A few days ago, I decided to take an impromptu ‘mommy time off” and packed up and left for Western Uganda’s Mbarara District. I was being hosted by a dear friend and all I was required to carry, besides my clothes and other essentials, was my determination to relax and unwind, far away from toddler chaos. It was a great plan and I was very excited to finally put a trip together and actually get around to executing it.
The night before I left, I started to have a panic attack. I started worrying about whether things would go smoothly with Kwezi during my absence. What if she suddenly falls sick? What if she is hurt and there is need to rush her to the emergency room? The list of ‘what if’ was endless. On the other hand, I reasoned with myself that I leave her behind for five days of the week as early as 7.30am and only get to reunite with her sometimes at 8pm. What can possibly go wrong in four days? So I packed up and left.
Mbarara was everything that I expected and more but to say that I was not sneaking Kwezi into every conversation and every thought would be a blatant lie. I am one of those mothers who will “attack” friends and strangers alike with stories about Kwezi. Whether the reaction is good or the kind that comes with a yawn, I always promise myself that I will not do it again but I just can’t stop. It’s like a drug and I am addicted.
Anyway, for the four days that I was away, I only called back home once. I was sent a photo of her toothy grin in real time. The caption attached to the photo indicated that she was fine and ‘had promptly moved on with her life’. I was relieved but by Sunday, I really was ready to go back home. I felt that the bus was moving at a snail pace.
It has been a few days since we came back but Kwezi is still tagging onto my dresses. She follows me everywhere and keeps on repeating “Hi mummy” over and over again like she wants to be sure that I am around. I am still surprised that she wakes up in the middle of the night, cups my face in her tiny hands and again says, “Hi mummy”. The girl who always asks me cheerfully if I am going to work has started cringing at the idea. My interpretation is that she thought that I went to work and took days to come back.
Well, I am back. Fresh. Re-energised and ready to celebrate my end of year holidays for the third year since I was Kwezi’s mother and for that; I am grateful.