Sunday 22 September 2019

Some Mothers Do Have Them

The odd one out
I was thinking this morning... I was chilling with my wife last Sunday evening when I received an unexpected phone call from a senior friend, whom I have not seen in over 20 years. To what do I owe this call? What could be amiss? I wondered. After exchanging warm greetings, he revealed why he called. He was looking for his younger brother, who was my classmate in secondary school. The brother had cut off all ties with the family and gone underground for years. He told me the family was worried about his welfare and wanted to know he was fine. Having assured him that I spoke with his brother about 6 weeks ago, he heaved a sigh of relief, told me about an uncle that had a similar strange behaviour and asked in conclusion 'why do families always have one of such?' At this point, I remembered the popular BBC sitcom of the 70s, shown in Nigeria in the 80s titled 'Some Mothers Do Have Them.'

'Some Mothers Do Have Them' is the story of Frank Spencer, a well-meaning yet accident-prone chap who tries his best - and often fails - to please everyone he encounters. His wife, long-suffering Betty, loves Frank very much and dutifully deals with the constant anxiety his behaviour creates for her. As I listened to my senior friend, I thought of a doctor and professor parent that gave birth to five children. All but one of them were brilliant, coming tops in their chosen course at the university. But one is an NFA (No Future Ambition), refusing to go to school nor learn a trade. How can that be? 'Is this child really mine?' One of the parents imagined. Don't despair, what I know is that 'some mothers do have them.'

The manifestations of these kids, the odd one out, differ from family to family. For one family, it is that stubborn child or the one that refuses to go to school. For another, he is the son with criminal tendencies or the daughter that chose to be a 'runs girl.' Yet for others, it is that sick or physically challenged child. I am referring to that one child of the family that gives you so much headache or heartache, that embarrasses you every so often. Many have wished and prayed that the child is different and compliant like others. Do not despair but be comforted by the fact that His grace is sufficient and by the knowledge that some mothers do have them.

But why are they different from the pack? While some believe that their destinies were corrupted like a computer file, others believe they were factory errors. They say just like a machine programmed to fill up bottles with pre-measured volumes will occasionally fill one bottle halfway, so one in a number of kids born will be an outlier. They call this blip 'Factory error.' Hmm!! I don't believe any human is an error, because the bible says we were fearfully and wonderfully made. But could there be a scientific explanation to this phenomenon? Is there a pattern? How come a parent have four kids, and there is an odd one, while another has ten and all are great? Truly, some mothers do have them.

I know many parents, like long-suffering Betty, are frustrated with these kids, the odd one out and probably asking God why. These children, brothers or sisters of ours are not strange, and it may seem their glory is lost but in reality, they are just different. Show them equal love no matter how tough. If none of your children gives you heartache, thank God. But if one is a prayer point, then know that though Hosea 9:11 says 'As for Ephraim their glory shall fly away like a bird from the birth and from the womb and from the conception.' I pray that their glory shall be restored. Don't despair because some mothers do have them.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey.

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