Four days ago I left the supermarket in a huff to beat the rain and evening traffic home. I didn’t quite manage that as the rain drops met my head and attire right outside the shopping mall. As I sheltered myself for the few minutes, I was struck by an image of a lady probably in her mid thirties, heavy with child and carrying another on her back spin out of a corridor with several umbrella’s for sale to the Nairobians rushing about as characterized by rains at the leaving office hour.
This s perhaps one of the saddest sites I have seen in the recent past, that besides the man on a wheel chair along Uhuru Highway begging for coins from motorists and another of a man lying along the street somewhere around Kencom House, completely burnt and skin exposed to the unhygienic surroundings there with.
Of course I have lived around this Capital and many other towns in the country and witnessed such incidences through my life. Most of the times I have not been bothered as such; occasionally dropping the coins and pocket change in tins or besides them and moving on with life as I take time, at times to thank God for the better days I have as compared.
This particular lady I spotted at the shopping mall however gave me a different thought and a series of imaginations that I haven’t managed to shake off entirely in the past few days. I am not a parent, I really wish and look forward to the day when I will be one. I intend to give my wife and children all I can possibly manage in every aspect that informs my role as a husband and as a father. I also look forward to being reasonable and flexible enough to allow my child to pursue and become whatever they want, as long as I am not going to hear stuff like ‘I want to be a dancer’ or one of those things related. I am sorry but that’s never going to happen.
Just what exactly goes on in a parent or guardian’s mind? The dreams, the hopes and expectations they have of their off spring. How far should they go in shaping and moulding their children? Should this be in line with what the ‘Parent Knows and has Experienced’ or should it be with what the ‘Child hopes and dreams’ of? Should a parent be offended if their child decides to take a different path in life far from what they have modelled them to be or shaped them to become?
A friend and I shared recently on challenges that people my generation go through today, that results to conflict with parents, especially fathers. As they say, ‘Those questioning the character and mannerisms of our generation, forget who raised it.’
Anyway, nothing conclusive, just wondering, if in my old man’s eyes, I am not ‘what he wants me to be’ (like I care) what goes on in the said lady’s father’s mind?