Looking at Miss D now, I can hardly imagine what a tumultuous relationship we have had in the past seven years or so. Soon turning nineteen, she is a total lady and so helpful to me. She has embraced college life with a vigor. She plans and help me settle into an early retirement, while enabling her siblings to have nothing but success and the best of life. Now that I look at her focus, her positive aspirations, her closeness to me and need to make all things good for her family. Wow! I thank God ever so more, that I smothered them with love.
These are the dreams upon which we all hope to make a foundation when young. How our parents and guardians view these dreams and guide us in shaping them, determines what we actually become in life. My journey is far from over with guidance and parenting. I still have these few years-; Insha Allah – to ensure that I am able to get Miss D and Sonny through college. My Baby is lucky, having an insurance that will cater for his secondary and college tuition. Towards this end, I encourage Miss D to pursue her dream. I instill upon her the fact that if she wills it, and works towards, and prays for it, it shall come to be.
It was not always so easy with Miss D. My move with my three loves away from mother Kenya, affected her a bit. She being a bit older, lost many friends. Then I went through a troublesome patch in my life, caused by envious colleagues, who thought no foreigner should excel them in their home turf. I have had the terrible misfortune of working with people who were not only envious and afraid of my zeal to perform and excel, but who acted with total impunity to curtail my success. It boils down to bad parenting. I know they did not know better, or they would have acted better.
Miss D had to repeat a class to catch up with the foreign education curriculum. She had started school early, so I saw no problem with this. She soon caught up , being an A student. Soon thereafter, I got My Baby and Miss D settled. The baby was such a welcome change. A happy healthy bouncy and exciting boy. A baby brings magic into a home, and this was the one thing that brightened our home in those first hard months of living away from home.
Miss D had no problems with school. But she matured early. She just upped and grew a bust and got height and became sexually aware of herself at the tender age of twelve. She was what would be called an early bud. Parenting is tough work, and here I got a new job. I became so very afraid for my girl. Men noticed her, boys looked at her and other girls at school got into catfights with her. She is a warrior my Miss D. You will not put her down. You just will not. ( I wonder whom she gets that from ? )
I brought up my three loves to know that you have to stand up for your rights at all costs. Miss D stood for hers at school, at her clubs, at home and in her attitude. Luckily, she also had leadership qualities and so applied a lot of reason in her arguments.
I have on very few occasions in my life conceded to defeat. I am a spirited fighter. Correction– used to be. Now the fight is going out of me. I am older wiser, and weary.
I took out time to seek my mother (R.I.P) and asked her to help me out with Miss D.
Please take heart if you are a mother of a teen or preteen girl. It does happen that they can forget their P’s and Q’s. Miss D was unmanageable. She fought me back, fought Sonny, and was generally angry with life. It was puberty gone ripe and bad. Now I am older, I know it was an absolutely normal metamorphosis from childhood to teen age hood. Miss D and her brothers, were my mother’s cherished apples. I am yet to understand this grandmother/grandchild bond. Maybe , maybe, if God willing I get there, I will know what cuts. It has always been the same with me. Nobody has my love and undivided devotion as much as my grandmother.
I admitted having failed to ably handle and chasten Miss D. Her grandmother took this in stride and gently put her under her wing from completion of primary, to her first year of secondary school. That short period that she took her under her care, Miss D turned back into my beloved daughter. My happy, chatty, loving baby girl. I cannot stop being in reverence of having had an angel for a mother.
A mother’s responsibility to a girl, is to bring her up as a lady. Well behaved in public and especially in private, mindful of household duties and protocols (we are Africans in a modern world, but still African) and with understanding that destiny lies in her outlook and attitude. I kept my door open for Miss D even through our fiercest fights. I let her know she was not just my beloved daughter but girlfriend and confidante. I encouraged her to be open about her boy/girl relationships, and successfully took her through her first heartbreak at thirteen!
So on one hand Miss D was too much for me to handle, and I accepted it. Her father’s (R.I.P) absence in our lives played a part in her rebellion. In this specific period, she wished for his presence in our lives so much, but in vain.
In the December that Miss D’s results were set to be released, her father passed away. It was a sad year. Soon after, their grandmother was struck with a cancer that would eventually claim her. ”Gramma” as my loves fondly called her or “”guku”, had helped me easily sail through my hardest years with Miss D.
I see her wisdom , her smile and charm, in my daughter now. Miss D has blossomed into a lovely lady full of charisma and tact. She still refuses to bow down to defeat. So much of our courage and empathy is in her. I cannot help but be so proud, so awed by this woman/child. Acting as guide and counselor, she now utilizes those same traits, to improve upon lives of the less fortunate, as she forges ahead with her studies.
Befriend your little girl. Taking her through her P’s and Q’s may task you to the limit, but it is all that will endear her to you when she blossoms to womanhood. We all need her close by us. Hold her tenderly, let her bud in grace and understanding.
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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.