Recently I was telling my bestie how I thought Cyndi Lauper’s “Time after time” was a song about a mother and a daughter, his laughter still rings in my head even now. I almost felt foolish but I knew I had good reason to have thought so. My mother used to sing the chorus to me all the time when I was a little girl.
If you’re lost you can look – and you will find me
Time after time
If you fall I will catch you – I’ll be waiting
Time after time
Listening to the song takes me to those days when life was easy and uncomplicated, back when I couldn’t wait to grow up and be independent. I thought my parents- my mother especially were overprotective, they didn’t let me go to school by myself or come home alone and many other things they didn’t let me do. As I grew older, it got worse with curfews and other battles that threatened the peace. It didn’t help that I am the oldest child and I had no older sibling to forge any path of resistance, I had to pay the price for my brothers. Family battles do not leave scars, not this kind. It’s simply the chaffing of the ropes that bind.
However, I grew up.
It didn’t happen in one day, I guess it was a gradual shift. It started from realising that my parents weren’t being unreasonable about their concerns for the safety of my brothers and I, then I started seeing that they had done the best they could. This month something happened that changed my viewpoint. My youngest brother (aka my baby- don’t tell him I called him that :-p ) went to church on a Wednesday evening for the youth programme and he went alone. My house is a bit far from church and he’d never gone for an evening programme without my parents or me. I got home by 7pm and was surprised at how unsettled I was by his absence from the house at 7pm, I found that I couldn’t even relax. I didn’t know how truly worried I was until I heard him whistling as he climbed the stairs at 9pm, I ran to the door and hugged him. My dad was laughing at my display and reminded me that the young man has graduated from the university- yes, he’s not even a teenager. I wondered how my parents let us go anywhere, why they didn’t wrap us in cotton wool or bubble wrap…. Having children must be the scariest thing in the world, I can’t imagine the terror a parent feels when her child is out and about being independent.
I haven’t done a lyrics post in a long time and I’d decided to put up “Time after time” and write about how my mother made it “our song”. While I was mentally preparing the post, I had an eventful day which I’m going to share with you.
My cousin (I’d written about her here in March) came to Lagos for something and she spent two days with us, I’m praying she relocates to Lagos. She kept talking about the craziness of Lagos, when she relocates- not if! She’ll get used to it and even thrive. She left today and I miss her plenty especially her puzzled tone when we refer to Lagos Island as “Lagos”.
“But is this not Lagos” she’d ask.
I used to ask the same question when I was younger- it seems odd when you think of it but before long you’d be saying “I’m going to Lagos” too.
My mom and I went to Lagos Island to buy a few things, there are many beautiful things to be bought from Idukota to CMS, the whole area is one huge market- trust me. We started from Tinubu square where we bought some beautiful fabrics and ended up in Balogun where we bought ankara for someone.
Speaking of ankara, the price of hollandaise wax/veritable wax/real dutch wax made my jaw drop. Dear future hubs, I’m praying that the good lord beefs up your financial muscles before you start coming because the list for an Mbaise woman and an Ada/only daughter for that matter ain’t for the faint hearted biko.
While walking to the shops I saw plenty dresses for little girls, they were so pretty! I want a daughter ASAP, I’d buy her enough dresses to start a boutique. After all the shopping was done, my mum and I were trying to make our way out of the market when she decided to call her tailor to confirm if she was in her shop. The market was crowded and throbbing with life- remind me never to go to Balogun market on Saturday. I had to walk ahead of her because I was carrying the bag and it was too crowded for us to walk side by side.
I waited for her to catch up but didn’t see her, a few minutes passed, maybe a few seconds but I felt panic claw its way to my throat. I told myself she’d call me as I walked back to where I last saw her, she wasn’t there. When I was a child I was really scared about missing Rapture, however I knew then that there was no way God would take the saints without taking my mother. Those days I had panic attacks when it rained and I wasn’t with my mother, especially during thunderstorms- one day I’ll write about this with full details. I thought Rapture would be accompanied by a huge thunderstorm- to hide the sound of the trumpet. That old fear wormed its way again and I thought of what sins I could have committed between my morning prayer until then- fear is a thing that erodes your thought process.
Maybe because I’d decided to use the song for today’s post, a snippet of the song came into my head
Sometimes you picture me –
I’m walking too far ahead
You’re calling to me, I can’t hear
What you’ve said –
Then you say – go slow –
I fall behind –
The second hand unwinds.
I saw her eventually- actually this all happened in less than three minutes, one of the longest three minutes of my life though. My mother was frowning when I saw her, but I couldn’t stop smiling.
“You found me!” I squealed
You see, a few years ago I’d have thought she was angry, now I know different.