“Mommy,” he said, “my leg is hurting so bad.” He followed the sentence with a sad face and I was certain he was about to shed a tear.
This was a little surprising because only a few minutes prior, he had walked into the house and he was okay.
I asked him to come so that I would examine the leg and asked him to bring kyapa mbalasi ointment for me to massage him.
I noticed the limp was more pronounced and he was now groaning some more. He sat down and I started to gently massage him as I asked what had happened.
He narrated how he had fallen. Interestingly, he wasn’t frowning in pain as I made gentle rubs.
Then it became clear, all he wanted was mummy’s touch and comfort. I played along, making the most of the time to just to hear him out and to connect with him.
Why so? Because I could relate with where he was coming from. Don’t we all love to be loved? Don’t we all bask in some pampering and dotting over?
The other thing about being a parent is the reality that it won’t be long before the child grows up so quickly.
I still carry fresh memories of how each of the children used to easily fit on my lap. Only recently they would seat on my back as we did the backy ride like we used to call it.
How about the Saturday mornings when I used to play some of my most favourite music and dance with one child while the other hid in my clothes?
With every milestone of growth comes the reminder that the child is growing up to be an independent and self-sufficient individual with less need for direct parent involvement.
It’s a constant reminder to make the most of the moments and to create precious memories. The daily reminder to focus on the major issues and ignoring the minor ones. Giving the biggest investment to the things that matter the most and quickly forgiving oneself, while moving on to the next important thing.
So, I let him believe that I was convinced of his exaggerated pain. I took more time massaging the knee area and hearing from him about his day. After a while, he got up and went to take a shower. Initially he forgot about the limp and walked happily to the bathroom. I smiled quietly. I was happy to have filled his cup in the same way mine had been filled.
As you water another’s garden, your own garden is watered too. What a blessing!