Omoshalewa stood by the bed watching her three year old daughter. The confusion and fear in her heart was palpable. The little girl lay methodically on the bed, snoring lightly. Her legs wee folded in that characteristic manner Shalewa had come to dread. It would have been funny if it wasn’t so scary. She folded her legs just like a frog about to leap into a pond. How could her legs be so flexible as to fold in the manner? The plaster of Paris hadn’t worked. The treatments had all failed. She shook her head and headed to the kitchen, her heart silently begging God to spare her little girl’s legs.
It was Colonel Adejare’s birthday and she had committed to attending. She wished she didn’t have to but the Adejares’ were like family. Her older children had gotten up earlier to prepare for the day. Excitement was in the air, they always loved to go out and party.
She hurried with her chores and rushed to dress up; she wouldn’t want to pass up the free ride.
Three hours later, the birthday party was in full swing. She sat at a corner of the room with her daughter in her arms. The little girl watched as the other children ran around, playing. She tried to wriggle out of her mother’s tight grip and join the fun, But Shalewa knew she couldn’t. Her legs were not strong. All she could do was shuffle around on her backside and that she did well. In fact, she did it so well she had earned her self a name: ‘Idiya ju ese lo’. Meaning ‘faster on her bum than on her legs’.
At home she would let her shuffle on the floor as long as she was well padded, but she didn’t want her doing that here, distracting everybody and probably hurting herself. Shalewa held on tight.
About an hour later, the little girl couldn’t take it no more; she looked up at her mother trying to catch her attention. She pulled at her sleeve and quipped,
“Mummy, gbe mi le, ma rin”. Meaning, ‘Put me down, I’ll walk’.
Shelewa smiled sadly, glad at her daughter determination to beat this thing. But she held on tight, shaking her head lightly.
The little girl was unperturbed; she wriggled more, wanting so desperately to be put down. When she begun to sob quietly her mother knew she was serious.
She sighed and gently lowered her to the floor.
She watched as her legs shook slightly at her effort to maintain balance. The little girl Spread out her hands, pushed back her bum and proceeded to take a tiny little step. The first step landed softly, much to her amazement. She looked back at her mother and chucked, revealing tender milk teeth. Folks watched with interest as she took several shaky steps again, before falling back heavily on her padded bum. Everyone clapped at her display.
Her mother clutched her chest, unable to express the joy bubbling through her system. But no, her baby wasn’t done yet. She got up with so much relish, placing her palms of the floor and hoisting her self up, bum first. By this time, everyone knew not to help her. This was her thing and she was doing it all the way.
Back on her feet, she took several shaky steps laughing all the way and finally landed in her mother’s arms.
Shalewa gathered her in her arms and swung her round; dancing to a tune only her heart could hear.
Fade to black.
Shalewa --- Mummy Roy
Little girl --- Roy
What can I say?
I woke up this morning with thoughts of gratitude on my mind. I have so much to be thankful for, my legs :), my family, my career, my friends, my future and destiny, I can’t count it all.
I don’t know why he loves me, but he sure does.
August 18, means more than just a date to me. It’s the fulfillment of God’s promise to me. I came because he willed it, I live because he has planned it, and I will achieve everything he has laid out for me and bring glory to him because he has ordained it from the foundations of the world.
A special thanks to all my lovely friends for remembering my birthday.
God bless you! :)