Before me, who were you Mommy?

July 15, 2012
So I was snooping around my Friend M’s blog and found this video which led to a series of thoughts and reflections.

[You do not have to watch the video to get the gist of the post, just to show you my inspiration/ thought process, if you do watch the video can I just comment on how beautiful their relationship is and how emotionally mature willow is!! Like what?? I know many grown men (yes I am throwing shaaade) who are not even close to this level. I’ve always admired {the little I know of} their parenting]

I’ve written about my relationship with my mother here before and all sorts of feelings about it. Fast forward to a year and some months after I wrote that post I wonder if I’ve learned much about her. She has gone through some pretty big changes in the past 2years so I was busy keeping up with that and didn’t have much opportunity to delve into who she was before me.

I don’t have any pictures of her before me. I’m jealous of you folks that have those “old school photos” of your parents before you came along. I can piece together random bits and bobs from stories my Grandma and her siblings have told me. In SS1 my Grandma sent her away to a village secondary school near abeokuta because she wouldn’t focus and was always playing (this story always cracks me up). She was a runner in college, that’s how she met my dad, she went to his university to compete. She was feisty and would pick fights with any and everyone, she always fought for her siblings even when they didn’t want her to… aaaand that’s about it! They say her smile and her laugh are still exactly the same. As for my grandma all I know is that she had a book shop when my mom was little and that’s why my mom reads and writes so much. How I would love to dig! I’m going to definitely ask them when next we are all together.

My Dad on the other hand. Mahn I know a lot about him. In fact people alwaaaays want to tell me about my dad (my mom and I keep begging him to write a book). I had the privilege of sitting next to a man that used to know my father on a flight from Dubai to Lagos. In fact after I had introduced myself he couldn’t come to terms with the fact that I was my father’s daughter. He asked me several times in his hausa accented English “Are you sure?” “I just can’t believe it” After he got over it I asked him why he was so shocked (even though I knew what was coming)
“Hmmm your father, every bad thing I did in secondary school was because of him, he was my junior but he scared me and made me so excited. He made us smoke they caught us and he disappeared.” “He taught me how to drive, he used to sneak the car out of the house mid-night by pushing it manually” “Hmmm your father! who married him?”
“Erm my mother?” I replied laughing
A lot of this wasn’t new to me.

I could go on for days but I’ll wrap it up, My dad carries most of that energy with him still, he still sings like everyone says he did. He still smokes (he has promised that this year is his last we’ll see) He still knows how to make a party out of nothing. I think my knowing all these things about him our relationship stronger and make him easy to understand, and easy to understand myself. I’m happy just like him, I draw good energy and I’m highly creative just like him, I love to sing too (though I’m no Adele I can carry a tune) I’m not half as adventurous but I find less risky ways to find my thrills.

Here is my question if you made it through. What do you know about your parents lives before you, before marriage? Who told you? Have they changed a lot? Do you see yourself in them?

Hope you’re all having a great weekend!

Love always,

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  • Reply Miss Enigma July 16, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    OMG! I’ve always loved the the Smith family, even with their flaws and all but this…WOW. I’m at work tearing up non-stop, this was deep and I’m definitely gonna share this.

  • Reply lily July 16, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    I watched the video to the end and it must be shared. i may write about it eventually.what i know about my parents were conversations i had with my elder sisters and it’s really not much. my parents never did share themselves.
    I’m not sure I’ll ever do what willow was able to do with the two generations but I’ll absolutely want to share that quality time with the children i birth.
    A lot of children lack this quality time with their parents. Some have turned out wrong due to this factor.
    nice post. always.

    • Reply Sabirah July 17, 2012 at 5:37 am

      Yes it’s a relationship I definitely want to have with my children! you’re so right.

      Thanks for reading and commenting you are appreciated!

  • Reply Ms.Oreoluwa July 16, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Oh my lord. Waterworks dot com. How can that child be 11?
    So freaking emotionally mature I don’t even think I can articulate myself that clearly in any given situation.
    Anyhoos I know my mother and all her gist- if I can use that word, by virtue of the fact that she shared, her siblings shared, her childhood friends from warri that still come around the house today tell us stories about how they lived and what have you. And like jada rightly said- their stories are wayyyyy different from our reality.

    My mother shares because she doesn’t want anyone making the same mistakes she made, and at the same time not doing most of the things that my grandma did (eg beating the shit out of her & her siblings). And because of this sharing that she constantly does with us, I can understand the rationale behind some of her choices, and who she is, and can make calculated (usually correct guesses) about choices she may have to make when faced with certain options.

    Although lately she has surprised me and has really calmed down on the screaming- I can say I know her what her journey in life is about because I watched most of it closely and our paths are interwoven being in the same profession and all, but mainly because she has shared with us, repeatedly.

    However on it being a 3 generational sharing spree I don’t think that can ever happen, my grandmother came to look after us when my mother had to work some kind of hours at work, and we spent a lot of summer holiday’s with her in warri , but I never even attempted to make any kind of connection with her, tbh I don’t think she believes children are for anything other than spanking.

    Sharing is important. Communication is key. Even more important than that ” effective communication” can not be under emphasized.

    Urgh sabirah I’m going to stop commenting here. Always one epistle or the other. Lol.

    • Reply Sabirah July 17, 2012 at 5:35 am

      Haha never stop commenting!
      You’re so lucky to have all those stories!!
      I think i’m going to do some digging, gotta be prepared for whatever I find.
      I hope at least a little understanding will come out of it.

      Thank you for sharing <3

  • Reply tobi July 17, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    oh my, my internet connection was rubbish but I made sure I reloaded and reloaded to watch the video and I called my sister to watch it with me. OMG willow is soooo mature and so lucky to have such grounded family. luckily for me even though I don’t know all their stories but my parents are ones who loved to share and share, they both grew up in polygamous homes and my mum’s was more loving and all her stories on how they almost always outwitted my smart grandpa were the best, I don’t always understand her but I love her even more for all her stories. my dad even more loved to always tease us on how different his life was from ours and till date we always make jokes about him walking one ridiculous distance to school back in 19 gbobgoro.and my dad had these diaries that I sometimes read and makes me even get him more.

    • Reply Sabirah July 19, 2012 at 7:39 pm

      Glad you were able to watch the vid despite everything!! well worth it!

      You’re lucky your parents love to share, I hope to be that kind of parent one day, n to share my journals too 🙂

      Hope you’ve been well, long time no comment!

  • Reply Bella Joya July 17, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    please why am i over here wailing like a rat…. gah!!! and Willow.. iv always liked her. wild crazy et all. PLus Jada (my body idol) is looking fabulous!! (ok sorry for straying off topic)… but gosh soo emotional.

    My parents always used to tell us stories of their childhood. Especially when we would meet their old college friends.. MY dad .mhein he can tell story for Africa. My mum was a troublesome little girl, and she always told me that i got the same streak in me. Although now everyone is growing older, and see each other even less. i surely now have to make sure i get them talking again.. and yeah we had old albums of my folks from when they were young, and things.. Sabs you just got everyone all emotional and things

    • Reply Sabirah July 19, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      haha it’s what I do!

  • Reply Cor d'Harmonie July 26, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    that’s beautiful, the video. Very…pure. Love that child’s thoughts (the way she thinks)

  • Reply Adeola Dada March 1, 2016 at 9:01 pm

    That video is beautiful and so mind blowing. Thanks for posting this.

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