Faith,  Lifestyle

My Dad Refused to Raise a Crybaby

I used to be a crybaby. I would cry after every fight and quarrel. If there was anything ‘cryable” about, I was there to bring the best out of it. Even my younger brother who was maybe about three years old then would beat me and I’ll cry to my parents.

One evening, I was operating in my ministry as usual and heading to where my father was sitting when he spotted me from the middle of the room and roared. “Are you not ashamed of yourself, ehn Chioma? Your younger brother will beat you every time and you’ll be crying? Will you go and beat your own back?!”

Chai, My tears seized immediately as shame washed over me. The next day when the little demon found his way to my side, I bounced on him and dealt with him until he was the one doing the crying. The disrespect from his corner reduced from that day henceforth.

Another early memory was of me crying my eyes out in front of our room while my elder brother stayed inside eyeing me wickedly. My shoulders were moving with the power of my sobs and hiccups.

I can’t remember what exactly my brother had done except that I knew I was in the right this time around (You know you cry harder when you have righteous pain, right?).

Then comes my dad. He’s disgusted and angry because it had become an everyday thing in my house to settle quarrels.

“What happened?” He asked.

And I’m like: “E….E…Eme…Emeka…Eme…E…E…E…Emeka…Eme”

Next thing I knew he roars, “Open your mouth and speak clearly! So, if you’re outside and somebody wants to defend you is this how you will be crying? Do you think crying solves anything? The person that wronged you will open his mouth to explain first and that’s how you will become the bad person! In this Nigeria, it’s the person that reports first that wins! I say, open your mouth and talk!”

My tears and hiccups increased. This time around I could not get beyond, “E…E…E…E…”

“My friend, you’re not ready.” Then he turns and leaves. Like he actually leaves. I cried the remaining tears of injustice and unfairness out that day without anybody petting me. The evil boy stealthily found opportunities to show me his tongue as he passed my ordained self-pity corner.

The very next time a similar situation repeated itself and my dad asked the ‘what happened’ question, I cleaned my eyes, strengthened my spine and voice and shouted: “I was not doing anything and Emeka beat me because I did not allow him to take…. blah blah.” When I was done, I let myself hiccup quietly in silent tears.

My brother spoke his piece in defence, I counter-attacked and it went on like that until daddy judged me innocent. The big head got punished and it was my turn to do the “ntoor” as dad carried me away.

That roar still rings in my head years later. When I can’t compose myself in public, I walk away to cry or vent in the privacy of my room or I remain quiet until I can leave in dignity. Silence can never be misinterpreted and it has its own message when wielded correctly.

Thank you, dad, for refusing to raise a Cryo and evicting me from the School of Teary Manipulation. I will always remember that.

Happy Birthday, Papa.

I celebrate you.

What was childhood with your father like?

Hi, I'm Chioma Jeremiah. I'm passionate about helping my community see the beautiful light that each day brings. My goal is to inspire you with everything that will make each read the best for you.


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