My 5 years old boy stared in amazement at this relic from the not too distant past and asked, “Daddy, how did they do this?”
In preparation for the Sunday church service, I was chatting with my wife. Addressing myself to her, I inquired, “which dress I’m I even going to wear for tomorrow’s church worship service self?” Before, she came forth with a suggestion, I opined, “I think I will wear any of those my wax prints. I will also like to use that my “green-cap” – the one I inherited from my late dad.” I now proceeded to retrieve the cap from the wardrobe. I tried the cap on before my mum who was playing and passing the time with her grand children.
(Me @ 28)
The kids were all laughing and grinning as I put on the seemingly, to them, out-of-fashion cap. On seeing the cap on my head, my mum smiled, a knowing, reminiscing smile, “so this cap is still in existence?
That is the cap your dad wore on the day we got married. Actually, he was using it even before we got married.”
(My mum & dad on their wedding day.)
I now proceeded to display the wedding picture that my dad and mum took on the day of their wedding fifty something years ago.
A scanned copy of that wedding picture (I got it from my uncle’s album) is permanently resident on all my mobile devices. With my mum, the kids and my wife, pouring over the picture displayed on my Samsung Galaxy S3 while taking turns to admire the cap, irredentist Willy retorted,
(Willy with his mum)
(My wife with my mum)
“Daddy it’s like grandma got married when she was very young o.” To which I replied, “Yes she got married when she was very young. Probably, while she was still less than twenty.” I asked my mum,
“How old were you when you married my dad?” To which she replied, “I cannot remember my exact age then, but I gave birth to you after about two years of my marriage to your dad.’
This cap was worn by my late dad over 50 years ago when he and my mum tied the nuptial chord. Except for the slight fading-off of the original colours, it is still as sturdy and resillient looking. The cap looks as if it will last for at least another 50 years, provided it is not manhandled, mutilated or stolen.
(Obong – then)
(Obong a.k.a Valiant – today)
Written on 18-August-2013
Me & Oonere – 2005
“Daddy are you the one that took Americanah from my table?”
“Yes, I’m the one.”
“I want to read it.”
“I`m not giving it to you.
No, I`m not giving it to you.”
That was the retort from me in response to Oonere`s request that I loan her Chimamanda’s latest novel – Americanah. “The last of her books I loaned you, you spoilt the edges, so I an not loaning you this one (for now). At least not until I finish reading it myself.”
“But daddy, I am not the one that spoilt the edges of Half A Yellow Sun.”
“OK, I’ve heard you, but I am not giving it to you (now). Afterall, we have four of her books and you are yet to finished all the other titles. At any rate, you are still writing your exams. When you finish your exams you can come back for it.”
I picked up Ngozi Chimamanda Adichie`s Americanah at Lagos Airport last Thursday. Isn’t it amusing? My little girl of yesterday has started dragging novels with her dad.
Oonere with her cousin Eniola – 2013
This morning, the same chap who asked for my mum’s name and its meaning the other day came to ask for the meaning of the name he has been bearing since the day he was born. While dressing up to go to school, Willy confronted me with his latest quest.
Son: “Daddy, what is the meaning of my surname?”
Daddy: “My father’s name can have two different interpretations depending on how you pronounce it. Both interpretations have excellent meanings that you will really like.”
I now proceeded with the two pronounciations and the corresponding interpretation of each.
Daddy: “Do you like the interpretations?”
Son: “Yes, I do. Thank you.”
Daddy: “You might as well write down the meanings so that you will not forget them.”
Son: “Yes, I will.”
Last evening, Willy wanted to know my mum’s (his granny’s) name.
Son : “Daddy, what is grandma’s name?”
Dad: “Grandma is there, go and ask her.”
Son: “Daddy, granny has told me her name. Is that a Yoruba name?”
Dad: “Yes, it is.”
Son: “Daddy can you spell it for me?”
Dad: “No, I won’t spell it for you. You just try and spell it yourself. You spell it the way you pronounce the alphabets in the name.”
Willy, eventually spelt his granny’s name correctly. Again, back to daddy he came.
Son: “Daddy, what is the meaning of grandma’s name?
Dad: “Grandma is there go and ask her yourself. Every name borne by every occupant of this house has a meaning. Ask grandma to tell you the meaning of her name.”
Son: “OK, I will ask her later.”
Dad: “William, can you tell me the meaning of your name?”
Son: “Yes I can, the meaning of my name is …”
Dad: “That is correct. Good night son.”
Son: “Good night daddy.”