THE VOICE OF MY MOTHER

‘Ade, Ade, Ade!!!’

The bellows were like an echo in dreamland, was that my name being called?

‘Ade!!! Sho gbo mi ni? Can’t you hear me?’

Slowly, I got a grip on consciousness and realized the voice is now in my room.

It’s the voice of a woman, my mother.

‘Iwo omo yi! This child! O sumi. I’m tired. It’s 6:30 in the morning and you’re still sleeping. A woman! Can’t you see me, your mother? I’ve been up since 2 a.m., unable to sleep back, and doing house chores ever since.’

I yawned and began to shift things about to dull out her voice. I can no longer stand her usual nagging. God! this is all your fault. If you had seen to my getting a job in another state, I wouldn’t be here getting chastised over my ‘love for sleep’ and ‘laziness’ at 6:30 A.M. on a Saturday morning. God, I’m angry with you o, I thought to myself.

Her voice broke into my thoughts interrupting my discussion with God.

‘Ade, is it not you I’m talking to? Don’t let me slap you oh. Get up now, go bath and come and fry eggs for your father to eat his bread with.’

This my father sef! Can’t he do things by himself?

I was tempted to go back to bed but I didn’t want a brain-resetting slap, so I dragged my sleepy self to the bathroom. I was still in the bathroom when I heard my mother beating eggs in the kitchen.

I smiled to myself in bitter triumph because I know she would always bring up my laziness while my father is eating.  This woman and her over zealousness, she must have waited for a while, knowing how long I spend in the bathroom, and seeing that I wasn’t forthcoming decided to fry the eggs herself.

I gave myself a high five. Stubborn girl, Omolomo. I can’t kill myself.

This is my plight. This is what I go through. My mother never spares a breath in saying she’s highly disappointed and sad that I didn’t inherit her love for house chores. I’m glad I didn’t because look at her. A fifty something year-old woman with the back of an aged woman, struggling with intense back pain, but never relenting in her love for chores.

Yes, Love. She loves doing chores. I can never get tired of doing chores the whole day, she’d often say in her ‘sermons’.

But I don’t blame her. It’s how she was brought up. She was trained to be the perfect housewife, at the expense of her health, in a bid to please her husband and his family and she doesn’t see anything wrong in it.

Her sermons come from a place of love. She wants me to be the perfect wife too, but mama, times have changed. I have more important things to be good at than being a perfect wife, mama.

I love you mama, and I am grateful to you for trying to set me on the ‘right path’, but my path is different.

I will do chores when I have to, but love them because I’m a woman? No, mama. My path is different.

Written by F.