high school blackboardOoohoo yeah. Sonny is done with Secondary School. Thank you Lord. To quote Maina of the Ndambuki /Kageni fame …” I tell you!”

Sonny sat and completed his O level exams. Small wonder, some might comment. But you see; I take nothing concerning my three loves, lightly or for granted. Especially…not Sonny. Also sadly, there are a lot of boy children, who out of fear, misfortune, natural and/or man made calamity or illness etc, failed to sit for at all ,or to complete their exams this year. So I give thanks to Jehovah. I was among the only so many parents, who celebrated the completion of one eventful and often annoying journey of hope, faith and sometimes fear for their son’s whole completion of secondary school. After all boys will be boys , but when they get to secondary , they become bigger and bolder and you can say that again.

Now comes part three of educating him. College. Sonny is fortunately or unfortunately, very young. At seventeen, he will be expected -God willing -to join college and mix with adults. He himself has barely come out of childhood. (Let me try telling him that!) I on the other hand, will have an option to release him to the world, or hold him back till he is ready. All depends upon many other factors. If wishes were horses and I rode myself into loads of money, I would send him to a military school, where he might also earn himself some wholesome education plus loads of discipline. Then I would ensure he gets a good well paying job and marry him to a daughter of a friend. Tarah wishful thinking…. (Sigh…..)

Life though, isn’t as glossy and easy. I will sit and sweat out this period, until results are out. I get so happy when my loves perform well. Overjoyed best explains it. Really; why not. I do not let myself get caught up in expectations of excellence or outstanding results. I appreciate that all children- well, almost all, try their best to gain their parents and peers respect and approval. The trying in itself is a top mark for me. If I can raise their hopes to know they are as good as the best, they will excel. Doesn’t matter if its sixty years down the road. Hope to me, the will to dream and dream big, by far surpasses all this certificate exam results. I know…worse could happen.

Talking about which, I would be so happy if more people would have hearty conversation with their children. It’s not about age. It’s about being in touch. We make it a point in our home, to know crucial details about friends, their families and their particular problems. If my baby’s best friend has a shoe, toy, or stomach problem, I should know. Not only that, but we all should know when, if or how we can be of help. If Sonny or Miss D has a relationship, their “other ka-person” should be well known to all of us. In detail- well almost at least. It gets so good or bad depending on who’s saying it, that if I have a man problem, my loves should know. Information is everything. Communication is the tool by which information is transferred from point A to B. Comprende? So we keep the love flowing in our home, through communication.

Absolute secrecy is sometimes a real hindrance. As much stuff as is sanely and bearingly reasonable, should be public knowledge among adult family members. Kindly note that “sanely and bearingly reasonable”, here means everything. This isn’t personal, but I know oh so many people whose families are caught in webs of lies because of “kept” secrets reaching far back into past decades.     When a lie catches up with you, it’s like a festering wound. You cannot heal it before you dry it, and you cannot dry it anywhere; but in the open. Out with the dirt! It’s a good thing getting things off your chest. Boy is it good. I know you know what I mean. That fresh feeling of relief you feel when the dreaded deed you did gets out in public, and is received without so much as a murmur. Sometimes thankfully, it even gets overshadowed by bigger events, and all its importance fizzles in comparison. I take this to be our Lord’s way of rewarding us for being humble enough to admit mistakes.

Children learn by example. Gossipy parents, overbearing, haughty and arrogant people, breed little followers of their creed. Oooh yeah. “Mtoto wa nyoka ni nyoka”(A snake begets a snake).It is a wise person that learns how to wear to faces. To show by example. Children are best taught to do and act as told. Not as shown. We do the acting for training in tact. All these little people must know that it is sometimes best to pretend not to feel-pain, joy, sorrow, and excitement, fatigue…whatever. Character cannot be learned or taught without tribulation and trial. The Bible repeatedly emphasizes on humility. It cannot be said many enough times. Humble thyself. It takes quite some character to humble oneself in the face of (ahem) beauty, wealth, guaranteed meals, a good education, constant victory, etc. I mean, this is OPPORTUNITY time. Time to taunt those brains, the brawn, glorify in envy, ease into simplicity and splendor…..humble what? Yap, brats and little beasts, despots and chauvunists, arrogance and hatred, impunity and indeed all things and minds evil are born of a lack of humility.

I said we sometimes get very upset with one another in our home. It happens if impunity dares encroach into our home. You see, we all have choices. If we so much as allow bragging and cynical comments to pass in our home, it will just seep into habit. The same applies to abusive language or cursing. Impunity will reign. Nothing stinks like a family at war with itself. Absolutely nothing. Carnegie put it best in his 50 winning ways. He said no one talks as badly to our family members as we do. No stranger will retort at a dinner table when asked to pass salt. Ye when people in a home are at loggerheads, a simple request might be met with the most vile and vicious retort, related to a simmering dispute.

Charity we are told, begins at home.  Where better would I teach my loves about etiquette, honesty, courtesy and humility if not at home? Lets all spread some love at home first, then away.

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Emerald Sua is a Christian single mother who prides herself as a voluntary organizational guru for lives, systems, situations and homes.