We have all written letters, right? To our lovers, our mothers, our loved ones and even to our enemies to stop slaying and start praying. (haha). Today, I want to write a letter as well, a letter to none of the above.
A letter to my children.
My name is SK. Fortunately or unfortunately, I will be your mother, to whom your paradise will lie. Do not be afraid of me, I don’t bite but when you make me bitter, I will guide. I have names for you, already in my heart. Ridhwan, Rayyan, Nurul-Hayat and Jannat. However, I do not want to concentrate on the names, your father and I will decide on that when you come.
I love you, I am not mean and my heart already speaks out for you. When I see a small child twerking, I look aside, I say that can never be my child. When I see a boy with a Mohawk, I plead with Allah that Ridhwan, you will not follow their strides.
Mama isn’t saying this because she feels she is perfect or very much in love with Allah, I am saying this because when I look back, I see so many of my dreams undone, my aims unachieved but I still clutch at your straw, I remember when you guys come, I will have those all become crystal clear, become no more of a Cinderella story, become what I have been googling about.
I want you to see and appreciate Quran before you see and appreciate the gate of the Academy. You will learn the Quran, love the words of your God, have it all by heart and it won’t matter if school will come when you are 12. I am not hating on you already, or being a wicked mother. I want you to remember that the sweetness in knowing God is beyond any sweetness and if 114 chapters are embedded, fully memorized, no power no force on earth can make you weak in understanding what the British brought forth for us.
My Darlings, you will know that graduation gowns are essential and you will have that kept in your pink room; blue for Ridhwan (haha). Those gowns will serve to remind you each single day that, yes that school is also very important and that there is more to life than people of the opposite sex and twerking and clubbing and shamelessly viewing opinions in front of a group of elders. Pathetic sight, I see around, where a child of 9 behaves like 29 and the mothers watch and say, she is my love!
I am not saying that you will not play with other kids in the estate, I can’t be that ruling. But I want you to embrace me, love me, be my siblings and fill the void I had of being a single kid all my life. That is why, I have planned for you. And yes, these plans may backfire, for Allah is the main trend setter but alas, when you have the intention then Allah makes it easy for you, He guides. Haven’t you seen, my Jannat? How Allah is the most Merciful? How He makes us love Him just like that?
My babies, haven’t I told you about my love for the prophet (p.b.u.h)? How his name moves my heart? How Habib Ali Jifri’s description of him drives me to tears? If I love him, you will have him as your heart beat too. Where each letter of his, each word about him, everything that reminds you of Muhammed, reminds you of love, of peace, of unity, of humanity, of endless affection. Man, describing Muhammed is something that can never be finished in one night!
You have to know that I am an extroverted introvert. So shy yet so loud, so confident yet so to herself, so liberal yet so traditional. I am the sour and sweet, I can find peace in myself, in being alone and still find joy in the happiness of others, in their circles, in their lives and success. I am traditional and simple; I still fall in love with coffee in a coffee pot and a Maasai in traditional red clothing. I love culture and art; I love anything that has a touch of old and beauty.
I love the old ways of making rules. This reminds me. I was at the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday and the president who happened to be the guest of honor had invited along Mr. David Honsager who said, “ When we were our age, our parents would tell us to be careful and good when we go out but the parents nowadays have lost it, they say, child, have fun”.
The times have changed and the days do not look like the Mau Mau days or the 1400 A.H (for the Islamic calendar). But I still want to protect you, I won’t cage you, don’t take me wrong. For caging will make you seek for freedom and once a bird is caged and it gets the chance to fly out, it’s gone and you will never have it back. That is not what your mama will do to you. I won’t lose your trust and for that, we will all fully trust each other.
We will have outies just like any other family. Mother, father and kids. Every weekend as a matter of fact. But why? I want you guys to be my friends, to confide in me, to tell me, “Yes mama, I think I am feeling weird today”, “Oh mama, this is what happened in school today”. While we dine, I want to shine listening to your endless stories. We will go overseas, travel a lot, see the world and we will make memories. Who says that good children shouldn’t be rewarded? If you get your A’s, you will get your share of joy as well, that is the trick. I cannot offer to make you happy at the expense of your own future, I am not Peter Stockmann, I am your well-wisher.
I want you to excel in your books. Be the Sidney Sheldon, be the Richard Onyango, be the Wright brothers, be anything big. I want our home to be filled with books of all kinds. Philosophy, psychology, fiction, news, religion, name it. You will learn to pray as a team, love as a team, enjoy the happy moments as a family and also have time to review books and stories. I am a writer, my children and as a writer, I am tempted to question, to inspire and to read. I don’t want this culture to die; it has to live with you as well, in your body as much as it will be in your existence.
Important note almost forgotten is about your grandparents. Your grandparents here mean both on the maternal and the paternal side. They are a sea of love. Wazee can be tricky a time especially if menopause is knocking the doors but your grandparents will have to be adored and treated with love and care.
My angels, I don’t even know who your father will be at this point but I am not writing any letter to him. Not for anything personal but I remember something, a man may marry you and cut you off, but you people, you will be mine forever. No need to flaunt him with endless letters and pecks. He needs to come down, do some peacock dances, win me over before he gets to the point of having letters all written for him.
Flowers of my love, its past time and I do not want to keep preaching. I am a motivational speaker and if given a chance to communicate, I go crazy so before nuts meets me, I am saying goodbye. I love you and I look forward to having you…
Your loving mother.