“Dad, our Pastor’s daughter was killed by the bomb blast.”
“We shall not die, in Jesus’ name.”
“Dad, 15 students died…”
“Boko Haram will not come here in Jesus’ name.”
And on, and on.
On the other hand, I can’t remember if they’ve ever attended a children day’s celebration in the open field (or Stadium).
On this Children’s day, I feel for all the children whose innocence has been stolen from them, not by Holly or Nolly Wood, but by the jungle our beautiful nation is turning into… I feel for the Nigerian child upon whom adulthood is violently foisted.
There is no time to be a child in many parts of our land. Not anymore…
Yet, I remember with indicting nostalgia, rehearsing for Children day’s parade.
What will my children, our children, remember?
I remember the thrill of seeing pupils — song in mouth, flag in hand — from other schools, filing through the streets like columns of Angels in procession, to the celebration grounds. What will Tehillah, and Duke, and Asher remember?
The special songs, and acrobatic displays, and heat of the scorching sun, and the bond, and the cultural dance, and band boys, and Ice cream (ehm, well, coloured Ice-water). I remember slow-march, and creative Eyes-right. Flutes, tired legs, the joy of coming first, chewing gums, and the pain of not winning. What of Aunties who groomed us for the day; and Uncles who taught us the winning style? Dont you remember? I remember… I remember even more.
What will my children remember?
Today, they are at home.
No outings. No novelty. ‘None of the above’. Nothing memorable to file away in Memory for future musings and recollection. Hmm!
Remind me, what day is it today?
Tehillah, Duke, Asher:
Someday, if you are still children, I hope you’d KNOW what it means, what it feels, when I say ‘Happy children’s day!’
Today is a sombre day
Our girls are still missing