I rolled on the floor, crying my eyes out as I rubbed at my back. The pain I felt was excruciating. That night, I was wearing a strap top that exposed my back and so when the cane landed there, it left a red line in its wake. Still rolling on the floor and screaming for forgiveness, I saw the cane go up again and I realised that the worse was not yet over. I was really in for it. As some people will say, "I buy gbese that night."
At that time, I was about 16 years old. I was either in SSS 1 or SSS 2, I don't really remember now. On that fateful day, I had come back from school after school lessons which closed around 5pm. As usual, I did what I could to help my mum in the kitchen. After that, I went out to play with the boys. Have I mentioned that I am the only girl child in the family? Well, its the truth. Knowing that the work will be too great for only me, my mum used to help me a lot. Not that she wasn't tired. She would go to work early in the morning and come back at about 5 in the evening, still, she would do her part.
So because I have only brothers, I learnt their ways. Its by the special grace of God and the constant corrections from my mum and dad that prevented me from being a tomboy. Lolz. So, back to the story. I went out to meet the boys and we played football. By the time we finished and went back upstairs, it was about 7:00 pm. We were dirty and sweating. Mum didn't mind us. She only called us to wash our hands and eat, after which we took our bath.
Fast forward to two hours later. My dad came back from work and as usual, my mum boiled water for his bath. I went to their room to get something. Mum was tired so she asked me to help warm my dad's food and serve it.
"No o! I cannot. I'm tired too." That was my response. I couldn't care less. I wanted to be in the sitting room, watching tv with my brothers. I didn't want to be sent on errands, especially at that time. I refused outrightly. Anyway, I didn't get the chance to say more than that. My dad came in from the bathroom at the same moment I said the above. Without saying a word, he picked up the cane he placed behind the door and brought it down, hard, on my back. I screamed and jumped, looking for a way to run out of the room but there was non. My dad blocked the exit and made sure he finished with me first. Lolz.
"So you mean your mummy can ask you to do something and you will tell her an outright no? What are you turning into? Who is teaching you that?" My dad asked, after he had put the cane aside. From where he stood, he watched me with a frown as I rolled on the rug and cried profusely. He let me cry some more before stepping forward to pet me.
"Hope you know I am not flogging you because I hate you?" He asked, while patting my head. "I flogged you because you were rude to your mother. She asked you to do something and you told her no. Is that good?" Since my body still shook vehemently with my sobs, I could only shake my head in response. "Oya its okay." He said and continued to pet me. Only daughter things jor. Lolz.
While petting me, he noticed that I was still robbing my back even though my sobs were subsiding. He turned me around and looked at it. Lo and behold, the red line had a twin. My dad pet me some more before pulling away. He went to his wallet, took some money out and began to get dressed. I wondered why untill he said, "wait for me, I'm coming back." By then, because of the drama that ensued, mumsy was forced to get up from the bed and go to the kitchen by herself. So when she came back to tell my dad that his food was set, she only saw me in the room.
"Where is your daddy?" She asked. At that same point, my younger brother came into the room and on hearing my mum's question, he answered. "Daddy just went out. He said he wants to buy something."
Lolz. Thats my dad for you. He will never tell us exactly where he is going or exactly what he is going out to buy. As long as he is concerned, its non of our business. Until he comes home, only then will you know what he had been up to. Hehehehe...
About twenty minutes passed and my father finally came back home. As soon as he stepped into his room where I was still waitng, he brought something out from his pocket and began to open it. Looking closer, I saw that it was robb. At first I frowned. But then, he moved closer, scooped some of the content on one finger and walked up to me.
"Give me your back." He said gently. I gave him my back and he applied the robb on it. At that same moment, all the anger I felt towards him disappeared. I was touched. My dad flogged me because I was disobedient and rude. Seeing that I sustained minor injuries, he went out, late that night, to get something to treat my back. Even though I still felt the pain, I was grateful. The above story is one out of many others that I experienced.
You see, fathers are strict. Its their job to ensure that children do not go out of place or fall off their moral standard. They scream at us, flog us,
discipline us in whatever way possible just to make sure we are brought up the right way. The bible says 'Spare the rod and spoil the child.' Our fathers are not sparing the rod because they don't want to spoil us.
Initially, we hate them, we dispise them, we wish they were never our fathers and we wish we could erase them from our lives. We argue with them, we love them less. Our mothers take the special place in our hearts all throughout our growing days, but then, when we mature, we see things differently. We start to realise that all along our fathers have done a lot for us. He may not have sweet talked or sweet pet us the way our mothers did, but, he paid our school fees, he ensured that we ate well, he ensured that we had good clothes to wear. He put a roof over our heads. He prayed for us everyday of his life. He did everything possible to get us out of trouble, even though he disciplined us afterwards. He advised us and spoke words of wisdom to us. Most of his words still ring in my ear till date. Somethings happen and I'm like "Hey! Daddy has said this before." Because of the advice gotten long ago, I know how to resolve that particular issue.
Now, flogging a child for the purpose of disciplining him/her is not the same as flogging them out of hate or anger. My dad never flogged us with anger. He knew things could go really bad if he did, so, he usually waited for his anger to subside.
As a salary earner, a business man/woman with responsibilities, you start to really appreciate your father, not only your mother. Mothers have done a lot. However, without our fathers, they wouldn't conceive us in the first instance. Without the support of our fathers, our mother may not have had us or even if they did, they would find it very difficult raising us single handedly. When you have kids around you or they are placed in your care, you start to understand what it really means to raise a child. I don't have my own kids yet, but I have children under my care. I know what I go through to ensure their safety, to correct their ways and to make sure all is well with them. I know how much I spend on them, even though their parents have 98% of the responsibility and I take only 2%. Now what happens if they were 100% my responsibility? #Iseriouslydon'twanttothinkaboutit.# Lolz. I will wait until my own kids are on the way.
So while everyone celebrated mother's day, I celebrated parent's day. I do that because I celebrate them together, not one after the other. When father's day comes, I will still celebrate them together. I love my parents and with each passing day, I appreciate them more and more.
So for me, it was Happy Parent's Day.