I enjoy being a mother. I enjoy our kids very much. And to tell you the truth, the Bankos are very funny and “goofy” kids who make your darkest days bright.
My Berhan and I tend to call them “three nations” because we believe, that is how God sees them as. We have two teens (15 and 13) and one 11 years old.
Believe me; both our teens are very excited to be teenagers and soon going to be adults. They talk a lot about it and they count how many years they have left to be eighteen. Well, we don’t usually pay attention to that as long as we have them until they turn eighteen, if you know what I mean.
Our little one, on the other hand, is the one from three of them who didn’t actually enjoy growing up that much. He is very attached to me since day one.
The first time he saw gray hair on my head, his world crashed into smaller pieces. When I went to pray for him at his bedside at night, he said, “Mom, are you going to die?”
Okay, what would be your answer for that? For a second, I thought God was speaking to me to get ready to depart from this life but I said, smiling, “What? What do you mean?”
He said, with his both eyes filled with tears, “You have gray hair and you are getting very old. Do you think you will die of old age before I grow up?”
I laughed and I said, “Are you serious? Most people have gray hair and they live with gray hair for fifty or sixty years. So, don’t worry. Your Mama has at least another sixty or seventy years. So, unless you are not tired of me, I think I am going to stick around for a while.”
He smiled as if God was promising to me to keep his Mama around longer than he asked for. He said, “I don’t want you to die. I want you
to live forever.” He hugged me tight and bowed down to pray with me.
He is very attached with me. Until he turned nine, the one thing he didn’t like was the fact that he was not allowed to sleep with his Mama every night. It was not a one day or a one year issue for him but everyday issue. Whenever it gets dark, he always asks one question, “So, mom, why is Dad allowed to sleep with you every night but not me? Is he your favorite?”
I know, that is a very tricky question to find a good answer for. And to tell you the truth, there was no right answer which gave him comfort not to ask that same question again.
So, last year, when he was ten, we went somewhere for a summer vacation and we rented two hotel rooms. We used to rent one of those hotel rooms which look like one bedroom apartment but this time, we decided to rent two separate hotel bedrooms and I was not sure how my little one reacted to that decision.
So, we went there and he was okay of checking out both rooms and he was okay for saying good night to both of us the first night. And the next day, after lunch, we stayed on the table as we said bye to them. My little one, stayed behind and said, “Mom, we are done with lunch. Get up and let’s go.”
His sister said, “Dude, they want to be alone. Remember?”
I wonder what she wanted him to remember. But anyways, I said to him, stroking his hair, “You guys can go, swim and have a good time together. Your dad and I wanted to be alone for the rest of the day.”
He looked at me as if to say, “I know you two want to be alone and it is okay with me.”
He kissed me and said, “Good-day” and disappeared from my eyes.
I couldn’t continue with my Berhan. I felt like my son deserted me. I felt like my son didn’t want me anymore. My Berhan knows me very well. So he said, “He grew up, didn’t he?”
I said, “Yeah, I guess.”
I am happy that at last testosterone kicked in and encouraged him to separate from Mama Bear but Mama Bear was not ready to say “Good bye”.
I felt like crying but “Silly me” I said to myself and smiled. Berhan, as if he heard what I said, he said, “Were you planning to raise him and marry him. Let the man go.”
I said, “I wish!” And we laughed.
I carried this little boy in my womb for nine months. I raised him up telling him stories like how David killed Goliath; or how Daniel came out alive from the lion’s den.
He used to have a fight with his dad so that he would sit next to me wherever we go. He used to kiss me on my lips just so that he would give me the same treatment as his dad to win my heart. He used to do something and turned to me and asked, “Did you see that Mom?”
But now, he turned around and said, “Good day Mom” and he ran to his hotel room; leaving his Mama with Papa Bear with whom he used to fight to win his Mama’s attention.
Now he grew up. He is eleven. He doesn’t ask those questions such as, “When is my turn to sleep with you?”
Yes, the order of things must be as God set it up. For me to mother my son, for my son to love and treasure me as a mother but when it is time for him to leave me, he won’t turn around. That is how it should be.
But you know one thing that makes a lot of sense to me these days?
Well, the fact that I have my Berhan and my Berhan has me! We have one another. Yes, our kids are with us for a very short period of time and just as we left our parents behind to lead our own lives, our kids at one point, have to say “So long!” to us to do life without us.
So, I am more treasuring and appreciating my relationship with my Berhan than with my kids. Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids more than words can express but when everything is said and done, my Berhan is the one who is going to remain with me when three of them start their own life journey.
So, my message for today is this: If you are married, make sure you make your spouse a number person you give your first priority to; not your kids. Love your kids but always remember this: Your kids will leave you because they are someone else’s spouse. The one who is going to remain with you after your kids leave you behind is your spouse. So, invest on your spouse today so that those “empty nest” years will be enjoyable ones. That is what I always remind myself these days. ///