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I have over eight years’ hands-on experience with children. Everything that needs doing for them, I have done. From wiping their butts to helping them with homework. I was woken up from my sleep several times because one of them failed to sleep due to nightmares.

I will never forget the night the youngest child shook me awake while screaming and sobbing because there was ‘something’ in her bed. Only to switch on the bedroom light and it was her black school sweater.

I applauded them when they excelled academically or with chores and tasks at home. When the need arose, I would put a stick to their bodies to keep them in line. Or scream warnings and murder threats when they crossed the line. I have held and comforted them as they cried. My heart broke when they were in pain, and at times I cried when something awful happened to them.

The journey of raising a child – especially when you’re always present and involved; is one that will teach you ‘never to have children’ unless you’re willing to put in the work. Because let’s face it, children are ‘A LOT’ of work. And I raised five. Three of them from the age of two – and who are now teenagers.

Though I did not birth them, the fact that they came into my life when I was mostly a child myself, -till the time I joined university- makes me feel like they are my own babies. I developed a strong bond and deep attachment. I have always felt like I would go to war for those kids. My greatest satisfaction is seeing them now and my heart beams with joy and pride at how well they turned out. They developed healthy, attractive physiques and excel in both academics and sports. Plus they are polite, good-mannered and respectful.

Honestly speaking, if the Lord ever blesses me with children and they bloom like the ones I raised, I would definitely die smiling.

One of them spotted me about two weeks ago and dashed out of class. When a teacher called after her, she replied, “Teacher my sister has come!” -like that should explain why she was escaping from class, and trespassing at that! When I inquired, she told me there was no teacher in her class at the moment. Of course I was glad that she was enthusiastic about seeing me, and I was equally happy to see her; -but saints! How she had grown! I couldn’t wipe the imagery of the four year-old from my mind.

I recall the time we had a guest at home for over two weeks. She was staying in our bedroom. One time she remarked passively, “You love your sister, and she knows it”. But the reverse was true, I knew she loved me.

One night in 2015, I had slept early ’cause I was exhausted from school. It was my first term in office as the Head Prefect and I was really giving over and above the call of duty. That night, I aroused from sleep because someone was tapping on me. When I opened my eyes, I was shocked that the lights and the TV were still on and that the whole house was still up in the sitting room.

When my vision steadied, I noticed this big toothless grin from this 6 year-old whose head was popped inside my mosquito net. I gazed at her sleepily, clueless why she had stirred me awake, ‘mmm?’ I asked. She just smiled brighter and said to me, “I have come to tell you goodnight”. I wished her the same and returned to my sleep. But she stayed there, leaning on my bed, smiling and watching till I drifted off. Though simple, that gesture warmed my heart and makes me smile to this day.

Seeing that big, beautiful smile with missing teeth was like therapy, -proof that not everything in my life sucked. True, we give so much of ourselves and resources while raising kids, but the reward of their unconditional love, joy, affection and forgiveness is truly priceless. Children do make us better human beings.

The End.

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4 Comments

  1. Esther Byoona

    September 25, 2022 at 2:15 pm

    Beautiful 😊 🤗🥳❤❤

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      September 25, 2022 at 4:00 pm

      Thanks Tusi😊

  2. Ayebare Patience Joy

    September 25, 2022 at 3:33 pm

    True,children sure make us better humans.

    1. Echoes Over Coffee

      September 25, 2022 at 4:05 pm

      Yeah… there’s something inexplicable about children. They have so much love and they easily forgive.

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