Monicah is my name, and I am 18 years of age and I am turning 19 this December. I am excited that I am overdriving my teenage-hood very soon. Yeaah!!! My brother James, who is only 16 years old, is my next of kin and and two other siblings Maggie and Johnnie who are 4 and 5 years respectively.
I like calling us the ‘magic four’ but my ‘hater’ brother prefers ‘fantastic four’ (of course from the movie), so he spreads all the propaganda to the young ones to stick ‘fantastic four’ in their brains. We kind of fight about it—he always wants to win and I always want to be the first born and brainy. I guess you know what I am saying. It happen you know! Brother—sister squabbling.
Nevertheless, we love each other so much since we are a family and we bond quite often. I go to the same school as my brother and our two siblings go to another different school. You might be wondering that, ‘don’t these lovely rats have parents?’
Yes!—I mean, MAYBE!—don’t be surprised by my expression! I think the last time at least mom personally checked whether Maggie and Johnnie were doing okay and eating well is the week before the previous one since she had a picnic with her workmates. Our mum is busy with work that it keeps her busy from Monday to Friday; she finishes work at 5:00 p.m. She immediately goes for her online course study that starts at 6:00 p.m and ends at 9:00 p.m. She comes home late when Maggie and Johnnie are in bed already. Dead exhausted she goes to bed. Sometimes, I see her in the morning with the clothes she was wearing the previous day on her way to the bathroom.
La vidaloca—It’s a crazy life!
However, she trusts me with home activities. In short, I am the acting ‘mother-of-the-house’ which I try to do but for crying-out-loud I am a teenager! I also need her to counsel, advise and be there for me as a MOTHER!
I find myself filling in huge shoes! I am sorry to say that but, mum and I, of recent speak to each other like executives.
‘Make sure you do that!’, ‘Come home early’, ‘take care of my sweeties [Maggie and Johnnie]’—I do not remember the last time I heard ‘I love you’ from mum or dad. Well, apart from my boyfriend (they don’t even know I date).
As for dad, at least he comes home at 7:00 p.m everyday. But I pretty have nothing much to talk to him about. Absolutely nothing! We are quite distant —we do not talk about everything. It’s only my siblings who seem to have a lot to say.
Maggie sings about new things she learnt at her nursery school while Johnnie likes playing games on dad’s iPhone but trust me, it does not last for more than 30 minutes. They are free to shout, scream and enjoy his presence, nut when it is time to watching AL JHAZEERA, my dad, will not tolerate any disturbances. Mosquitoes know that best too. So, he calls me to take them to their room and make them busy.
Absurd! Other times, he is drunk and the kids cannot stand the stench of booze. Truth-be-told, last month, dad had communication problems with the driver who takes Maggie and Johnnie. He left them at school until the headmistress traced our home and brought them home at 7:00 p.m at night. The sweet kids who were supposed to arrive home at 3:00 p.m were exhausted! They truly looked like orphans—I could not contain that sight at all, so, I cried in front of the headmistress (she promised to talk to my parents though).
I mean, I cannot blame them so much because I know they love us in their own way. They provide for our school fees, food, clothes, everything else! There is always Rwf15,000 for me and my brother James to use however we want. We live in a big house, connected to the internet, eat well and I have two cool phones. I could say we are RICH and live a luxurious life. However, we need much more than that; we need their LOVE AND TIME. We need them! My brother James is being spoilt because of his bad company and too much exposure to DSTV and internet. He watches X-rated movies these days. Maggie and Johnnie are learning bad words from him because he curses a lot. I have pressures as well, since my boyfriend is 25 years. He is in university and he is weird that in some way, he tends to control me somehow. I am afraid I might lose it. OMG! Let me stop here! We are desperate! SOS!
This busy-running economic world is taking our parent’s hearts away from us! We would rather be poor but loved by them. I am worried by our generation if most of them are growing like this.
This issue needs to be addressed and restored before hand otherwise, NO culture, NO money, NO values are worth a thing in a child’s life without the love and time of their parents.