SUNDAY, June 21 was Father’s Day. History has it that this day was founded in the US in 1910 and is currently observed in many countries.
The Kenyan press carried numerous articles and features on or before Father’s Day addressing issues such as what it means to be a father, and the kind of presents that one can buy as a gift to one’s father, for this day. It is my hope that you had reason to celebrate the day.
The Saturday Nation carried as a main feature, a two page supplement titled: “I am a Daddy’s Girl” (Saturday Magazine, June 20, p. 6-7), in which women who have close relationships with their dads, spoke about their special bond.
It was quite moving to read these stories (five of them), where ladies spoke about the special qualities of their fathers: The storyteller dad, the firm believer father; the selfless giver dad; the encouraging dad; and the pick-me up dad. Do you fit in any of these?
The “pick-me up dad” stood by his daughter, when she fell pregnant at 16, and saw her and her siblings through the best education possible. Indeed, to achieve this, he had to sell his three bedroom house. The daughter, now 30, is described as a leadership facilitator, “life couch” and public servant.
Now ‘life couch’ does not read right since a couch is primarily used for seating and sometimes for sleeping on. A couch is a sofa, an upholstered piece of furniture that seats more than one person. The father-loving daughter should be described as a “life coach” (not “life couch”).
A life coach is somebody who looks to empower others by helping them make, meet or exceed goals in both their personal and professional lives. We wish this lady all the best in her endeavour to make others realise their potential.
Still in the same supplement, we find, on page 8, a personal story titled: “Painting while pregnant is helping me cope with Covid”. It is about what the writer describes as: “A Mombasa-based first-time pregnant ‘mom’, PP, who shares her uncertainties and fears of expecting during a pandemic”.
The word ‘mom’ caught my attention, more so since the lady admits: “This is my first child on the way and we are very excited about its arrival despite the challenging situation”. The point I wish to make is that a woman does not become a mom just by becoming pregnant.
The hope of society is that this pregnant woman will carry the pregnancy to term and deliver a human being to this world. Then she becomes a mother, a situation desired by many women. If this is the case, then: “A Mombasa-based first-time pregnant mom” needs to be revisited and re-written into, say ““A Mombasa-based first-time pregnant lady”.
She will be mom alright when she delivers, inshallah. For the moment however, we should think of her as an expectant mother, a mom-to-be.
The lady narrates that she has taken to fruit painting to calm her senses as she expects her first child: “I was so taken by the fruits. I wanted to collect the fruits as they ‘marched’ to the size of my unborn child’s development”.
This is after she had stumbled on a Baby Centre App which shows the size of the baby weekly as it grows, in the shape of fruits and vegetables: “I always end up looking at the vegetable/fruit of the week and say to it: ‘you are the same size as my baby inside me’”.
This makes us question the use of the verb “march” in the paragraph before the foregoing one. We think the correct verb to use in the circumstances is “match”, meaning being the same.
Thus our sentence could be re-written to read: “I wanted to collect the fruits as they ‘matched’ (not ‘marched’) the size of my unborn child’s development”. Wish you a safe delivery, Mombasa first-time pregnant lady!