Once upon a time there was a perfect family of Eight. Agatha and Edward Snapasaman and their six kids, four girls and two boys. They weren’t rich but they were very comfortable.
Fastforward 8 years, one morning in June, 47 yr old Agatha went to her husband and said ‘Eddie, I think I am pregnant, I told you we were too old to be carrying on like that’. Lol..let my mom catch me!!! Come January, little Ginger came kicking and snapping into the world.
Well, that was my story in a nut shell. I could expound on the fact that…Mom had been advised to abort me. Think Down’s syndrome. Think mongloidism think the numerous dangers of pregnancy at that age etc. But tough Catholic faithful that she was, she said, ‘whatever child the Lord gives me, I will take’.
So you can imagine their joy when I turned out to be one freaking intelligent and adorable child. I hope that has made up for the stress I put her through.
Other interesting facts about this child:
1. My elder sister thought I was an embarrassment. Imagine it, she was 18 and in her 1st year in University when I was born. She felt gossips would think I was hers…lol.
2. My grandma hated me...cause my mom was her only child and following my birth she was very sick. So to her I was the child that wanted to steal her daughter’s life. We sort of became good pals as we grew older but alas I don’t have as much warm stories to tell about her like my sibs do.
3. I am supposed to be a re-incarnation of my paternal grandmother. All my extended family say I look and behave like her. In fact I cinched it one morning, when I woke up picked up a broom and started sweeping the verandah and environs. The elders exclaimed that indeed 'I am the mother' cause that was her usual routine every morning. Wtf???
3b. Anyway, sequel to being my own father’s mother incarnate, I am called Mommy by his sibs – my aunties..lol. Yes o. they all call me ‘Mommy’. They give me the choicest fruits and drinks when we go home for Xmas. And I happily call them ‘my daughters’.
Fact - I used the status as a ploy to get my daddy to buy me a doll when I was 12. He had initially refused ‘that I was too old’. So I crafted a letter and put it in his briefcase when he left for a business trip. It read:
This is your mother asking you to buy her a doll. I would be very disappointed if you come back without one.
Love, Your Mother
Yep, I got the biggest sweetest doll in the market. Wish I had a pix of her. I loved her.
4. My dad flogged me for the first and only time when I was seven. He had just finished washing his whites and I dragged them round the floor. I can’t remember why I did that now but I remember him folding the Daily Times newspaper for that day and applying it to my tender buttocks. I haven’t forgotten. My mom on the other hand has a fast hand – I remember several backhands, slaps and knocks growing up.
5. For a short period I thought I was adopted. I had overheard my mom telling a childless friend to adopt a child. That she had done it and thought it was the best decision she had ever made. So I thought it was me. I mean that age gap, the endless teasing from sibs about me being black and thin, I had to be the one. I loved the idea and spent many a morning imagining who my real parents were and how they were going to come sweep me away ala Cinderella.
6. I became an Aunty at 8years. And a great Aunt (yay!) to my first niece’s twin girls last year. Amazingly I carried that little girl, wiped her ass, changed her nappy and fed her all that gooey baby stuff. Now she’s prettier/taller than me, bigger than me and is a mum herself. Life!
7. I get away with teasing my parents mercilessly. Especially my Mom. Last born privileges. My sibs are in awe at what I can get away with.
8. I hated my teenage years cause I was in constant conflict with my mom. She either thought I was too worldly wise or she felt she was protecting me from teenage pregnancy or some other teen-horror. But that was exactly what hurt. That she had so little faith/trust in her intelligent daughter. I hated her that period and used to pray with all my heart that God will find me another family to be part of. Of course He didn’t, but sadly we never had time to reconnect cause University came and I ran off happily to Ibadan knowing her arms couldn’t stretch that far.
9. I said I love you to my Mom the first time in 2008. I had watched one of those movies that make you remember how important family is and how much you should appreciate them. So the next time I called home, at the end of the conversation I went ‘Take care Mommy. I love you’. There was a split moment of silence then she replied ‘I love you too daughter. God bless’. Since then it has become a usual part of our conversation. Now she also says I’ve missed you. My Dad has been inculcated too. He doesn’t say ‘I love you’ back, but I know he loves hearing it so I say it. He’s my son after all.