Category Archives: Relationships

Another Form of Child Abuse?

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I saw something interesting today. My occasional bus ride to work when I want to beat certain traffic and not get stopped on the way for it, yields me delight every time! Today I had mixed feelings and this is why.

After I got into the vehicle, followed by two other ladies, the last occupant was a girl-child with her school bag, carrying her brother with his school bag behind him and they sat by the door! I could hear the mother’s plea to the Conductor not to leave the door open. But we know in Lagos, it is style to leave the door open, hang on the door or behind the vehicle answering calls as the driver speeds on as if chased by a demon! STYLE!

What the Conductor did was to block where the children sat with his body (his head was in and derriere jutting out for stability) as he collected his charge and gave change. Being concerned for the child, I kept asking him to shut the door, he politely ignored me, at some point the lady beside the girl-child took the brother and positioned him in front of her and it felt a little safe. When a passenger got down by the next stop, the Conductor moved her into a better location. Phew!

Before that move, we saw her brother collect money from her and tried bending down from his tight spot but the lady held him up. He tried it again, this time his sister did the same too. We noticed that they were sticking their balance (apparently for lunch or snack or transport back) into their socks, to prevent it from being stolen! Hmmm. LOL. See wisdom.

Why am I saddened?

She fell asleep during this trip after her relocation to a better seat. I started imagining what time she woke up to prepare for school. I imagined the long trip to school. I imagined how she will ‘drag’ aka ‘compete’ with other bus users (who are going home tired and not in a pleasant mood to allow a child get on the bus before them) for a space on the bus home pulling her brother with her (and their bags). I wondered, why they had to travel this distance to attend a public school unaccompanied, when they had other public schools near their home they could attend.

You might argue that this one is cheaper. But by the time you add the cost of transportation to and fro, the different hazards on the road, you will agree their parents should have a re-think.

Guess what, He is 3 years old and she is 9!

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Pix credit: Child Abuse

©2017. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.

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Celebrating Life through Loss!

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My dear friend and sister Amb. Unyime-Ivy King lost her dad recently. As I watched her wall, read her initial tribute and the ones written by others, I wondered how many of them told him all these things whilst he was alive. Typical of people to plan to tell you someday how they feel about you and how by being who you are, has made them better people. Sadly, ‘that day’ never comes.

Sometimes, pain brings us the needed awakening to the truth that, moments are fleeting and so also life. As such, we need to embrace it totally and completely as each moment passes. Giving every second a bit or more of us…, letting someone understand in that second that they have our attention that they mean the world and more to us.

Knowing this and having experienced a loss-too-many recently, I have decided to chronicle and celebrate people in my life every other day. It doesn’t cost you anything except looking through the archives in your heart and letting people know that you truly appreciate them for the part they have played in the drama called your “life”.

I must say, our lives would have been boring without them in it. It would have been a drag, a dull shade of blue and no exciting hue. Regrets would have be the sigh on our lips at all the unsaid. Some have gone, others will join soon. But we have today and now. Let’s make it worth every breath we take, be the reason for the spring in our steps, the laughter in voice and ring in our song.

Tell me today the-me you love, appreciate and never want to be without. For all we know, the part of me I dislike and wish to change, is actually what makes your world rocks. But I’ll never know if you don’t say. Let the celebrations begin!

*By the way, my friend loves celebrating people. You should try it too!#CelebratingPeople (1)

(c) 2017. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved.

I just got married again!

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King-Earl walks in on us (Oba & I) in the kitchen discussing and working. He goes, “are you guys dating?” We looked at each other, smiled and I proceeded to tell Oba about someone in school that wanted to date me and I asked the fellow what dating was, since he was my friend already. He couldn’t really give me an answer then. I suspected he meant ‘intimacy’, so, I turned him down. I concluded this story by saying, “I still don’t understand what dating is”.

All this while, King-Earl was still in the kitchen with us, so he replies “Dating, is taking someone out to a special place that is really, really awesome!” We were awestruck by his definition, but that was the beginning of this drama.King Earl

King-Earl: Mom! Do you take this man as your Royal husband? I curtseyed and replied “yes, I do, your Highness!”
He then turns to Oba, “Dad! Do you take this woman as your normal wife…” At this point, I interjected and said, “I’m not normal, I’m supernatural.”
King-Earl continues…Do you take this woman as your lovely wife?”
Oba: Yes, I do.
Me: So, what next?
King-Earl: Let’s go to the kissing part
We kissed lightly and laughed at the “go to the kissing part.” Imani walks in, wanting to know the reason for the laughter, we tell her, she shakes her head and walks away. King-Earl continues, “but that’s what the pastor does! I know the rules” running away to his room.

WHEN I GROW UP

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“How old are you, Mummy?”

Pretending not to hear, I ignored his question.

“Mum!” I said, “How old are you?”

“Sorry, I can’t tell you.”

“But Daddy told me his age”, he informs me

“And you told everyone in your class” his sister interjected.

“I won’t tell anyone”, he defended himself, giving her the eye.

Years from now, will he remember this conversation? Maybe not. Will my age matter to him? I think so, because he told me, “I don’t want you to grow old”. So the idea is he will keep growing to meet up with me and make Ofe his girlfriend (she used to be in his class/school), but I’m banned from getting old.

Someone or something he saw must have told him that when people grow old, they die. Sadly, these days it is not so. I don’t want to fill his head with the intrigues and business of death, so I’ll enjoy every today and tomorrow we have.

“No, I won’t tell you my age, it’s safer that way.” The conversation ended.

©2017. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

Celebrating Oba

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I’m given to words easily (I’m a writer remember), words that I mean from my heart. The challenge therefore is when I lack words to describe what my heart feels, to paint the colors, design the picture, craft and create the atmosphere, so that all that read or pass by may experience what I felt, I’m feeling and will continue to feel as long as it is shared with one who knows the rhythm of my beat.

Does our beat always sync with the lyrics, flow with the beauty of petals wet with the morning dew or become like the smoothness of the covering dusk allowing stars shine through regardless of twilight? Does the storm say “I’ll just overlook these ones, they are too much in union and I can’t afford to disrupt that? No, my love.

Happy Birthday babes…
Today, I celebrate you for the gift that you are to me (no one needs to understand), what we share and the life that God daily loads you with. I celebrate the you that is yet-to-be-seen but I’ve experienced, I pray that this new year will bring you fulfillment in so many ways. May wisdom lighten your path and may the creativity that burns in you be expressed without inhibition. In all, may the One who loves us so, take the glory. I yob ❤ you and you know I’m truly nuts about every bit….

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©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

And 5 came calling….

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Again, he added another year and we were apart, like last year’s. I made online presence with him, made sure he had fun…you could tell he was super excited about being 5! Maybe, he’s already counting all the responsibilities or wishing that he’d meet up with his sister. I haven’t asked yet and might just let that slip. He woke up in a mood to draw, I’m yet to see what he drew to celebrate this milestone, but the steady gaze in his eyes as he played said one thing, ‘my baby is growing up’.

From wanting his hair to be AFRO like his dad (which was cut off on his birthday), to doing the break-dance and other moves, whilst making sure I watch every one he makes, as he jumps up and down the sitting room; whispering comforting words to my ears “the sky is your limit, mummy” and contesting with Oba for his babe…he calls me ‘Babes and sweetheart’ to keeping an eye on Mmeme’s baby. We went visiting and he positioned himself beside Mmeme and the baby, reason being I want to keep an eye on her!. You are such a joy to have around!

I’m looking forward to receiving them back shortly. But until then, I celebrate King-Earl Ethan Emmanuel and I’m grateful that God chose us to be the bearer of such gift. Need I say more, I yob you my baby and like you always say in codes “so much, so much”.

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved

What If…

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I’d love to box God into a corner if that were possible, put a gun to His head (or something else that my finite mind can conjure) and have Him answer me “When it will happen?”, “Why it hasn’t happened yet?” I’d love to seal every hole He’d want to escape from and have Him tied to the seat or handcuffed to a pole (I must be watching too many action movies lately) and “talked to” till He begs for mercy and gives me the answers willingly. But how do you hold down an Infinite God? How do you capture One whom WORDS (seen) and WINDS (unseen) obey?

Something nudges me on the inside asking me a simple and somewhat innocent question “What if it never happens, what are you going to do?” As I sit listening to Brian Courtney Wilson – I’ll Just Say Yes and sing along, I’m still wondering ‘how long’?

By the way, I had a discussion with Him yesterday, more like a MONOLOGUE and I told Him (as if He didn’t hear it for Himself already) what the heathen said “Where is your God?”

I know where You are, but how do I explain that it is beyond what You have done and I’ve entered into, it is beyond what You have finished and I’m yet to receive or experience. It felt good venting yesterday so today, I’ll just stick to saying “Yes Lord! Yes Lord!! My life is yours!!!”

By the way, I love You <3!

©2016. Frances Kelvin Otung. All rights reserved