This post could potentially be for mothers of creative, idiosyncratic girls everywhere, but mostly, it’s for you Layide. Initially I considered having this message engraved on the retinoscope you asked me to order. Somehow, I didn’t think you’d be chuffed at me testing out my creative skills on your equipment.  So I thought, Culture Custodian would be better stationary to fix my thank you note on.

I feel deeply honoured and blessed to have you as my mother, and I am immensely excited to explain to the rest of the world why you’re the best mother on earth.  I’m sure this may seem out of character to you, as I normally display a very unsentimental front. Then, I remembered that the moisturiser I bought you for Mother’s day last year was partly was used by me and partly used by Ebun for her dolls. My fancy present didn’t even last a month, so for  the last 11 months you must have been left wondering if your best friend and first daughter truly appreciates you. The episode taught me that moisturiser is transient, once used up, it’s just… gone, so here is a less temporal gesture of appreciation:

To the love of my life:

I thank you. I thank you; those words are not even apt enough, they do not  capture the magnitude of gratitude I want to express.

Nonetheless, thank you letting me be your best friend. As far back as I can remember we’ve been two peas in a pod. Before I went to boarding school you bundled me with you everywhere, so much so that I became known as ‘Layide’s handbag’. That in itself showed the kind of selfless dedication you had for me; despite working an average of 10 hours daily, you never picked me up from school late, you didn’t miss a single parents evenings or any of my sporting events and you were always there to help me with homework if I needed you to. I was quite the demanding child; no one else’s food would suffice but yours. Now when I look back I don’t know how you did it; doing school runs, attending to patients, looking after me and everyone else in the house. You never once complained, you always did it gleefully. Thank you, Mummy. I remember the day you had Ayo, you were consulting with patients up until 9pm; two hours later you were in labour. 2 days after her birth you were back working. Through your actions you have made me so driven and you have taught me the value of hardwork and resilience. Your humility is unparalleled; your patience inspiring, and your selflessness uncanny.

I feel extremely privileged to have you as my mother; I have come to realize that we have a very rare and special relationship. I love that you don’t take your self too seriously; I cherish being able to talk to you about anything. Honestly, I could not wish or pray for better. Thank you for being foremost my mother, and then my best friend. I am so grateful to you for the memories: your cringey attempts at kukere, your hilarious pronunciation of “linkeding” and “whutsapp”,  and our frequent secret getaways to Djerba; let’s not forget your entertaining “Baywatch”. Mummy you’re actually phenomenal. I literally cannot wait till the day I can get you that car we designed.

On a serious note, thank you for showing me the difference between right and wrong. Notice I said showing not telling. Thank you for showing me the importance of integrity. Thank you for teaching me to be fearful of the Lord and fearless of all other things and people. Thank you for teaching me self-worth and for saving me when it was crucial.  When I threw tantrums, you’d always say “Oluse you’ll thank me one day”. Inwardly I’d scoff in disbelief- now I understand. Mama you’re my hero; God bless the day I was destined to be your daughter.

I LOVE YOU SO DAMN MUCH, LAYIDE!

From

“Your Friend”

Oluwamiseun