I must say that it was a long time coming.
it has been brewing for months now. A bit more precisely towards the end of last school year after the week of the lesson on “family planning”.
on our way home from school, Salihi blurred out: mommy do you known what an erection is and what happened to a penis when you have one?
Me: that’s a conversation to have in private.
to which Nana jumped in: b’cos I am here?
Salihi: yes; and you must be a 4th grader too
To which Nana replied after a moment of silence: well, I’ll just have to google it!
Thanks technology! (note to self: really tighten the parental-control’s words search on her laptop!)
And that was the end of that conversation.
Fast forward to several weeks later in 2nd week of August, Salihi came back from school one evening at the moment of kissing us goodnight, made sure Nana wasn’t around and hesitantly uttered:
I have something to ask you two-
salihi: do you guys have sex?
Dead silence…. then
We: why? why do you asked?
Salihi: b’cos my friends at school were talking and one of them said all parents have sex and I said not my parents and my friend said that if I was born naturally, not adopted or otherwise, then yes my parents do have sex. So I would like to know if that is true.
Dead silence again……… then saved by Nana arrival.
…. (To be cont’d).
This is a little conversation we have in the car this morning on our way to dropping them off.
Nana: mommy I wish you can take us on a bike ride
Salihi: but we won’t all fit. one person will have to sit in the front and that’s very dangerous
Nana: it isn’t
Salihi: yes it is especially if we crash
Nana: No it is NOT!! because we did it many time in Africa and it wasn’t dangerous!! – little disclosure here: last year during our stay in Lome, Togo, Nana discovered a new found love for “Zemidjan” ( small-bike use as taxi). She would give me grief for choosing a taxi-car over the bike and was thriiilled the few time we rode the zemidjan. – back to our conversation.
Me: (step in to court short another debate of who can back his/her argument best) I love bikes and I use to ride them.
Nana: why did you stop riding them? you don’t like them anymore?
Salihi: when did you stop riding them?
Me: I stop riding long time ago…. before I met daddy. Yes, I still like bikes especially big bikes. As to why I stop riding them? I really can’t say b’cos I really don’t know. I guess there are certain things that you liked and felt like doing at certain time of your life…. then as you are growing up you just don’t feel like doing them anymore, at least not as much as you used to.
Nana & Salihi -together: really?
Me: yes. You will see.
And my dear children, that’s my little lesson for you for today. – It is okay to accept and be at peace with the changes in your taste, desire, likes, perception, understanding, patience, tolerance, character, … etc as you grow and mature. Some of these changes are nice and some are painful and tormenting and you must make peace and find harmony in these changes.
I love yous.
Where and when do you do most of your parenting?
I seem to do most of mine in the car on the road going somewhere. One example is this afternoon on our way back from volleyball, Nana decided that she will sit in the front. Salihi at first said it was ok with him…. then few minutes later he said : you know, Nana, the bosses seat at the back!” “No not always” she replied. Salihi backed his point by pointing it out to her that the president never sit in the front, nor drive the car himself, he is driven around sitting comfortably at the back. To which Nana replied “well, I am very comfortable here in the front”. But Salihi won’t light up, giving more examples to back his opinion up. I guess Nana had enough so she replied “it is my choice and I am very happy with it!” – Great job!!! I said and I would like for both you and Salihi not to ever forget that. AS LONG AS YOU ARE NOT HURTING ANYONE, IF YOUR CHOICES MAKE YOU HAPPY, STICK TO THEM NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE SAY, INCLUDING ME!! Make choices that will make YOU happy!!!
We seems to be always on the road talking about a situation they have experienced, observed, heard about or thinking about, to create these opportunities for me to pass a lesson or advice I would like them to live their lives by. Where and when do you pass your parental advices to your offsprings? and I would love some crucial ones that you wish to give yours as well.