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Open letter to each mother

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Dear Mother,

We had a pleasing day on Sunday as the six of us cooked for you, washed your feet and fixed you up as our Queen who still reigns over us after all these years. I am glad that you enjoyed the coconut-cassava-callaloo soup that I invented specially for you. It felt good for us to be boss over you for just this one day in the year.{{more}} Yeah, we loved it and Mamsie says she has never seen you look so lovely. She saw every crease in your face, even those wrinkle lines on your hand glow with love, and you know Mamsie, she is good at noticing things the rest of us can’t see. We love you, Ma. Plenty.

But something is on my mind, troubling me. All of us, even little Kwame, we find you to be a smart woman who can manage tough problems. I mean even the manager at my workplace would call a consultant to help sort out conflicts that you settle in your own way. My manager went to two universities, but you didn’t get to finish high school because you were pregnant with me. This is one of the things on my mind; do you think being our mother stopped you from reaching further in your own life? If this is true, then Mother’s Day, once a year cannot compensate you; it’s more like a disgrace! Now that we can take care of ourselves and one another, Ma, we will have to open doors so you can choose which opportunities you want to explore.

Ngozi, my wife, your daughter-in-law, is a lot like you. She says that Duvale, our son, makes her feel that she is in the construction business. She wants us – mother + father to build our son so he can add value and beauty to the society. I believe that is what you did, Mom. You have added six well nourished plants to strengthen the ecosystem in SVG. That is a mother’s mission. But Ngozi is not satisfied to build just our child. A construction engineer does not only build her own house; she helps others build their own homes too. She calls it “Building beyond the Blood.” Mothers (and fathers) must form a construction team, putting our skills, our needs, our influence and other resources in a community project to build the next generation, especially of child mothers. Ngozi has a cute way of saying things. For her, motherhood begins with an act of sharing – sexual “intercourse” between two persons, then the next step is an act of sharing inside the woman’s body – ‘intracourse’ – sharing living space and substance with the foetus in the womb. She adds that we must reach the next stage as mother. She calls it “extracourse” a constructive community “beyond the blood.” A community of mothers constructing the children of the next generation, challenging the digital adoption/ownership of the future. Mom, I would love you to be part of the mothers mothering beyond the blood doing the caring, loving, justice seeking business in our land.

Dear Mother, it is like old times sharing my thoughts with you. I know you listen well and I will hear from you soon. One thing I promise you right now, Mother’s Day 2016 will be different. For one thing, it will not be just for one day. After all, if we can celebrate child month, we can find a way to focus on mother and mothering as an ongoing project.

Lots of love, Ma,

From each of your thousands of children

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