Everytime I write about the interactions between David and I, it’s almost always funny; so it’s easy for people to think that we have a mother and son that’s always happy.
What many people don’t know is, I do not talk about the dark sides of our relationship on purpose. Not because I’m trying to paint a picture of perfection, but because I’d rather focus on the positives, especially the hilarious banners between us, that are not very common in parent-children relationships.
It’s not always as rosy as it seems. We do have our fights and there are days when he feels like running away from me and days when I feel like giving him up for adoption…lol.
One of such days, was about a week ago.
It was the closing week for my school and David and I had previously agreed that when my school finally closed, he and I would spend some time together before he heads off to his father’s house.
Unfortunately, we both had different views of what spending time together should be. I wanted to stay home, rest, and do stuff together (like watch movies, play games and gist) while enjoying each other’s company.
However, David being the son of his father (and had inherited his sokungo tendencies), wanted to be mostly outdoors. His plan involved going to the movies everyday, and then going to Next Cash and Carry every other day.
Naturally, we started to have problems and were quite upset which each other.
I had just recently given him his phone. Usually, I take it from him when school starts and only give it back during the holidays.
That day, I had grounded him because he didn’t do some chores, and instead went out to play.
In the evening, I took his phone to go through it as I often do, and I saw that he had called his dad 7 times that day and had sent him messages for him to come pick him up.
Apparently, he didn’t like the idea of not going out and wanted to ‘escape’.
God bless his father though. He somehow knew that something was up between his son and I, so he told him that he would come the next day.
But I was livid. I scolded David for trying to play smart and informed him that the punishment would be to seize his phone.
That’s when all hell broke loose.
He started to wail. He also started to park his things and told me that he was leaving my house, and that I should call his father to come get him because he didn’t want to spend one more minute inside my house.
I too fired back that I didn’t want to see him anywhere near my house if he leaves. I called him ungrateful and stùpid.
I was so angry that I called his father.
“Come and get your son before I wóund him this night,” I told him. “I’m tired and angry and I do not want to deal with this.”
His father asked to give David the phone. Then he asked him what was wrong.
“I want to leave my mother’s house!” He cried. “And I don’t ever want to step my foot inside this house again!”
His father said he was coming.
I took the phone and hung up. David continued crying and packing his things, while I stormed off to go sit in my car, play music and try to calm down.
20 minutes later, his father had still not showed up. I called him. This was around 8.30pm.
“I’ll come tomorrow please. My leg is painting me and I can’t drive.” He told me (it was the next day he told me that he did not come on purpose because he wanted David and I to sort out our differences; a story for another day).
When I went back into the house, David had finished parking all his things and had kept them in the parlour, waiting for his dad.
He was sitting on the sofa. He was no longer wailing but sobbing quietly.
I walked past him without saying a word. I went into the room, and as I lay in bed, I started to cry quietly.
I cried because I had let my anger get the best of me. I felt like a failure. I cried until I felt like I had let out all my emotions, then I got up and went to the bathroom to wash my face. I wanted to go and talk to David and I didn’t want him to see that I had been crying.
While I was washing my face, I heard my room door open.
I finished washing my face, dried it with a towel and stepped out to see David kneeling. He was crying.
“I’m sorry Mommy,” he choked up as he spoke. “I was angry and I was wrong for saying the things I said.”
I started to cry too. I reached down to help him up, and I hugged him tightly as we both cried in each other’s arms.
“I’m sorry too,” I told him. “Istupid not have said the hurtful things I said.”
“It’s okay. It’s not your fault,” he replied, still crying.
“There’s no excuse.” I said. “I shouldn’t have gotten so angry. I’m really sorry. Please forgive me.”
“It’s you who should forgive me. You’re my mother and I know you love me and you’re just trying to train me.”
We both stayed in each other’s arms crying for a few minutes before I spoke again.
“I love you, David. I know that I’m harsh sometimes and I’ll try to do better. But I need you to know that I love you and you’re the most important thing in my life.”
“I love you too,” he replied. “And I’m very sorry.”
“I’m sorry too.”
Writing about this has made me tear up again.
There’s no manual for this journey of parenthood. Every parent is unique and every child is too. I’m not perfect, so I’m learning and unlearning and relearning every day.
I know that I’ll make mistakes sometimes.
There have been times I felt like a failure.
But there are also times when I look at David and I know that I’m doing a great job.
Best part is, I’m blessed to have birthed a man who loves me completely, even with my flaws… a man whose love is unconditional, unwavering and enduring.
And God knows I love him with every fibre of my being.
~ Adaobi Amadi