By Ngosa Chibuye Muyatwa
My kids, mom, and I were going on a long bus trip. I was nervous because I have never enjoyed long bus rides. I hoped my children would enjoy the trip as this was their first long public transport trip. I wanted to create memories with them, not only that I enjoy a good adventure. I Googled what to pack for toddlers on a long bus trip and the recommendations came in handy as I utilised most of them.
The day of the trip came. To my surprise, my kids had so much fun they were not as antsy as I thought they would be from sitting the whole day. I usually get bored from sitting for a long time but not the kids. They had the time of their lives. They made the bus ride such an adventure. My oldest kept pointing out different things that would catch her eye. A random herd of goats along the hills and teenagers playing football. And then the hills!! She’d never seen so many hills before, and she kept pointing out and saying, ‘Mummy, I see another one.’I had packed crayons and pencils that came in handy, but what I noticed the most was that the children just entertained themselves, and it was not as scary as I had anticipated.
We took the trip to visit my grandma, my children’s great-grandma, who claims she’s 86, but everyone thinks she’s over 90 years old. I do not have a lot of people in my life who are as old as Grandma. I hope she remembers me as much as I will. My grandma will ask you who you are and forget the next minute. When we arrived in the city where she was staying with family, I was eager and excited to introduce my children. Partly because she had never met them and they had never met her but also because the last time I saw her, I was heavily pregnant with my youngest, and now that big tummy had produced a live interesting little human.
Grandma was so happy to see us, and after a few days, she understood that my little human was the tummy she had seen me with two years ago. My oldest daughter would always stare each time we would walk with my grandma outside because Grandma was not able to walk on her own. I am sure my daughter with all her boundless energy does not understand how someone cannot walk without support.
The other day, my grandma removed ‘her teeth’ and put them back and you could see the astonishment, fascination, and surprise on my daughter's face. I was just as shocked when I saw Grandma do this, but I was in my 20s and could process it. I wonder what went through my four-year-old’s mind to see something like this.
I hope my daughters remember that Grandma had stories for days. On one of our daily walks, I asked her how she got a scar on one of her knees. She vividly recounted the story of how years back she got the news that her best friend's child had died, and she rushed to the funeral house. When she got there she was so overwhelmed with everything that she slipped and fell on the ashes of a fire that had been made at the funeral home.
I hope my daughters remember that their great-grandma would always laugh at one thing or the other. During our visit, she remembered something and it was beautiful to see her and my mother laugh till tears came out of their eyes. Even as old as she is, and as much as her body is failing, she chooses to laugh about every situation.
I hope my daughters remember that memories stay with you forever. I was shocked by how detailed Grandma would recount stories of old and how she remembers the year she was born. I hope my daughters remember to create memories that will make them look back for years to come and know that they were fearless and had fun.
I hope my daughters remember that I could have chosen to leave them at home and not bring them along for this trip. It was cumbersome and nerve-racking for me. On the night before our long trip back home, I could not sleep. I had been up for two hours because I had this fear that my phone alarm would not ring, and by the time I woke up, our bus would have been long gone. But, it was a labour of love that I brought them along to see and know their great-grandma first but to also get to know my family. They should remember where they come from, what they are made of, and what values they ought to carry along in this life. Above all, I hope my daughters remember that we will all get old (or die, whichever comes first), and when we do, it is really important to have loved ones around you, who will bathe you and cut your nails. Take you for a walk or reminisce over a long-forgotten time. I hope my kids remember that they are loved.
Ngosa is an Educator, an avid reader, a runner, and a mom. She documents her fitness journey on Facebook: Tales of a Zambian Running Girl/Mother.
Connect with her on Facebook: Ngosa Chibuye Muyatwa and Instagram: @Ngosa1
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Edited by Bwalya Mphuka
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