Category Archives: motherhood

Memories Pictures hold: Bath

I know this apartment where this photo is taken but I don’t remember what was so significant about the day or who took the photo, but I suspect it must have been taken by my husband at the time, my son’s father.


Why I am bathing Jaja, who was s chubby, happy baby in the kitchen sink, in that basin that is clearly too small for him I don’t know. I suspect his sister, Shola, might have been enjoying a bubble bath in the bathroom and he was still too young to join her. Or maybe I was in the kitchen and he had just finished eating and food was all over him or maybe…what?  He loved the water and he loved being naked. I just thought it was a good idea, a spur of the moment decision without agenda, hence the photo.

 I see me looking down at him with a smile, but his gazed is fixed elsewhere.  What has caught his eyes? A tree through the window?  A bird perched? The glare of the sun? His dream of what he wants to become?

When we have children we are stitching the fabric for dreams.  If we are lucky, and do parenting right, with as minimum of damage as possible, that fabric could become a star for whom we take credit and applaud ourselves.  Jawara, peaceful warrior, has grown into the meaning of his name, has become a star that shines, has become a man whose gaze is always moving him into tomorrow.  Asé!

Memories Pictures Hold 1

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I see myself here and I think, `I look so young, and by comparison, now, when did I get so old?’

But here I sit suckling my first born and I don’t know where we are or who took the photo.  Shola seems unaware, contended and focusing on her nourishment.  She loved the breast and she was over 2 years old when I weaned her.

I loved being pregnant with Shola and I loved being her mother.  I still love being her mother, even though we disagree on some things. But she truly made me understand my power and what it meant to be fierce in a way I had not been or known  before.

I was determined to make sure she had more than her needs met.  I knew from the moment I laid eyes on her that she was a special gift to be treasured and guided. I wanted to gift her the world and herself.

Motherhood ties and binds you, and you are never free again. It takes you places you never knew existed and it shows you all of you raw and beautiful, raw and frightening, raw and blessed.  Thanks for naming me Mother.