The compound where my apartment is located has about ten flats. I am the only unmarried tenant and I can only recognize two of my neighbours. Everyone minds his business.
However, I couldn’t help but notice a certain neighbour of mine. Dude has a son who is extremely introverted. When all the children come out to play, this boy (let’s call him Sadiq) would sit outside his flat and watch sadly. It’s almost like he wishes he could play with the rest.
He has a poor relationship with his father, I noticed. A boy of not more than thirteen years old being treated like he is an adult. I’ve seen his mother only once and probably won’t recognise her outside. Quiet family, that one. I admire my other neighbours whose children welcome them back home with hugs and shouts of “daddy, welcome. What did you bring for us”. Sadiq simply comes out to take his father’s bag inside. He appears scared when anyone talks to him and I’ve heard his father call him a fool too many times.
I am afraid for him and I wish his father knew what he is turning this boy into.
This is the reality of some of us, our childhood years had us scampering about when daddy returned. When the assigned sentry yelled from the ‘mountain top’, “daddy is back”, we found our inner Usain Bolt and turned chaos into serenity. We grew up afraid of our fathers. I wonder to what end. What exactly were our fathers thinking, making us afraid of them?
Things were easier with the girls than with the boys. While the fathers had almost no relationship with their boys, the mothers had no relationship with their girls. Were they jealous?
It is clear that Sadiq’s father grew up in such a home and this authoritarian attitude is rubbing off on his relationship with his boy who wishes he can play with his peers but is afraid of his father.
This boy will one day be fed up, fight with his dad and leave the house. He may grow up angry and transfer this anger to his own son. Plot twist? He may decide to never let his own child experience such an upbringing. This decision takes a lot of work and guts. It is not an easy path to follow – forgiving your parents and moving on – but it is the best path. I would know.
These children make huge mistakes later on. The love they lacked, they will crave and eventually do silly things if it means tasting just a little bit of love from a total stranger.
This post is just me letting out baggage. I still greet Sadiq and hope one day, he’ll respond with a smile and join the others when they play monopoly.
How was your growing up like?