One of the things I like to do as a mother is to keep journals; for myself and children – individually. For every birth, I dedicate a specially made book which could either be a notepad or jotter collected as a souvenir to be ‘Our Relationship Journal’. Memories of joy and pain, laughter and tears, special occasions and just ordinary days are documented with dates in this special book.
As I was holding my pen to document the event that happened between my 6 year-old (first daughter) and I this morning, I somehow drifted off in thought for a few seconds. It was like a movie that replayed itself, a dejavu of sorts. “This same occurrence has happened before”, I said to myself. When? How? With who?…Then I remembered.
When I was like 8 or 9 years old, my mother (of blessed memory) was fond of preaching to me over and over again to be careful of the kind of friends I keep especially on days I tell her that one of my friends invited me to a birthday party. She will share stories of how some children were kidnapped, influenced, hypnotised or bewitched during parties like that. I wonder where and how she got those stories. Most of the time, I remained the only one that would be absent on those occasions and nothing bad has ever happened to my friends that attended.
As I grew older, I begin to tell myself that mum was just fabricating those stories; she was only over protective of us because we are all girls. Our standard of living was average; in fact you can predict our location per time. My life was triangular: Church, School and Home. We don’t go on vacation; we hardly visit friends except during naming ceremonies or child dedication; we don’t attend parties and even when extended family members outside our location are having functions either of my parents will attend to represent the whole family.
Now my daughter, my second child was showing me a theme birthday invitation shared by a friend in school, (about the third of such this session) and I found myself telling her those same stories – the same ‘fabricated’ ones told to me by my mum. She (my daughter) also had not attended any parties so far except that of one of her cousin’s.
Have you ever experienced this realization?