(c) Flickr user Sabianmaggy
A friend of mine wants to terminate her three months pregnancy. That came out too soft. She wants to kill her baby. Too harsh maybe? She wants to abort the child growing in her womb.
She had been having her period as usual and only went to the hospital because she didn’t ‘feel well’. That was a few days ago. From what she told me, she broke-up with the father of the baby and he either has no idea about the pregnancy (she can’t reach his phone) or doesn’t want to hear about it. Either way, he’s not here now. Who am I to judge him? I don’t know why he did it nor where he is, but letting this young woman go through this ordeal without someone who is as equally responsible is the true mark of a coward.
Yesterday evening, she told me of her intention and asked for my assistance. No, I am not a doctor. She needs the money to carry the procedure. I am not going to go into a pro or anti-abortion debate. I don’t need one because I believe in two things:
- Free will
You have the freewill to choose your thoughts and beliefs. I have mine. And when it comes to abortion, I won’t agree with anyone that a child should be aborted. Ever.
I am a man. I will never be pregnant. I don’t know what it means to have a child.
On all three counts, you are right. I don’t know what it means to have a baby. Heck, I don’t even have a child. So, who am I to give childbearing or parenting advice?
I am a human. And my only reason is this: I was born. You are able to read this because my mother chose to have me. Also, she did not do it alone. A woman does not conceive alone. That, also, is why I don’t agree with homosexuality. I will not kill a lesbian or gay. Or not talk to them or shun them. No. We are all puny humans and die anyway. Plus, it is pointless. Only God judges us. But, I will not agree that being a homosexual is ‘okay’ for me.
I don’t know if homosexuality is a mental illness. I don’t even know if people are born homosexuals. Being born is fine. And there are worse illnesses. I would not be surprised if I have friends who are homosexuals. Knowing you are a homosexual doesn’t stop me from interacting with you. I don’t have the monopoly of opinions and I won’t be as stupid as to decide who has the right to do what. But you won’t find me anywhere fighting for Gay Rights. I could fight for human rights because everyone is human, But I won’t fight with what my gut disagrees. So no, I don’t think homosexuals should get married. I won’t pull them out of the court but I won’t rejoice when they succeed. At least, I still reserve my right not ‘not be happy’. Before being a homosexual, you’re a person and you have as much Human Rights as I do.
Every person deserves justice, fairness and freedom of expression.
And, no. I don’t think women should abort their babies. I think they should choose to have their babies when they want because a child is the sum of creation. A child is the most beautiful thing human can make.
UI designers might disagree.
I don’t know how I will convince my friend to keep her baby. She doesn’t want to tell her parents. I won’t tell either. She came to me because she trusted me and I am not stupid. Trust is the world’s currency. Her mind seems pretty made up. I will try though.
I called another friend whom I thought could help me in my quest. As we were chatting, I stumbled upon the possible reason why an unwanted child could creep on a young university student
“I guess it’s the Molyko virus. Or just plain stupidity. Or what happens when parents don’t make their children comfortable with them”.
So here are a few personal facts: I hide things from my parents. I am not a saint. I have hurt people’s feelings. Intentionally. I have things I regret. And there are things I have done or said I am ashamed of.
- Free will
I have chosen to NOT say those things. And I have learned to choose my thoughts. Like my mentor says: ‘Don’t time travel’. No one can change the past, and no one can predict the future. So why waste valuable energy?
I love my parents. I am lucky to have them both alive. And I am grateful for them. Of course they have their weaknesses. And of course they have made me question my sanity every so often. But isn’t that what being a child is all about? There is no parenting manual .I don’t blame them for their effort.
Except for that time when they came late during the PTA when I was advertising the school magazine. I wish they saw me. They would have been so proud.
Nonsense. I know they are proud of me. They have said it many times.
Mom, Dad I love you both.
What if my mom had aborted me? Now you know why I can’t support abortion.
But life is full of blurred lines. Of humans with various backgrounds and of thousands of reasons to do or not do whatever. I am but a tiny speck in the billions of souls.
But I am a speck. A speck born of two other specks. I am their speck and they gave me a home, shelter, love, food, care, protected me, vaccinated me, clothed me, and for the past 25 years have always told me this:
“Kamga, you did not ask to be born so, you are our responsibility. Whatever problem you have, talk to us. We are your parents. If you were terminally ill and feces was coming out of you, we will be very willing to carry your feces with our bare hands.”
The relationship I have with my parents has not always been good. I was an adolescent too. I am learning every day. From all indications, so are they.
My father is the first person I call when I do something awesome and I want to share. He reads my posts and encourages me to keep writing. For 21 years he has been working on his start-up. If that is not a lifetime of courage for me, what is? My mother is the rock of my father’s house. But this is not a tribute.
I believe the reason why I can talk comfortably (to an extent) with my parents, is because they chose to know and understand me better. That I felt they could listen to me and try as much as possible ( I have seen how difficult it is) to not judge me.
Being a parent is hard. I am not one. But my premise is simple: there is no manual, no school, no Faculty of Parenting and Childhood: Department of Dads. Having this new weird human who just eats, cries and shits must be a pretty interesting experience.
I can’t wait to have mine.
Many Cameroonian parents don’t know their children. I have not carried out the research. So sorry if I don’t have data to back this argument. Having spent 20 years with my peers in classrooms and lecture halls with hundreds of conversations with young people in the privacy of dormitories and hostels, I can comfortably say that Cameroonian parents have no idea who their kids REALLY are.Or what they are capable of. Their true interests, potentials, dreams, hopes and aspirations and also their sins, evils, worries and regrets. Of course there are exceptions. But I am not. I think my parents have an idea of who I am. But not entirely.
And I want to think that this poor understanding between parents and children expresses itself sometimes in the form of a daughter who has not slept for three days because she just discovered she is pregnant and believes her parents will kill her if she tells them.
This saddens me. Having to live in a shadow you have cast to hide who you are. Not being able to tell the person who brought you to this world how you feel and not having them celebrate how much you’ve grown. Or changed.
A child doesn’t remain a child forever. Yes, to our parents, we might remain their babies till death. But we both know at some point, we want them to see us differently.
Parents seem to feel when this day draws close and some don’t take it so well. I guess watching your baby become a woman is like watching a caterpillar. Slowly transforming into a butterfly and knowing it would fly away.
Bad parenting comes from keeping the butterfly in a glass cage.
Do I blame parents for what their children turn out to be? Do I blame children for not trusting their parents and not being themselves?
- Free will
I don’t know if she would keep the baby. I don’t know if her parents will kill her if they find out. I don’t know if homosexuals should be allowed to marry and adopt babies. I don’t know.
But I know I want that baby to live.