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| My Childhood Complexity |

I have come to be tolerant with people’s view on some salient issues because even in our disagreement, I have learnt more from the high-pitch tones than the urge to debunk gibberish. Still, there is one subject that has earned societal acceptance and I have struggled to understand the logic behind it. Indeed the gods were not to blame when it incited my penmanship.

There is the popular belief among the older generation that they had a better childhood than millennials. The “back in my day” cliche is getting too loud and obnoxious. I wonder the yardstick used before arriving at such a conclusion. For goodness sake, we are comparing the new-age kids who at the age of seven is inundated with the latest episode of Originals while you moulded sand-houses with feet on raining days and boiled red sands and stones for lunch.

Honestly, I’m comparatively perplexed. We must understand that this is the computer age – the information age. People are thinking! you can’t afford to be left behind. The illusion that those who danced in the rain, played games, sang sandalili, had more fun than the in-house PS4 playing kids of this generation is ludicrous to say the least. The untold truth is that privilege imbalance is not a new age stuff. Even in the past, the children of the rich didn’t partake in such activities. It is not like in the past, all kids had street life and all kids have it good now. While the street kids hobbled to school with break time in mind so they could play “pako-balls” or at best “double leather” on a grass starved pitch that was littered with stones and smelt of dried urine like the one little Messi played on as a kid in Rosario. The rich kids had scheduled sport time, where which they played football on pitches that you could mistake for one of the 16 training pitches at Etihad training complex used by Manchester City in Greater Manchester. While the street kid sang sandalili, played police and thieves with their innocent crushes among the chasers, the rich kids, had library time in which their horizon were broaden with books that opened their minds. They had music classes, foreign language classes and sang polished songs. It has never been about time, it has always been about class and status. The widening gap between the rich and the poor in existentials and necessities did not start today.

Research has shown that since most children do not need money to have fun, they create fun on their own. Whether you belong to the different grades of elite class who got toys from Kids planet in Magodo or HOME N KIDS in Lekki or Kiddies solutions in Abuja or you are the very privileged travel savvy type who summer shopped in London or Baby Dior in Paris or the popularly visited “The Children’s Place” and “Berkeley Girl” in Manhattan, New York or on the flip side, you belong to the general class who shopped at the “bend down select” in Balogun market in Lagos or New Benin market in Benin-City, threw stones at mangoes, chased lizards, played rubber band games, took part in the Nigerian version of ”yo mama” to pick the bluntest lip, one thing cannot be taken away – the innocence of childhood. Rich or Poor, there were happy memories.

A child is oblivious of his reality. He has a way of staying happy. Whether you made your home in Lekki or Ajegunle(Lagos, Nigeria), was primary-schooled in Grange and Pacesetters or you attended a “grammar school” in the corner of your street, whether you sun bathed on the Miami beach or was smitten by the heat of Kano on your daily treks to and from school, in the words of West Life, “we had our seasons in the sun”. We took it all innocently and savored in the bliss of the moment ignorant of the kisses of luxury or the bites of autarchy.

Time brings everything into perception. At adulthood, if you were not a privileged child, you want to give your kids better life. You realized you actually grew with less and that in your childhood, sand games and laughter were the only silver linings in the cloudless sky. On the other side, if you were privileged, you come to understand and appreciate the class you were born into and try to live up to familial identity.

Childhood is a beautiful thing. Forgetting it, is an open wound. Just think of how losing a childhood photograph which holds so much memories would make you feel. Whether, your childhood was like damaged merchandise or like Kelvin McAlister’s in “Home Alone”, they certainly influence who we are as adults.

Childhoods are not hatchets, you do not bury them. So the idea that childhood was better in time past with examples that only represent the low class is a ridiculous myth. Since when did poverty eclipse luxury in the pride of men? Let’s embrace our past but not be prideful and loud about poor beginning. Not every scene deserves a sound track.

Let us embrace the time. Live in the moments with these kids. Yes, children can create their fun but they deserve better. They are blessings to us but huge responsibilities. How would you rather have your kids grow up? As a parent, that is totally up to you to decide. The memories you create for them or with them while they are yet kids is what sticks with them for forever so make it worth remembering. I once read a book | Master Of The Game – Sidney Sheldon | and the unique way she decided to raise her kid might not be what you’d do.

This is the era of the rising sun and I’m not talking about Biafra lol. I mean the time, when parents are open to information and knowledge. They now know you are not too young to be influential or Rich. Child stars are on the rise in all walks of life and you can’t be pleasured watching your child making sand castles from the dirt of Lagos soil. How beautiful it would look to see your child on the honors roll with the world looking like a speck beneath her feet.

In the words of Agatha Christie, “One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is, I think, to have a happy childhood. In times to come, when you echo the generational parental cliche – ” back in my day……”, unlike our fathers, it won’t be with comparative retrospective judgement born out of a troubled heart and a forlorn look. It would be a with a smile because you did something right.

The weekend is here. I have good reasons to look forward to next week but I’m apoplectic about it. I’m bad at being anxious. The week has been hectic. If anyone wants to hang out at the Pizzeria this weekend, I’m up for it. It’s been a minute I had me a stone cold creamery – my Christmas in a cup and a pizza. I really need a good break.

Here is me wishing you guys a memorable weekend. May your selfies always be at the right angle.💞 Love, Peace and Light!

Featured Writer: Wisdom Dickson
Dickson is a lawyer and voracious reader who blows off steam by reading and watching movies when he is not screaming and rooting for Liverpool’s every match day. Don’t mind him if he sounds light-hearted sometimes. Having lived in every part of the Nigeria, he began to realize that life is not that serious. In his thinking room, he decides to sit behind his keyboard with a cup of coffee to dissect prevailing social issues. In his words “My mind is pressed. Allow me ease my pen.”

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