Bringing up a child is hard work, every mother knows that, but bringing up one with special needs is doubly so, I can tell you that. Most of what I see myself do today is what my mother taught us as kids, without any theory, mostly they were practicals. Any wonder then that a greater number of us her children ended up studying courses that involved practicals. My mother, when she used to berate us for stepping out of line would say; Is this what you see me do? She placed as much emphasis on that which she does as that which she says. When she says something, it becomes a bond, she has to do it, no matter how difficult especially if it is that that will be beneficial to somebody. Thus I find myself unconsciously living that life; did I make a promise? Then it must be kept. Would I be proud to have my daughter do that which I am doing? Then go ahead and do it. So it was that on Sunday we had to go to 8.30a.m in fulfilment of my promise here.
Saturday I had called her, partially hoping that she has changed her mind, of course she could decide not to give me the pleasure of driving her to church, but she did not change her mind. Why was I partially hoping that she changed her mind? Haba, did I not say that going for that 8.30a.m mass will involve some changes on Ziim and I’s schedulle? And don’t we all know that change though delicious could be labourious? Anyways, I told Ziim that we shall be attending the 8.30 mass with our new friend, it means that we must try and leave the house about 8.00a.m. Hm.. how do we handle it: medication, bathing, breakfast. Just start early. So we started at 6.30a.m and amazingly at 8 we were on our way! Well done Ziim and a small pat on mummmy’s little shoulder.
Before we set out, I called to let her know we were on our way. I also called an old friend Ify who lives a street away from her who I know will do with a free ride to the church.I know she attends the 8.30 mass, she works in the children’s ministry. Yes she will be ready for when I get there and was glad that I save her the wahala of walking to the bus stop to get transport. I was happy I could that for is it not said that the more the merrier.
In less than 8 minutes we were at the church, the last mass was just ending. Wahala, of course I half expected that, getting ideal parking space. Those traffic wardens could be difficult, I begged and begged for them to let me go inside, they refused! Why you ask? I shunted on the queue, true that but honestly it was not on purpose. I saw the queue, but I thought it was that of cars from 7.15 a.m going home, so I drove past hoping to drive into the car park as the car park was not used by the people attending the 7.15 mass. By the time I realized my mistake, an honest one may I add, I begged the car in front of me to let me go ahead of her, she graciously agreed, but the traffic men ran to my front insisting that I leave the line. I pleaded and the woman even told them that she permited me to, but they would not buldge. Bena stock out her head and tried to talk to one of them but he just refused to listen. I told him why it is important for me to park inside, he insisted that I leave, so I moved out of the queue, driving to the front to park outside, further from the church entrance.
I got someone to help put down the wheel chair from the boot of the car, which by the way was visible as the boot was half open due to the size of the chair. She got onto her chair, I told her to meet us there after mass. I brought out Ziim’s chair placed her and we set to the church. You can imagine wading through the ocean of human beings that are parishioners, those coming out of mass and those rushing for the next mass. The stares, Ziim kept flipping her head and I kept putting it up for her, remember, this is a new group, our group was 6am. The stares, I guess people are not used to seeing a beautiful angelic looking girl like Ziim in a chair. As we got to the gate where the traffic wardens that were maning the gate were, one said. ha, madam, why u no talk say na this make you wan go inside before. I did not answer him, (did I not talk to them?) I was going for mass and I need to receive communion, so I walked past them.
Bena had gone ahead of us, apperently she has her prefared sitting place at the back, I saw her there when we came in. Getting a seat for us was not difficult, I was ready to fight to get that our sitting position. Furtunately the fight was not necessary because as soon as I asked the man in our prefared seat to move, he agreed and moved to another seat. Now that is soothing. We had a good mass, but I must not deny the fact that my mind once drifted to the “gate show”.
Mass over, we again wade through the sea of men and women, meandering through the cars and humans to get to where we parked. As we got to the gate, I saw Bena talking to one of those men, apparently they know her, of course they do, taxi drops her there every Sunday.
I will not bore you with what I ensured between us and those traffic wardens that act as if they man the gate of heaven, but I made them understand cearly that from next Sunday I shall not park outside, I shall endeavour to come early to make it easier for everyone.
As we were going, I ask our new friend how she used to mange every Sunday after mass with transport because I know that taxis would not be allowed to stop in front of the church for her. Ha aunty, I usually move up to UNILAG junction before I get transport. Now that got me thinking of responsibility.
These days, CSR ( Corporate Social Responsibility) appears to be the new hype word. Hm.. go to company Okolo Inc or Buso Plc, they should do it as part of their CSR, this is what you hear when you approach someone for assistance, may be for the Center or something like that. Nobody talks of Individual Social Responsibility (ISR). Bena tells me that she has been coming to St Dominic’s for like seven years, even while she was a student at Yaba Tech. Now why hasn’t anybody in this beautiful church that boasts of over 30,000 (thirty thousand) parishioners yes you read it here, taken it as h/her ISR to give this young lady a ride to and from church. On her street or on her route live a few parishioners with cars. I am sure they see her, she is quite striking, you cannot help but to notice her. Things like this get me frightened about the future of Ziim and angels like her. People are no longer being their brothers’ keepers, that is not being individually socially responsible. I just wonder!!
Anyways, I dropped her off, she thanked me and said next Sunday she’ll be ready before I get there. Now I did not tell you that I waited for her a little bit when I got to her place did I?. I told her that she need not thank me, I should that her for giving me the pivilege to do my IRS. On that note I started my week, hoping that Ziim is taking in the practical lessons as I took from mama. Now, how did you start your week? What have you been up to in fulfilment of you Individual Social Responsibility that is so giving you joy. I surely will like to know.