One of the benefits of becoming older is that we begin to acknowledge the sacrifices our parents made; putting food on the table, shelter over our heads , giving us education as they could afford and then the part we come to appreciate later, disciplining us.
While I was growing up, my mother was greatly feared by myself. Being a strong disciplinarian, she did not spare the rod at all but I would not say I was beaten unnecessarily. Most times, when I got a beating, it was well deserved. One of the beatings that still remains eternally tattooed in my memory was the one I got the first time I stole. It was just one naira(Nigerian currency) and then it was a note. I had had the temptation for so long. You see growing up, myself and my siblings went to a private school and were chauffeur driven to and fro school. We had breakfast at home and during the break, we had cold drinks (samco-orange/chocolate ) with some biscuits given and after school closed by 1pm, our parents’ driver took us home immediately and alas, lunch was waiting. My mother did not believe in giving us money to buy anything in school since she did not see the need.
Well, I saw some of my classmates buy extra snacks on a daily basis and when the cold drinks vehicle came to supply the day’s drinks to our school, some sales were still made to some ‘ pupils who still wanted to buy. I inquired about the price and I found out that it cost 30kobo then , which meant that if I could get 100kobo, I could get three . Why would I need three, well myself and my two brothers were in the school and being a generous child, I did not want them to be left behind of my goodies.
I had noticed that whenever my dad returned from work, he emptied his pockets of whatever money on the desk in his room. I went into my father’s room regularly and every time, I entered, there was money on the desk. I started having the feeling that if I could just take one of the one naira notes, it would solve my problem without anyone knowing, or so I thought.
So on one fateful day, I decided it was time to carry out my plan and took my school bag (I can still remember ,it was a Jimtex bag) into the room and slipped one of the notes into one of the several pockets . I returned my bag to my room and slept that night with gleeful thoughts of how exciting it would be to finally buy those drinks for myself and have something extra to drink like those other school mates I had been envying.
Well the day broke and I wasn’t discovered and went to school feeling like a star. When it was break time, I hurried to buy 3 of the drinks and presented my stolen one naira note. Having collected the 10kobo change, I went to look for my brothers and handed them one each. One of my brothers (can’t remember which of them now), questioned me as regards the source of the funds.I lied and told them that our dad came to the school but saw only me and when he was leaving, gave the money. This was a possibility and my brothers believed me and took their drinks.
I was content and maybe that would have been the beginning of a theft carreer, until we got home. When we got home, we were doing the usual homework and after school runs and suddenly, my younger brother said to my mum,
“Mummy, daddy came to see us in school today”.
The ground did not open against all my wishes and prayers. I knew I was doomed.
“But we did not see him, he saw only Grace and he gave her money and she bought Samco drinks with it for us”.
Well you can imagine what happened, no I wasn’t asked to go to any naughty corner or sit at the Thinking tree corner, my mother obtained the rest of the story and my two brothers were told to hold me while I laid down on the centre table and got a beating. It is a beating I still remember.It instilled a fear for anything that was not mine and even if someone’s money dropped by me, I would shake it off. Those days , I always wondered why my mum was so wicked. In short to be honest and to say what I never told my mum, my childhood fantasy was that one day, my real mother will knock on the front door and say she has come to get me.
But over the years, I have learnt that there is no other woman coming to claim me, My mother and I’s relationship has shifted from mother disciplinarian daughter role to a friendship role. She disciplined me enough during those times that now I can actually be a mother to someone else. My best friend’s mum had a zero tolerance for lying, in short she used to say a woman that lies will also steal and one day, she will steal someone else’s husband. I do not know how true that last part is but I sure used to wonder then how someone can steal another person’s husband………
Have a great weekend,
Dishusbandmata……passionate about relationships