By Henry Mutebe
Hmm…having children is having your heart swinging outside your body…and worst of all, having that heart in the hands of a human being who can do anything with it.
So… one day…the child is playing…screaming at the top of their voice, rolling in dirt…coming out looking like he is the rubbish…and you have to sort it. For days, months…its all noise…screaming…jumping, rolling, fulumuduz and all sorts of stuff that leaves u restless and flying for their safety…then one day…one morning…you wake up and they have made a big turn around. The story is different.
First, the child doesn’t wake up at the usual time. Your instinct, which thankfully, is always on, tells you to check on him or her. Your hands, which have become a thermometer by now, survey his body, touching his chicks, neck and chest. You figure out his/her temperature is above normal range. However, it doesn’t feel so scary. You decide to check again…as you pass your hands around his/her little body…he/she slowly ascends from sleep.
Right away, he/she starts making that sound which chicken which are incubating their eggs make. He/she is paranoid and moody…he/she doesn’t want to be touched…but also wants to be touched. If you put your hand on his/body…he/she kinda rejects it. If you remove it…he sort of cries…you stand there…in between the twists…wondering what to do. You know you have a few minutes to move out of the house and head to work…but you are also not sure how serious the illness may be. You decide to stay and monitor.
For the better part of the morning…he remains moody…continues to charge at everything…refuses to take breakfast…he swings your heart…your worries accelerate. You keep monitoring. As you start going about other chores…the little man/woman slowly starts emerging from his cave of anger and sickness…and like a flower blossoming …starts to regain his happiness…and before you know it…the formerly sickman/woman is now screaming at the top of his/her voice…leading the chorus of noise makers in the house. Their mess grows into full blown serial madness. Its normal house again. Noise, disorder and everything that mess looks like.
You have not gone to work…you thought the man/woman is or may be sick…but now…the child is at full blown madness of play. Jumping…rolling…reporting…
Children can be such an experience. One minute they swing your heart to one extreme…the next minute they pull it down and swing it to another direction. Its as though we no longer belong to ourselves. We are their servants and they are the bosses. In good and bad times, children are the real essence of our lives. In these moments…good or bad…the vulnerability and fragility…the strength and surprises…you meet, face to face, with the essence of life. You get the meaning of your life.
Every experience with them is worth going through. I am starting to think that the more time a father spends with their children…the happier they get. This is not to admit that sometimes…these kids can be something else…and am sure you have read my rants here before…there are times they make you go bananas…and you wish to just come back at 10pm when they are asleep. Naye… we in it….we have to roll in this mud together. I am loving it…it gets dirty sometimes…its stressing…but the thrill and fun in it is worth every second.
It has been my conviction, as an afterthought of living with our children…that every man must gift their children with an opportunity to experience that which only, of all the over 7 billion people in the world…only he, can give to his child; A Dad experience. Its beautiful to both the child and the Dad. I am loving my time.
As I write this…someone is holding my collar and pulling my beard…another is screaming and distracting me from taking this short break…but still…I still love the thrill and experience that they give me. I think if you bring into this life a child and you dont Dad them, you have lived half of your life and you have denied that human being the best experience that they can not get from another person other than you. Children bring so much joy. They are so rich with love. Lets partake of that love. We shall be happier and more.