I was raised by a troop of women. All these women had one thing in common… my mother. They were either my mothers’ friends, her mom when she was still alive…..her sisters…cousins…her varooras… her something. My mom left for the UK when i was 15. We missed her terribly but her influence was still felt, even thousands of miles away. She was the resident ghost. You couldn’t see her but you could feel she was there. Its like she recruited a team to watch over us and most importantly, spy on us. She ran the household still with the help of a loyal maid who told her every single thing…everything!!! She recruited her best friend as our “boss” who made executive decisions on her behalf (thats the aunt who said no to AU) and she also had her spy in the neighborhood, Mai Madhafela, who would seem to be at every corner i went with any boy. All the boys who would come to see me would have to scan the road to make sure they had a safe route for us to walk, away from Mai Madhafelas prying eyes.
It seems every Zimbo mom has varying levels of crazy in them. Some have more crazy than others in them but they all have a few screws loose. I may have to suffer dearly for this post. I remember one night my step dad had all too much to drink and in the morning my mom was laughing and gossiping with the maid about his drunken state the previous night and it looked safe for me to chime in and laugh with them. A few minutes later, our neighbor at the flats in Glen Norah came in for some gossip. She had most likely heard something and i… still feeling very free and safe to express myself, filled her in on the scoop while laughing hysterically, oblivious of my mothers’ piercing “eye”. Only when i noticed my mother wasn’t joining in the conversation did i feel a pit in my stomach and i slowly braved to look at her face. And there it was, her deathly ” Im going to whoop you” stare. This eye exchange probably happened in a split of a second, without the neighbor noticing, and i immediately stopped talking and retreated for dear life. I thought we were laughing together, how did it change so quickly? I was confused. As soon as the neighbor left, she came looking for me and said sternly to me with a finger pointing at my forehead, “Unofarisa…” and she left. Still confused about what had just happened, i walked away, damaged for life…losing trust in my abilities to read other peoples cues loool. I was just relived i didn’t get a hiding. I just seemed to constantly get into trouble for everything, including things i didn’t do….like when the farting ghost came and did its thing while visitors were there. If she sniffed anything, it didn’t matter that it could potentially be her visitor who let out some air…i would be scolded, chased out of the room because adults just don’t fart. I knew better to just walk out silently and not be tempted to utter the deadly words that could send me to my grave, “It wasn’t me.”
Growing up my mother thought she was funny and cool. She still thinks she is. To her credit, i do think shes one of the coolest moms out there. It just goes left and weird when she starts to use slang or pop culture lingo. She recently used the word “fam” which left me and my siblings shaking our heads. She seems to hear a word and forcibly place it where she thinks it belongs just to fit in the group with her 3 young cool children. She has tried numerous times when i was a teenager to make me wear her “cool” clothes from when SHE was a teenager, which made me question her fashion sense. She also had a truckload of Muzenda jokes that she told daily and repeated frequently and expected you to have the same passionate laugh every single time you heard them. As the responsible caring first born child i was, i tried to make her happy and force out a laugh every single time especially at “The phone went greeeeeen greeeeen, i pinked it up and said yellooow….”
As i get older and see how my own relationship with my daughter evolves, i see myself turn into my mother. I see my daughters’ head shakes of disapproval and now shes old enough to whisper, “Mom stop embarrassing me.” Then like an evil spirit, i want to embarrass her even more. I then understand what its like to be a crazy mom who is passionate about her kids and would do anything to see them happy and smile. I do hope i will be half as good a mom to Ava as my mom is to me and my siblings…except for the fact that she tells us all in private, that we are her favorite child. This is how sibling rivalry begins mom!!!
Happy birthday maDube. We love you and yes, you are the best mom in the world.