What age am I?
This thought came to me recently very strongly. It all started when I saw my 13-year-old son off at the Airport in London and the Nigerian guys behind me were whispering. They were gossiping about me though it was flattering I suppose. They said they couldn’t believe I was the mother of a son that grown. It gave me immense pleasure to explain that this grown boy is infact my 4th child and I have a 26 year old who is married hence soon going to be a grand mother by the Grace of God. But the next day I went to the Vision Express to pick up my glasses. I thought it was my turn but a lady kept coming out, staring at me and going back in. She did this I could swear 3 times and then she called my name. When I went in she had gone beetroot and said each time she saw me and looked at the age on the card she was sure she had the wrong person. I must say I hear it all the time that I don’t look my age but these last two were a bit much! When relating the stories, I was told I was to be flattered. Flattered was actually not what I was feeling though.
It would only be flattering I guess if I was feeling young.
What age I am thus I say would depend on what fate throws at me that day.
I guess that day I wasn’t feeling young. I remembered some saying I always see now which says ‘it’s a good thing we don’t look like what we’ve been through’
That particular day I thought the weight of the whole world was on my shoulders. I woke up that morning and my first thoughts despite all I’ve learnt in various Prayer Ministries, were my troubles and my anxieties. Different deadlines, debts owed and creditors to pay, the recession and the prospect of a grim month. That day quite frankly if asked how old I was I felt like eighty years old.
There are days like today that I spent in the company of my last born son, teaching me different things from ‘rock paper scissors’ to the proper way to dab and we do my favourite thing which is to discuss his books that I have read, now, the David Badiel series, I get so in the zone if asked my age I could easily be 11 too. I feel so full of life and young.
There are the days when the home is troubled, misunderstandings and just general stress is causing tensions. The house feels alien and cold. There’s a hymn that says ‘when outward things are strong’. Those days I cry to my mother and I feel helpless and things just feel out of my control. Those days I could be any age, as I need my mummy like any of my children need me.
This is the same when i am making supplication to my Father in Heaven. When I table all my responsibilities, my targets. I am often bargaining with the Almighty that if a prayer point is met, I will behave and often forgetting He Knows all things, like a child, I start making promises I can never keep because I am only human. Those days I might as well be 8!!
Those days when I list all the things I still want to achieve. My plans and breakthroughs I have been dreaming about. Those days are the ones I wish I was the age I am told I look. I wish I was indeed as young as I am supposed to look or even younger. When I realize things I took for granted all my adult life like getting a mortgage are no longer straightforward as a result of my age, I wish I was indeed the age I supposedly look. So times like this, that I don’t look my age is neither flattering nor exciting, just frustrating.
There are days when there is much rejoicing, like the day I gave out my daughter in marriage. Firstly in that London town on that Summer’s day after the lady fixed my face up nicely, I told her to tie my ‘gele’ only for her to tell me she didn’t know how and the lady she had contracted to do it had done a ‘naija’ and disappointed last minute. Everyone panicked. The ‘mother of the bride’ outfit cannot be off! My daughter was almost in tears. I knew I had to take control. I asked everyone to leave the room, faced my mirror and took charge. Later as my daughter wanted, I walked my daughter down the aisle. I stood straight, held her hand, looked up to my Father in Heaven and I felt 50, fabulous and fulfilled. No younger, no older.