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Kevwe Uwisike: For the Children Coming After Us

Precious Kevwe Oghide

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Recently, I have been thinking about children a lot. I am single and I hope to get married and have two boys and a girl. My baby girl will be my pension baby. I say this all the time; but recently, my thoughts about kids and the unborn have become deliberate. Out of nowhere, my friend, Kunle-Laguda, sent me a TedTalk link about how education kills creativity in children. And this piqued my desire to write a letter to the kids.

I am writing to you, the innocent ones; though I doubt you need it because you have so much access to knowledge now. I am amazed at the amount of kids who know how to surf the Internet more than many grown-ups.

Many times, your innocence and flexibility get the best of me. For example, how you play hide-and-seek both literally and emotionally—like when it is time to do your homework and when you are trying to keep from telling the truth. Or how you sleep so comfortably on your mum’s back even when your neck is turned down and your nose immobilized. Grownups can never get comfortable in that position. Or how you transform the voices of screaming adults into pleasant music; my 3 year old baby cousin will make me scream down the house in my futile search for him and just show up behind me, grinning at me. I am weak. I cannot spank him. I am just amused.

There are few things you should pay attention to in your walk through the universe, although you learn them in your early stages, they are life applicable lessons. So listen:

Deciding Between Options
A lot of your options will be quite confusing. When at school, you are made to choose between 3 options, eliminate the one that calls at you first. It is most likely the wrong one. You analyze the other two options; one of them may be the right answer. This strategy will help you decide who to be friends with later in life. Do not go for (a) the popular one with flashy things that everyone wants to be around. Go for either the 2nd or 3rd, (b) the girl with the imaginary friend or (c) the boy who stalls and calculates before making a sentence. These are people looking for a friend. They have been preparing on how to best behave like one.

You do Not Love Ice Cream
Let no adult deceive you. It is rich and creamy and sweet but that is all it is. It is there to satisfy your cravings and make you stay put when an adult needs you to but it is not your go-to friend. You cannot call it to help you with your homework or ask it why the sky is blue. You can only delight in it but not find solace in it. Once you understand that love is an exchange between two things that are capable of the emotion—you and Somto, you and your parents. Then you can scale part of the hurdle of heartbreak.

By All Means, Fall but Do not Crash
I cannot count the number of times my baby cousin has fallen. Once, I begged him not to climb the dining table. Did he listen to me? No. He fell but did not break a tooth or a leg. This is good news. But the truth is; the world is full of dirt, sharp edges and rocky paths—very soon, you will be running in 3-inch heels trying to catch a bus at Ojuelegba and you will slip. You have to learn to fall without crashing. In life, situations will send you slipping many times, you cannot afford to crash.

Put Up With People
On Sundays, your parents take you to their friends’. While they play catch up, they will force you to play with their friends’ children. You will be shy. One of the kids may ignore you and continue with his game. You will squat in a corner and hear your parents’ laughter from a distance. The point is, you may not like these children and they may not be your friends but you will find a way to get along for a few hours. Later in future, you will need to get along with people—at school, in the workplace or anywhere. There is no one you cannot play with for 8 hours.

Not Everyone Will Love You
It took me a long time to figure out that some people just enjoy being mean. It is a flaw in the universe. But sometimes, a few people just do not like you—kids, grown-ups and even teachers. Do not take this personally. The only problem is when you give away each piece of yourself just to make someone love you. This is quite exhausting and painful. Instead, give up on them. Go find the people that love you—like me.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Jose Manuel Gelpi Diaz

Kevwe Uwisike is a Communications Specialist; a lover of words, PR Girl, Social Media Enthusiast and Content Developer.You may reach her via email on [email protected]

9 Comments

  1. Ehiwarior

    May 27, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    Well-written Kevwe. I am held spellbound with the memories of boyhood gushing like the barricaded torrents at bar beach Lagos. I am swept offshore, recollecting the beautiful memories of growing up in Lagos.
    FALL BUT DO NOT CRASH
    I remember falling into a soak-away at age 7, though it was newly dug, I stood at the edge to checkout the depth, before you say Jack Robinson, I was in it, thank God my Aunt was close, that incident left an eternal scar on my body.
    By the way, I love children too and I want just 3 girls!

    • A Real Nigerian

      May 27, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      But didn’t you technically fall in and crash into the bottom of the soak-away?

  2. @edDREAMZ

    May 27, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    a.k.a EDWIN CHINEDU AZUBUKO said..
    .
    This is lovely…… I dream about having my own kid everyday even at this my age….
    .
    .
    ***CURRENTLY IN JUPITER***

  3. A Real Nigerian

    May 27, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    You are right –
    Not everyone will love you.
    Not everyone will love your article. For example, I don’t. And it doesn’t mean I enjoy being mean, neither does it mean I am a flaw. That’s a wrong thing to teach children!

    You are right –
    Not everyone will love you.
    Not everyone will love your article. For example, I don’t. And it doesn’t mean I enjoy being mean, neither does it mean I am a flaw. That’s a wrong thing to teach children!

  4. Bobosteke & Lara Bian

    May 27, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    As brilliantly evocative as ever.

    There is something infinitely magical and beautiful about that lush baby scent, mingled with powder, verbal tears and plump arms that believe you can make everything better. But they don’t stay babies; they grow, and soon its their turn to do the holding and the giving. And then we pray very hard, that what we taught them would be enough..

    Thank you for this piece.

  5. Jo!

    May 27, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    hunh?

  6. Lolo

    May 27, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    lmao! @Real Nigerian, you must be a bitter person. You need to see a psychologist or take this better option, hug a transformer, at the rate you are going. Leaving hateful comments on people’s post is not the best therapy.

    On to more important things, I love this article! I love the part about putting up with people. As an only child, I was a victim of the Sunday visits. My parents always left me to go catch up with friends. I hated it but had to be friends with their friends’ children by force. I survived. Adupe.
    These things we overlook are really life applicable lessons. My mum tells my boys similar things… I have to start paying more attention to these lessons. Thank you Kevwe. This article has depth!

  7. Weather

    May 28, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Awww, Is this Precious? Okay, I think it is. Your picture is the same. I connect with your style of writing on so many levels. You know how the hustle and bustle of life makes us pay less and less attention to things that are most important, you have an effortless way of bringing them to the fore. I have followed many of your articles on BN and they are deep. Deep… I wonder how your brain pays that plenty attention to seemingly minute details. You are a superstar baby girl! No homo. lol. I am going to deliberately keep looking out for your stuff. Good work!

  8. Kevwe Uwisike

    May 28, 2015 at 11:44 am

    I have been blown away by your comment, @Weather. Thank you so much, it means a lot! @Ehiwarior, we all have those childhood memories that, of course, were not funny then but we can look back now and laugh hard about. We learnt and these lessons are defining us no matter how much we deny it. Same way it is going to define the kids coming after us.
    Thank you everyone for reading and commenting. :d *giant hug!*

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