Apology for the long absence, November has been incredibly busy on this side of the computer. In a few hours, we’d be in December…ain’t we all blessed and lucky to still be here? #thankful
So I attended the 2014 edition of the Global Leadership Summit. You know about GLS, right? Well, in case you don’t…the GLS is organized annually by the Willow Creek Church which is considered in some quarters as the most influential church in the United States.
The Summit is always an assembly of world leaders from all walks of life. This year’s event took place in Chicago but you know everyone could not have attended the main event and securing visas is almost always an issue in this part of the world, what with ‘our’ reputation for absconding in search of ‘greener’ fields every opportunity ‘we’ get?
So to bridge the gap, other leaders are always able to partake from all around the world at several other locations across different climes and regions.
I attended the 2-day event in Maryland, Lagos State and because there was nobody to mind the boys for me, they had to come along on the second day…they’re also leaders-in-training, right?
I thought I over-prepared to keep them occupied for the duration of the event so I’d at least enjoy and get the utmost from the sessions. Packed 2 ‘tools bag’ for them, one filled with books, pencils, stencils, crayons, etc and the other filled with all manner of snacks.
Threw in stationery in the PVC bag while snacks went into the Smurfs bag and more went into my own bag.
On the way, we had a little talk on behaving oneself in public places and acting responsibly…and we got to the venue all fired up. We sure were fine for a few hours as everybody minded his own business and mommy was enraptured by the wide array of speakers and lessons.
And then, the magic started dwindling and patience began to run thin.
“Mummy see my drawing, is it not beautiful?” And I would swiftly try to combine watching the screen so as not to miss any word with looking at the drawing…
“Mummy, I want to pee” (Happened like 6 times, at least)
“Mummy, can I have some snacks?”…”Can I have some water?”
Then…”mummy, why are you laughing? What that man said is not funny…”
Then…”mummy, see my numbers…”
…Mummy, read my little story..”
…mummy, do you like it..” And on and on it went….
…mummy, you’re not paying attention to me…” His voice went a notch higher in the relatively quiet hall.
…mummy…can I have some MORE snacks?”
“No, you just had some a few minutes back and it’s almost time for lunch break…” (Now, we had breakfast before leaving home)
“…Mummy, can I go outside?”
A curt No…as I struggled in my mind with the ‘distractions’ coming more from the big bro.
“Mummy, I want to go outside to play….”
And then I snapped and just had to give him that little talk…about how he really needed to behave himself and how he should be setting good example for little brother who had been of good behavior so far…about how he’s no longer a baby…all delivered menacingly in low tones.
He went quiet and I heaved a sigh of relief thinking I got that base covered well. I even gave myself a mental pat on the back. Yeah.
Until the big-down-to-earth-with-a-bang-shocker came in the form of this:
I DON’T LOVE YOU!…from my 5yr old, scrawled on a sheet of paper he tore out of the note book he had been scribbling on…crafted with love…for mummy!
My face fell flat, with a thump…my heart skipped several beats as I looked at the note, then at his face…and at the note again. I could not talk immediately because this was totally totally unexpected. And undeserved. I felt like someone just gave me a hard kick in the gut.
What the heck? He didn’t love me!
Now, this little boy is ‘naturally’ effusive, he tells me he loves me like 10 times in a day, tells me I’m beautiful, he always loves my dresses and hugs me at every opportunity…He still said I was the best that morning.
The most I’ve heard whenever he’s not getting his way or whenever he’s been disciplined was…’mummy doesn’t love me anymore’, but we almost always get over it quick enough to start hugging and stuffs.
So..now I’ve goofed. Seriously? He doesn’t love me?
That was too deep to be ignored. It was like a knife just slashed through my heart. For real.
Where have I gone wrong? What am I not doing right here?
But he’s just 5yr old and may not really understand the import of what he wrote. I tried to console myself but it really didn’t make me feel any better.
This boy that I would do anything to protect..that I would lay down my life for? He doesn’t love me because he wasn’t having his way and because he felt neglected? Does that sound familiar, anyone?
The Summit momentarily forgotten as I quickly contemplated how best to handle this, but before I could get my acts together, he inched closer to me again and showed me the second note he just scribbled..
Care to scroll up again to have your fill of the certificate I created?
Seriously, I needed no words as I pulled him close and hugged him tightly. The talk and evaluations would come right after the Summit.
On getting home, we just had to get this out of the way because I simply could not get it out of my mind. Like, what’s going on in this young man’s mind?
I asked him why he wrote that note and why he felt that way about me.
How could anyone not love mummy? Even with all the spankings I ‘enjoyed’ growing up, I could not recall writing or saying that to my mum…who born me? If you felt that way, it stayed and rot in you till the end of time. Where are kids of this age and time getting stuffs like this from?
He responded that it was because I was not nice to him and wouldn’t allow him go outside to play. And I had to explain why I was not ‘nice’ at that point in time and also to let him know that I may not always be nice but I still love him very much and will continue to ‘straighten’ him regardless.
Maybe I goofed by not trying to balance paying attention to them and partaking in the Summit…maybe I expected too much from them…
I’m a mama-in-training and mamas are allowed to goof occasionally, like everybody else.
In any case, I let him know I was hurt by his words and he apologized again (he’s always quick to apologize).
I really believed he said that because he was upset and not because he means it.
I’m aware he unloved and unloves me momentarily because I set rules and disciplines him, which is basically what my job description says anyway but it still doesn’t leave a good taste in the mouth.
Even though it hurts real bad, I kinda feel better…you know, the kind of ‘better’ that comes with ‘maybe I’m doing a great job afterall’.
I have a gut feeling those ‘loveless’ moments are going to come more often as I am beginning to get that ‘mummy doesn’t love me’ look and words anytime discipline is enforced but I’ve chosen to bear the ‘burden’ of being sometimes temporarily unloved in order to raise balanced, responsible and well-behaved boys knowing that nothing could / would really change the unconditional love we have for one another…deep in our hearts.
So there. Have you ever been ‘unloved’ before? How did you handle it and how would you handle it?
Care to share?