We had known each other from the extra jobs we took outside our last year at campus, she as a hostess on the events circuit and I as a budding, underpaid office administrator with big ideas and a couple of solid connections in the events business. We loved our independence, worked and partied in equal measure. We were great friends and even better lovers.
We were young, ill-prepared for the changes that come with parenting and too eager to get our careers started. We tried to make it work, but there is only too much bitterness that hearts can take.
A sudden change to sole caregiver jolts like the moment you almost run into one of those blue- stripped taxis along Kampala Road that always seem to stop without prior warning.
That mixed bag of emotions we seldom admit to feel rushes you. The little changes that had become second nature now glare at you, from the familiar warmth of a woman in your cotton sheets that always soothed you to sleep, to finding extra hours in the usual daily schedule to run a school errand.
That change came to me in the evening of my 20s. I look at the journey and wonder, has it been easy? Maybe often not. That change is here, now. So far, it is a jolly roller coaster that I get to enjoy with Nora (five) and Dan (seven), my charges.
Let us not kid ourselves about the facts. We are all in this position for different reasons. We could have been caught pants down and dumped; or caught them pants down- and we left; been abandoned because we were deemed not to measure up to the expectations of would- have- been eternal- better- halves or we simply could not commit for the long haul. You could have had that gem of a child during the campus blur of madness.
Perhaps a loved one journeyed on to the spiritual domain, or to another’s house – sexual orientation notwithstanding. Whatever it is, we are here now, primed as the primary caregivers to our young charges.