I always love having nostalgic moments about the past, my past. Of course nostalgia has a way of always highlighting what was “greener” then, what made for amazing experiences etc. In fact even something we were worried about at the time like dealing with a cop, recovering from a hangover is always remembered amidst laughter and talk of the “good ol’ days”.
When I think of my past, I do remember various things in my life that by definition maybe should have affected me negatively but they didn’t. And sometimes I wonder why not? I recall stages in my life.
I checked into Alliance High school, straight outta the countryside, round as a pumpkin and without a clue the sound of the letter “L” existed. As expected having the same waist size as my pants length was good fodder for disses in high school. Of course this did not last long because Kenyan high schools’ (I need to qualify this by saying public schools) food and sports somehow make you drop your weight like it is hot (it might be, what with all the adipose tissue). But while it lasted, I was the butt (I wanna say my butt but I’m trynna edutain right now) of most jokes. Added to the fact that I was spitting them RRRRRRRhymes so hard that dreadlocked Busta must have been jealous.
Then comes life after high school. Love for long hair means old school cornrows while living in Buru and having to deal with the teasing by the conductors. (Seems so ordinary for a man to have long hair nowadays doesn’t it?) But that was still not as bad as when visiting the Kenyan coastal region and I had to learn that msenge has nothing to do with being a billy goat. Baddddummmm beattttingsssss by Redsan.
In retrospect, I realize I went through all that with a smile on my face. I never even got angry at anyone. I have no idea why because right now my temper flares up from 0 to 100 real quick. What is of importance is the fact that I don’t seem to have got any recurrent mental or emotional scarring from it.
What has been my conclusion about how I handled all that? Parenting. Since I was a tiny tot, I was taught that nothing someone said about me could hurt me. I took the stick and stones rhyme too literally. And that was good, great even. There were so many confidence building moments I can recall that made me the person I was then and that I am now.
I am not a parent, as to my knowledge, so I am not trying to teach how to be one. But being the product of good parenting, I believe I do have the right to reflect on the experiences I notice in my life. As a grown man now, I can make the choices on whom I would like to be as a future father. I have very many experiences that differ from what my parents went through. But, if I could do half the parenting my parents did, I will count it as a success.