First time I saw the chap, he was round and tiny and hairless. Cutest pink lips one could imagine, and a nose that suggested he was his mother’s son. Eight days later they named him Oghenetega (God is worthy of worship) and so the journey began.
I remember his baby tantrums with a smile now; seemed to me like he was going to be one determined man someday. Always wanted to have his way like all babies are wont to, but with Fisayo (his mom) being the disciplinarian that she is, he gradually learnt to make compromises.
There is this calmness about him; for all of his hyperactivity, there is a stillness in his soul that I believe is as a result of the music of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart my sister used to play to him as a foetus and as he grew. It’s this pensive calmness that drew us to each other. That look on his face when he’s focused on something, as if he is deep in thought contemplating the pros and cons of a particular decision…. Priceless. Just priceless.
But that is not why I love this boy ao much, our bond reach deeper into the very soul of things. 2012 was a turning point year for me; jobless, broke and at the end of the rope (or so it seemed at that time) I found strength in watching Tega laugh and smile and fool around. It was as if he felt I was going through a bad patch, and so he bonded with me. Hugged me like life depended on it, sat on me like I was a comfy couch and always so ecstatic to see me.
I was going through hell, but in this boy I saw heaven and all its promises of hope, strength, renewal, faith and growth become real right before my eyes. I was crumbling within, but here was the sweet chap going happy go lucky with not a care in the world and smiling. After all, he’s a baby and had no care in the world. But somehow I knew better; that unspoken bond between us was such that when he looked at me, I felt he was telling me everything will be okay.
And so I got off my butt and made a vow to turn my life around so I could take care of this boy. I told myself that I would do whatever it would take to make sure that I could take him out to fun spots, buy him clothes, toys, and everything. I stayed up nights praying to God to make a way for me, to help me be able to repay this angel who had been sent to walk me through the wilderness.
God answered soon as he eventually does. Things picked up little by little. In the storm I had lost one of my anchors and prized jewels, but the new dawn that was breaking looked loaded with a more bountiful harvest. I had come out of a dark tunnel to witness the beauty of a lush and fertile countryside, and more importantly it was all mine to cultivate and harvest from.
I haven’t even started making good on my promise to you Tega, but you know that uncle Ese loves you more than anything in the world. So as you celebrate your birthday today, know this for certain: the times will come when you will need me, and I will always be there for you.
Happy birthday mate!