about that baby……. well we don’t have one yet but there is tremendous progress. One, my mum has stopped laughing about it or at me…am still not sure why she laughed so hard. I mean with 10 kids already why would the idea of just one more baby…just one more…..one who would be younger than me crack her up so badly!
In any event she knows by now am an expert in matters baby and I would need no help at all from her to raise this baby.
Anyway I think this reality downed on her because she finally stopped laughing and listened to me.
It helps that we are back home and in the kitchen. I think this is my mums favourite place….the kitchen. So there is no better place to discuss the all important question of the baby.
I sit happily and make small chatter as my mum makes the evening meal. The fire has died down a little and I bend down and blow into it. I never seem to get the hang of it though. I blow long and hard but nothing happens. I seem not to have enough air to blow it hard enough.
Don’t blow out your cheeks otherwise you will retain all the air in your mouth! You must purse your lips just right….my mother demonstrates the art and soon she has the fire burning brightly.
So….about the baby…I begin and my mum smiles and shakes her head. You never give up do you?
She asks me but I see the twinkle in her eye and I know the battle is half won. I want to finish the discussion and get a baby commitment before my sister Evelyn comes into the kitchen. I am not sure she will back me up on she baby and the last thing I need right now is a detractor.
My mother gets down to impart the knowledge on babies and we get to draw our plan on how we get our very own baby.
It’s all so much clearer now!
You see there is a in river that borders our farm, it also forms the border of our village and the next Village called Muthambi. The river is called Maara. Our village is named after this river.
Children in our village love this river. Every Saturday all the children will carry loads of laundry to the river in the morning and wash them and spread them out to dry. The rest of the morning and afternoon is spent swimming as they wait for the clothes to dry.
The River and I have this love hate/fear relationship. You see, the river is beautiful. With its clear fast flowing water and black smooth rocks, interspersed with frothing white Rapids and pools, the river is breathtaking!
For swimmers like my sister, the river is a play ground. I do not like water. My one attempt at swimming left me with several gallons of water in my tummy and a thorough scolding from my big sister after I inconvenienced her as she tried to save me. The water and I respect each other and so as the other kids swim, I sit on a smooth stone and dip my feet in the fast flowing river. Ohh it’s just heavenly.
Now on this river grows a tree….of the Palm family. The tree is called Mware. This tree produces the best bamboo like poles used for fencing. The tree produces hard shell like seeds brown in colour that are used for interior décor. The tree which grows at the bank of the river expands to unimaginable size as the years pass by. This evening this tree has just acquired even more importance in my life!
This is the tree which produces babies!
My mum patiently explains to me the mystery. You see some of the seeds grow to such size that they turn into babies.
I am excited and I can hardly contain myself. I had no idea getting a baby of our own is so simple.
It’s late now but I think if we rush we may just get the baby for today!
My mum bursts my bubble when she explains that not everyone can go to the center of that tree to pick the baby.
It’s her friend Hannah a neighbour who can find those babies!
How so unfair, why Hannah, why can’t my mother have that job and then we can have as many babies as we want.
I am unable to sit still and I suggest to my mother that we should go to Hannahs and request her to accompany us go get the baby tonight. This is urgent it cannot wait. What if another woman gets there before us.
I sit down dejected as my mother patiently explains that we cannot just go and get the baby today.
Apparently Hannah has a list of families that have applied and since we had not expressed interest we must join the tail end of the queue. And more than that I must be on best behaviour because Hannah does not give children to families with naughty kids.
I quick sit down and get about helping my mom keep the fire going. Soon am on my feet to pick the plates. I must be good….I must be good …..I repeat to myself as a mantra.
If being good is all that stands between me and our very own baby, then I will be good or die trying.
My mum smiles and am glad we are now on the same page. I go to sleep wondering whether there is a way to cut to the top of the queue on Hannahs list. I will pray about it tonight.
Our very own baby!!!! I cannot wait.