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Mayo:

My darling Momo,

For a long time, I didn’t think you were a nice person. You were the parent who would beat me with slippers when I was naughty. When I developed a habit of lying, you would discipline me whilst saying “If you lie, you will steal. If you steal, they would put tyre around your neck and set you ablaze”. When I grew older and was naughty, you had no problem embarrassing me at school. When I asked you not to tell Daddy some of the not so good things I had done, you would say “Please! I cannot keep secrets from my husband” and proceed to tell him. You would wake me up in the middle of the night to study French and won’t let me go back to sleep till you were confident I would do well in my exams. Daddy was the cooler one who spoilt and never beat us.  Then I got older and more self aware.  It finally clicked: You did these things because you wanted the best for me. Thank you.

You are the Queen of my world.  I remember you calling on a weekday at school. I found it weird ‘cos it was so soon after visiting day, the Sunday before. That day I had found it weird that you were dressed casually and hadn’t been to church. I should have known something was up. When you were leaving, you insisted Tomi and I hug you. I tried to brush it off saying I was a big boy and you were cramping my style. You weren’t having it. You got your hug. You came clean over the phone. That day, Daddy was taking you to the hospital to get operated on and you didn’t want us to worry so you kept it a secret. Your insisting we hugged you was borne out of the fear that it might be the last time. I cried. Even though our relationship was a bit strained at the time, the love I felt in my heart at that moment was the type I can feel for only my mother. That’s what you do: Even though we’re growing up so quick you’re always trying to shield us from Life’s harsh realities. You’re like the Mother Bear watching over her cubs and keeping them out of harm’s way. Thank you

I adore you.

I love that you kept a diary/baby book for my first few years. Besides, bringing me into this world, that is the sweetest gift I have ever received. I love the fact that when I tell you how much I love you, your stock response is “What do you want?” (Most likely response after reading this) I love how when I tell you I want a new gadget, you’ll reply  “Just wait… I will sort it out”.  Daddy, Mr Everything must Make Sense would ask me “What for?” and then make me write an essay.  I love how you call me every morning and wish me a great day. I love how when I send you my lists, you move Heaven and Earth to get them. I love how everytime you come to England, you bring garri, chin chin, plantain chips, Indomie, Splash, powdered milk and Milo. Half those things, I don’t even ask for. And then I’ll complain and ask how you expect me to transport everything to Uni and you’ll gladly offer to after telling me “It’s only your Mother who will do all this for you.”  I love how you send me random eCards. Those cards have transformed awful days to super days. I love that I can come to your office and see my work on your wall. I love that you don’t deny I’m your favorite son. I love that in my first two years at secondary school when my notes were habitually incomplete you would collect Oyinda’s notes and complete them for me.  Thank you.

Thank you for spoiling me, now and then.

Thank you for supporting all my dreams.

Thank you for all the sacrifices you have made.

You are everything I want my daughter to be.

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Tomi

Hi Mama. It’s your adopted son, here.

All the trouble we have tends to come because of Football. I’d never forget when I first went for soccer training in Primary Four. I had begged you for as long as I can remember. You allowed me go once and I didn’t return till I was in Primary Six. My ban coming for forgetting my shorts. I wasn’t very happy with you. I remember one term in secondary school when I came back with a poor result, you made that Christmas horrid for me. I wasn’t allowed to see anyone and when I was returning to school you didn’t allow me take my soccer boots back.  Your stance being that I wasn’t allowed to play any sports that term. You probably thought it worked but the truth is I played soccer every week that term. However, that punishment opened my eyes and made me a lot more serious.

I love how all my friends see you as some joker and say “Tomi, your mum is so funny”. Last week, I had been having the worst weekend ever. Arsenal had lost 6-0 and things were just not going as planned. So bad that someone asked me if I was on my period.  The moment I spoke to you everything changed. My friends just looked on and laughed at how suddenly my mood had changed. Thank you, Mama.

I find it annoying how you’d come to my room most nights and eat junk food with me and then bring Daddy there the next morning to show him all the trash his son has been eating.  I love how you become all cute when you haven’t seen me for ages and then within a day or two of being around each other we start fighting.

The simple truth is everything I am and hope to be, I owe to you Mama.  Don’t worry when I become that footballer I’d buy you the houses in Banana Island. I won’t be living next to you though.

 

With love,

OLUWAMAYOWA

and

OLUWATOMI