The world has a population of over 7 billion People, each one of us different from the other. The differences including obvious things like race, skin colour, language, height, weight and so on. Some times the difference between one person and the other can be very little things, take a set of identical twins for example. They could be similar in every physical detail but could be very very different when it comes to their temperament, sound of their voices, their taste in clothes or food, level of intelligence and so on.
In our home, it’s just me, my husband – Terver and my son – SonTer. The 3 of us are so different, each person having their different favourite things, temperaments, foods and so on. We have similar ideas, TV shows and other stuff but you can see that we are all different. SonTer is 7 years old and the older he gets, the more I notice his qualities and traits. Sometimes I get tempted to praise, guide, judge or rebuke him based on what other kids his age may be doing or may have done. I try not to.
I remember one day, It was the week before the start of a new term. SonTer and I went from place to place within our town, Makurdi, to restock on a few things he would be needing come Monday at school. We did our usual singing in the car as we went around, making our stops at the supermarket, kiddies supply store and bookshop.
At the book shop I bought a number of pencils, erasers, sharpeners, crayons, pens, rulers and note books. For his class which is Primary 2, they have not begun the use of pens yet but he insisted on the pens and I bought them because he does all his drawings with pens. That’s what the note books were for too, drawing. I remember buying plain drawing books for him a couple of times, but no, he prefers to draw on a note book meant for writing.
On our way home I actually got really curious. I wondered how long our little purchase from the bookshop would last. I found myself saying the craziest things to him like “SonTer I want these things to to last atleast till the middle of the term… Bla Bla Bla”. He innocently promised they would. I knew they wouldn’t because I know what he can and cannot do.
Out of curiosity I decided to send a photo of the stationery to my family whatsapp group to find out how long their own kids would use that particular quantity. I smiled with each response. Some said their children would use it for about a week, some said 2 weeks but the one that really got me laughing was the one who said her kids would probably misplace them all on the first day.
I had already made up my mind that I would restock after 2 weeks and that’s exactly how long they lasted. I realised that I had already accepted this as normal because that is who he is, that’s how long he would use 6 pencils, 6 pens, 4 erasers, 4 pencil sharpeners, a pack of crayons, a bottle of glue, 3 rulers and 2 “drawing books”. I guess my dad taught me that. He would always say in my native dialect “i deen iyol aa anza ve” which translates to “let people be the way they are”.
The older SonTer gets, I find that I like who he is and who he is becoming. As a parent I am expected to guide him and I am doing my part but he seems to be doing me proud by just being himself.
Let us love people for who they are.
I don’t love SonTer only because he is my son, I love SonTer for who he is.