Pregnant school girlWe have all seen them ever since we reported. Some of them are too embarrassed shy to show it. They struggle to conceal it under oversize gowns or extremely tight waist belts. These kind restrict themselves to the confines of the four walls of their rooms… or better (worse?) still, moved out from school. Fearful of the taunts, stereotypes and insensitivity from college blokes and blondies. While the rest are man woman enough to stand up and take responsibility for the consequences of their horizontal (and for others vertical) tendencies.

These ones give it all away. They raise the middle finger at the rest of us who giggle in groups as they burden their extra baggage in the corridors. They suffer the jokes in silence, because they had readied themselves for this ever since the doctor told them that they were going to be sick for the next nine months…and for some, when their twenty eighth day failed to materialize.

I wish I could approach just one of them, and talk to them. Make them open up their hearts as they did their legs and have a normal naughty conversation without having to qualify my jokes with a ‘No offense.’ I wish I could get to ask them to tell me stories of how it all happened. Did they plan for it, or was it another accident? And by accident do they mean someone just slipped and fell on them while they coming out of the bathroom naked? Or did it happen after a drinking spree on a Saturday night when they had gone to drown the frustration of their exam results; and forgot to use a rubber, ama did they use all their money on booze and left none to buy a packet? Was it a coincidence that just the day you had no rubber, was the same day that the condom dispenser was depleted? Was it your first time? That just when you decided to venture into the uncharted waters was the same time pirates of the Caribbean decided to invade? Do you even regret it?

Even though it is completely none of my business, I still question. I still wonder, and I still criticize constructively the events that led to the inflation of a once beautifully flat belly. What happened? What changed what used to be the perfect image of a wet dream into an ideology of a campus guy’s sickest nightmare? I try and fit my small feet into such big shoes and awe at what I would have done if I was them in another life. I have seen the expression on people’s faces when they ease into the lecture theater. The confusion and indifference in the eyes of the lecturer who really does not care, because all he is interested in is the three hours of attention due to him. The hurt evident in the eyes of her desk mate, roommates and friends, as she meanders the turns and seats blocking her way. The ridicule in the eyes of the backbencher as he taps his seat mate and gestures scornfully at her while she finds her way to her seat. Trying so hard to resist the temptation of bursting out his lungs foolish, because their twisted sense of humor perceives the way she heaves when she finally gets down to sit as funny.

Then there is us…those whose eyes show no emotion. Because there is no emotion. The ones who do not see why people make such a huge fuss about this. The ones who do not seem to comprehend why everybody is walking around talking about her. The ones, who know that these people do not want others to ridicule them or even worse, feel sorry for them. Because they are strong with whom they are. The ones who look at them and see a person for who they are and not some freak with an excess baggage to offload in the next few new moons. If they were beautiful, they still are beautiful. And the converse is also true. Because there is no point to offer special treatment where it has not been asked for. The ones who only wonder at what really happened. The only ones who seem not to want to cast them to walk in the shadows of the corridors in apprehension of jeers or unnecessary sympathy.

Last Sunday was Father’s Day. And everyone was all about the social media about how awesome their dads are or have been. And I did the same and joined the reverie, only that in my tribute was a little different. Mine was a tribute to my mum for she has been my dad for the whole of my life basically. All those who come from families of absent fathers (due to death or separation or work) would understand where I am coming from.

But that’s beside the point. My point is in as much as we would want to sometimes deny it; I believe that mothers make a goddamn difference. Notice the use of the term ‘mothers’ because it takes anyone/thing with a rift below their waist to conceive a child. But to be a mother, that is a whole full time job. Anything else is a part-time job. Mothers are made after the tadpole cracks the eggs and you decide to bear the consequences of the fruit that ensues. Mothers are made when they stick their heads in the toilet every morning and in case of campus moms, when they look past those mannequins who have nothing better to do but talk about whatever and whoever she has been doing or screwing.

When they walk around with their heads held up high knowing that what they carry, what leads their way… is a life in the making. When they know that what grows inside them every day is not a burden. Rather a blessing that has been wrapped up in the guise of pain and mockery. When they have slain the thought of flashing off the fetus and any advice on the same turns their stomach. When they have gone past making excuses of whose fault it was, or regretting cheating on classes with wine glasses and a few minutes of inexpressible pleasure beggaring description. When they have quit wishing that on that Friday night mgema angesifiwa…coz that way, at least tembo angalu ikitiliwa maji. Or when the have given up on blaming Jimmy Gathu for not appearing out from your closet with a message lecture on the substance of youth celibacy.

That is why I decide to dedicate this post to all the campus moms everywhere, just like I dedicated Fathers Day to my mum. I am only a man. I do not know how to balance a baby in one hand and a handout on the other. I cannot bring myself to imagine the agony of walking into the mess knowing that technically, I have two mouths to feed. I shudder at the notion of having to endure the everyday derision, personal shame, unwanted attention and infamy from the group of young men who holler “Big Drawers!”Neither can I contemplate the explosion of pain running from my crotch to my head with my legs open wide to let out a replicate of myself into this circus called ‘the world.’ I am just a man. All I can relate with is the moment of bliss when that baby is made. The rest, I leave to you.

So if you are (to be) a campus mom and you have never listened to anything in your life, listen to this.

The next time you look at that little champ or that little princess, think of peace and innocence you see in their eyes. If there is any motherliness in you, that is where it will be shown, because no matter what happens, nothing can ever be that bad. Because that’s what being a mother really is. It’s that first moment when you hold your baby girl and you didn’t know that anything could be so small or so delicate. And you feel that tiny heart beat and you know that you couldn’t love anything more in the whole world. And you hope that you can do right by that little girl and always be there to catch her when she falls, and that nothing ever hurts her. Not a broken arm or a bad dream or a broken heart.
(See: 17 Again)

It is always said that a father is one who keeps his child’s picture where his money used to be. I hope that whoever planted his seed in you is such a person or else it will be gross for that kid when he/she grows up and realizes that he/she does not live with his dad like his/her friends in school. That baby will not be able to conceive when she gets to six, and you probably have another husband and kids why he does not live with his other siblings or why his father is only allowed to see him only once a week. Its feeble mind will not let her understand how her father will say that he loves her but still leave. So do not do that to it. Do not let history repeat itself- because (in the words of Black Ice) when parents are not in conjunction, a dysfunctional child is inevitable. And trust me, a dysfunctional kid will always be cast to walk in the shadows of the corridors.

Congratulations! You have found something worth dying for…now live for it.

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