Growing joys in a loving family

Anyone who has grown up in an African family will attest to the fact that it is great fun to look back and laugh at the times. It wasn’t fun at the time but with a hint of nostalgia it is a beautiful memory. Three brothers in a bed, and yet we somehow always would fit, the smallest brother is always the one to take the most space, his punches and kicks during the night are the hardest. A knee in your belly, a scratchy toenail on your ankle, the only rule is you don’t breathe in someone’s face. You try head to toe, head to head, sideways, but eventually you find a formula to sleep safely.

Who finished the milk? Ah another classic, when the milk or juice is running low, nobody wants to be the person who finished the drink so you pour a bit and then leave the bottle in the fridge. Then your unsuspecting sibling comes up and pours the last remaining droplets of milk “Mum!! He has finished the milk!!!!” before he can even complain, he is sent to the shop to get the next supply. If you finish it, you have to replace it. And as much as he complains he knows he fell for an old trick, older brothers will always be a step ahead.

Mum!!! Tell him to stop annoying me!!! There is nothing kids like more than finding someone who is concentrating and trying to distract them. Kids play this as their favourite sport, just walk up to your older sibling and ask a series of irritating questions, if they are reading then ask what the book is about? Imagine trying to explain ‘War and Peace’ to a 5 year old. They just take the last word you said and make it a question. What is war? War is when people fight. Why do people fight? They don’t like each other. Why don’t they like each other? Go away!!! Mum!!!!! Tell him to go away!!

It is all love or signs of love, when you are sat in a large empty house, you wish for such days. I hear the distance echoes of family life, girls skipping and playing clapping games, the chaotic yells of a children’s football match. Remembering my Dad reading a newspaper on the sofa, drifting in and out of sleep after a heavy meal, occasionally stirring to crinkle his neck, mumble disapproval or swat a fly away from his mouth.

The funniest memory we have is my brother once creeping past my Dad’s room, when my Dad was napping it was dead quiet. As my brother crept past the door, my sister dropped a calculator, he was stuck in a dilemma; should he run or stand still? Before he could think the door opened, Dad gave him a slap and Dad closed the door in 1.3 seconds. It was a world record. My brother just asked “what just happened.” You got slapped was the reply.

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