Thursday, 4 May 2017

Meeting Olaoluwa, The Wise

I met Olaoluwa a little over two weeks ago and in the one hour we sat together, he taught me so much.

He showed me how much like my Papa, my Prof I had become. I clearly have the same mannerisms as my Papa around people like Olaloluwa. I even sang the same songs bringing them from somewhere very deep in my being. Places I did not even know still existed. Memories from way back, listening to my Papa sing the same songs and move the same moves, swaying back and forth. I was stunned for one is never conscious of what one is picking up from ones’ parents. It made me wonder what mannerisms, what songs, idiosyncrasies my own children are unconsciously picking up from me.

Then Olaoluwa yawned. 

No, it was not that I was a boring guest but yawn is what you do some times. Right? Looking straight at me, he yawned and instinctively, I made a clucking sound with my tongue because of all the times I had seen Nana do the same thing when she was around people like Olaoluwa who yawned in your face. Again, I smiled to myself. There is some Nana in me too. Nana is my mother-in-love by the way and clucking at yawns, blowing gently on foreheads to still coughs were things I saw her do many times. I did them too over the years and on this day, I found myself doing them in Olaoluwa’s presence.

We are products of every nurturer we have had. 

Not just parents to be honest. In small, invisible yet powerful ways we are the sum total of all those who, at some time or the other were present during our growing up years. I am the sum total of all those who had nourished me or mine and so are you. I said a silent prayer that God should please fix it that someday, my daughter too would be somewhere doing or saying something and then catch herself because, right there, in that moment, she had just seen me in her. In a good way; a way that would make her smile like I was smiling. As I realised that I was behaving more or less the same way Nana used to behave. Doing stuff that I used to laugh at wondering how on earth people could believe these things! Lol!

My conversation with Olaoluwa was rich and meaningful. 

I did most of the talking and he was quite patient with me. Listening as I spoke to his mother through him.  Just like Nana used to do. At some point, Olaoluwa’s Papa was in the room and I asked him, quite silly a question, if he knew who that was? Clearly, he did. But he humoured me as only the wise do. Allowing me to ask questions and answer them myself. Once in a while, actually seven times in all, he would bless me with a smile.

Even typing this I remember how I felt leaving Olaoluwa’s home that afternoon. I felt rich and alive. I, this woman knocking on the door of fifty had just been taught by a five week old baby how important it is to live worthy of emulation at all times. I know this seems like an odd near silly post but don’t miss the point.

You see, whether we like it or not, we are passing on some of us into our children. It’s not even something we can stop because it just happens. So I guess perhaps the prayer is that God should help all parents (social or biological and spiritual) so that whatever is passing down from us to our progeny does not result in them having to bare their souls to a Shrink or seek deliverance later on in their lives.

I am just saying.

Olaoluwa taught me this and he might just be five weeks old but I think he is on to something here.

You and I are the sum total of all our parents and our children will be the sum total of us.

Think about it for a moment.

Olaoluwa, The Wise, Salt & Arike, mother of The Wise

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