My folks are settled in shagz. Finally. Can you hear the vuvuzela and the song and dance that festoon that word ‘finally’? Here’s the thing, my folks were stuck to the urbanity of the city. It’s like they were waiting to apply for jobos and start their careers anew after retirement. As if the government had promised them a Senior Citizens Package that worked towards MDG with them at the helm of this movement. Hehhe.
My Ol’Man had worked as an engineer. He now wanted to become a Social Media Manager. Or something with as emptily hip a title as that. (Are you reading this, Stew? No offense.) Web Designer, maybe. Or Graphic Designer. Anything that touched on tech. Hell, anything that asked he use a laptop. I pity him sometimes. I think he was born at the wrong time of the century. God should have waited 30 some more years before letting him come into this world. Because he came when tech and its ilk were too outlandish, too abstract for his generation. He caught up, nonetheless. Pretty quick. Like an aging rock star joining a new band.
He got a Smartphone and an iPad before I did. Plus a funky Ultrabook when I was hauling around my 15-kg Inspiron. And sometimes when our phones would sit on the breakfast table while we read – me from the newspaper, him from his iPad – he would hint at how rad his reading was. He’d laugh out loud. He’d click. He’d say things like, Oooh nooo. Or I can’t believe this shit. (OK. Not ‘shit’ but a word close to it.) And because I am game like that, I would ask him, What’s that?
He’d eyeball me through the top of his glasses then shift his gaze to my phone as if to say, Apples can’t converse with Nokia E63s. Then he’d return to his reading.
My Mum, well, my Mum started retirement by going back to teach Class One kids at a different school. Again. Something she vowed she’d washed her hands off. Her contract run for one year then she went back into retirement. Again. Two months weren’t over when she told me she was restless in the digs. She wanted to apply to the kindergarten that was opening in the hood, Prairies School. She wanted to teach Baby Class. Again.
I asked her if she had the energy to run around with them. “If you couldn’t handle the 7-year-olds, how the hell will you handle the 3-year-olds?”
While my question simmered, she decided to begin her autobiography. Its theme would be about her years as a teacher in public schools. Peachy. She hand-wrote fifty (or less) pages then left the manuscript on the shelf. She wanted her words to – how do we writers put it? – marinate? Yes, marinate. She got restless again and bounced some new business ideas off me. All of them had as much promise as the Jubilee government. (Sorry, Mum. I still love your entrepreneurial mind. Hehee.)
Did I mention that they were still living with me and my siblings?
Late last year I shared an open secret with her: Your work here is done, Mummy. Everyone is grown up. Everyone is moving to their own place. Guys have kids and motor bikes and Sudanese pals (hey, Lomo). Give them your blessings and go chill in Sotik, you and your Ol’Man.
February 2015, they did.