The Agony of the Grass– Part one
In the olden days, as a child, one would long for Christmas or school holidays when you would go to the rural homes to see the grandparents. The thought of Guka and Cucu, Babu and Nyanya, or Kwaro and Dani… or however you refer to them in your mother tongue, gave you a merry heart. That is if you were not privileged to see them so often as some of us.
I remember growing up, my grandparents’ home was a walking distance. Going to the rural homes was not a choice. You know those life and death situations, yeah you guessed right, only death situations would make us go there. My grandfather had a strict rule that none of his offspring especially grandchildren would set foot in the rural area unless need be and the need was burial circumstance. Lest the old woman in the village would throw things in our tummies. I used to have vivid imaginations of how a Coca-Cola bottle would find its way into my little stomach, and I would have to go under a serious ritual surgery. The thought of it hard my stomach churn.
Either way, we all looked forward to spending time with our grandfather and grandmother. When I think of our generation, I wonder who they will visit during the school holidays. The term grandparents’ home visit lies in the vocabulary of the past. The many divorces, cohabitation and separations have robbed our society of the very root of our upbringing.
There is an old Swahili saying that says “fahali wawili wakipigana Nyasi huumia” In the very essence meaning when the mighty people are in a battle it is the little people who suffer. When two adults are at it, it’s the little children in the house that suffer.
When parents are fighting, throwing words, violently abusing one another it’s the children who suffer. When I see parents physically fighting, I think of the children. I grew up in a neighbourhood where I saw people getting married at a tender age, and they would physically fight, left right and centre. The only two couples who didn’t fight were mature, and the age gap between the man and the woman was, at least, ten years. It made me hate young marriages. The fights tormented my mind, and they were not even in my household. I can imagine what children who see their parents fight go through.
The agony these children go through is tremendous. When one has a child, you think of how you would protect it from anyone who tries to hurt them. Imagine this; you might be the very person your child needs protection from. A parent natures a kid to grow up to be a sound creation. We have a responsibility to give our children the sound home they need. A brighter future. A brighter future doesn’t mean money and fancy gifts but a comfortable home where our child can grow in soundness.
The recent cases of husbands killing wives and women slashing the ‘manhood’ of the husband have been on a rampage and brings the question, what future will our children have? Is this the example we want to set for our children? Can we stop for a second and look at the child. Give them a better future. Remember the first time you held your first daughter or son. The thoughts that crossed your mind was to be a better, man, woman, father or mother.
Muse upon those thoughts and give your child a better future. Give them a chance to take their children, your grandchildren to come and see the grandparents. Knit together as a family. Let them joy in the customs of a tradition that goes down memory lane. The joy of seeing grandparents and not separate grandparents.