Growing up in Nairobi, the only person I knew who was a single parent was my Aunty Catherine who was an oddity (she lived in Jamaica I think, and had a boyfriend who according to my Mum was. “young enough to be her son”). I always assumed I would be married by my late twenties, and would have at least four children (I grew up in a family of eight children, so I was being conservative here!).
Until I got pregnant in my thirties, and the man I thought would be the happy father of three more children wanted me to get rid of this lovely blessing … and when push came to shove, I chose my baby over the relationship. And soldiered on alone for those first months of terrible cramping, a threatened miscarriage and mind numbing fatigue …
And all the time, worried what my father would say—see I was brought up to be a “nice” girl—to settle down and get married and then have a child, in that order. Imagine my amazement and relief, and joy when I told my Dad, and all he said was, “Is that all the news?” and immediately started asking practical questions like, have I been seeing a doctor? Do I need help with house work? Which hospital? He has practically taken over my life, he calls me every day (sometimes more than once) to check if I am alright, has sent a live in house help and nanny, and he’s there with me as I try to set up a business so that I can have two incomes when the baby comes … he even arranged for me to move houses!
Who would have thought? That the man I expected to love my baby would be the one to run a thousand miles … and the one I expected to be disappointed would be the one to move a thousand mountains so that my life would be just so perfect when the baby comes?
I hope that when my son grows up, I will be able to be as loving and giving as my father is.