KWEZI AND I......: Building and appreciating relationships


I recently had a very strange conversation with someone. Strange is a word that I usually use loosely but in this particular case, the conversation was strange in the true sense of the word.

The person, in her honest opinion, felt that I was avoiding responsibility by taking Kwezi to my mother to fix some things that I sometimes find challenging. The case in point here was her appetite that has in the past few months, dropped from excellent to non-existent.

Had I been an old school teacher, I would have written ‘see me’ on Kwezi’s meal score sheet in red a long time ago and hoped that she would have strived to ‘perform’ better, but this is not school and I am not a teacher so I had to do what I had to do. For someone to actually think that letting my parents use their tricks, which they have learnt over more than 40 years of raising children that I cannot even begin to count on my two chubby hands, is irresponsible left me more amused than upset.

What this person did not appreciate is that I am fine with admitting that I am not a super mum, who has all the answers on her fingertips. Also, the person did not appreciate that while there is no love like that of mother for her child, there is no love that is as special as that of a grandparent.

The history of our country has deprived very many of us relationships that some others take for granted. I never got an opportunity to spend time with any of my grandmothers. My paternal grandmother passed away within weeks of my birth due to illness but my mother’s mom and her siblings who were killed in 1994 will forever make me wonder about what could have been.

This past week, my mother sent my sister Jasmine to pick Kwezi from home when I was at work. Jasmine has been here for a month and will be leaving for the US where she resides, in a few weeks. She and my mother had, according to stories I heard later, spent the whole day imitating Kwezi’s antics. They just had to see her and that day, they picked her. She has been gone for a week. Besides the last time when she went to visit and threw tantrums, she is enjoying the attention that she is being showered with.

Do I miss her? Absolutely, but the recorded videos and audio notes indicate to me that I am the furthest person on her mind because she seems to be having a lot of fun. I am happy that she can have the opportunity to spend time with her grandparents. I wish I had had the same opportunity. I am glad that she can enjoy having her mother this week and her grandparents, aunties and uncles another. And for that, I am grateful.