinch its cheeks red if I have too. I’ll ask the last parenting question you’ll possibly expect, “Now that you already graduated from university, when are you getting married?”

You’ll miss me when I’m gone.




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