This is a mother’s letter to her future son …
I dream of you. I see you already, sometimes at night, sometimes during the day. One thing is constant though. You are great, in all ramifications.
Mummy can see how handsome you look and I marvel even though I am yet to totally conjure your face up. The little glimpse I have is beautiful. But I am not too surprised; your mama is a beauty in her own rights.
I don’t exactly know what your father looks like but I know how he would turn out and that creates an awesome image in my mind.
I love you, son. My love for you reminds me of how God said HE KNEW JEREMIAH even before Jeremiah was conceived in the womb.
That is exactly how I feel.
I know you already – I have your name and everything down and I am in love with every piece of you even before I see you.
But lest I forget, it just seems in my mind that I love you as much as God does.
However, I am many things, not delusional.
I know GOD LOVES YOU MORE THAN I CAN IMAGINE.
That is one truth I do not want you to ever forget. He loves you more than I do and more than your daddy does. He is, after all, actually the real Father.
We are just care takers and I hope I and your daddy do a good job.
The implication of this is that we are Christians and we love God. I am confident that when you come to know Him for yourself, you will fall completely in love with Him like your daddy and I do.
Nobody has to tell you that education is important in this family. But I don’t really enjoy the pattern of education here in Africa.
So at home, we would do something about it.
Understand that reading is not negotiable; we will practice that culture early on.
I want you to understand as well that in our home, we are not respecter of persons but respectful people.
We do not treat people well because they are of a high status or because we need something from them. No, everybody we come across deserves to be treated right.
Son, I know you know you are from Africa. Your mama loves Africa and I am proud of my heritage. It is possible your daddy might not be African but I cannot say yet.
Whatever the case, I am from there and I want you to recognize and acknowledge that as well.
However, like I said, I am not delusional. So I understand where we have gotten it wrong and I don’t want you to be polluted by the abused patriarchal system that most African men relish in, where they have been taught to have a sense of entitlement.
Whereas I want you to recognize, acknowledge and respect your heritage, I want much more for you to be Christ-like. So there are some ground rules.
Son, in my house, there is really no male or female. We see a human being first before we see gender.
I don’t care how your friends behave in their homes, I don’t care that their parents indulge them or make the boys feel more important than the girls; in our house, it is different.
It is not possible that you will be out playing football while your sister is slaving away in the kitchen.
She is a human being like you, who I am sure would also be interested in playing with her friends too. So when it is time to cook, as far as we are eating the meal together, we are preparing it together.
Everybody can go do what interests them after.
I hope you know that relates to all other chores in the house. Brace yourself, your sister has a life of her own, and one aspect of her life does not involve picking after you.
You might see your father not joining in. I hope he does but he grew up in that indulgent generation I mentioned earlier, so we can forgive his ignorance. With you, we are going to get it right.
Many societies do not train the male child, he is left to be ignorant with the belief that all he needs is his manhood, but I am going to teach you that it takes more to be a man.
For me, it is about being a well-rounded human being. That is why you can cry at my shoulders when you are hurt, it is okay to cry.
I wouldn’t lecture you about how you are a man, I would probably join you and we would fix the problem together when we have had our fill.
Society will probably make you think being normal is weak; I want you to understand that they think that because they are insecure.
You are going to be a man who is so secure in his masculinity, he doesn’t need validation, and neither does he need to prove it to anyone.
I expect you to respect women and that starts from the home.
Whether she is younger or older, every human being deserves respect, the gender, status or class regardless.
The day you raise your hands on your sister is one of the days you will understand why we discipline children in Africa.
Just in case you think I do not expect your sister to respect you as well; I am not matriarchal as well. I just need you to start early so you understand that the only woman who God mandated to submit to you is your wife.
Show respect to every human and you will get respect in return, it is that simple. And even if they start off disrespecting you, they will learn by your example.
Also, you might see the parents of your friends excuse some behaviours because they believe God was addressing women when he said, “flee fornication.” But with us, it is different.
God was not referring to a particular gender. So I would not excuse any behaviour that does not point to that. Purity is expected of both your sister and yourself.
When you get older, and you think I am going to be one of those mothers who would support you if you cheat on your wife based on some “testosterone,” you are very mistaken.
You were not created to cheat, you were not born a cheat, there is no excuse for cheating so you wouldn’t find any with me.
Anyways, I know you would be a God-lover, so I don’t have to worry about that. This is just so you know what your mum stands for.
Son, I would love your wife. You have nothing to worry about in that area. The only reason I wouldn’t love her if she is not making you happy.
As far as you are happy, I am happy.
You can come tell me when you fall in love, we would rejoice together over it.
I am not going to make you choose between her and me because I understand I can never be her and she can never be me. We have different roles to play in your life and we would both play it perfectly.
I want you to know from here on out that God expects you to love your wife as Christ loves the church, UNCONDITIONALLY.
If you cannot do that, marriage is not for everyone.
If I need grandchildren, I can go adopt.
This is because I want you to appear before God blameless and spotless.
I am trying to prevent you from being perfect in every other aspect while you stain your garment because of marriage.
I do not want you to fall into the trap many men have fallen into that it is the woman that keeps the home when in fact, when the body has a problem; it is the head that would be questioned.
In essence, work with your wife. Marriage is a partnership. The home belongs to you both; the children belong to you both, so the care belongs to you both. Work together to make your marriage the best there ever is.
You are going to be the head of your home, son and that head does not stop at financial issues. You have to be the head spiritually as well.
You cannot afford to be satisfied that you are not the one leading your family into God’s presence. Your headship is about service and not about dictatorship.
That is how God wants it and you would soon find out that the wisdom of God surpasses that of man.
Above all, I want you to know you are very much loved and because you are loved, I want you to be the best version of yourself.
So help me God.