The last time I wrote you a letter, I was 12. I was a terrible 12 but then again when I was 12, I thought you terrible too. You’d sent me away to a boarding school that I didn’t really like, and I refused to stay completely gone. When your peers were celebrating their freedom from their children, you were dealing with lengthy letters, and weepy phone calls from the Vice Principal’s office. And then let’s not forget the times I fell ill (one life threatening illness a term for the first two years) because that school was in the middle of nowhere and the malaria that the mosquitoes gave there was vastly superior to that which I had encountered in Lagos. You must have worried till you were nearly as ill as I, and I was pleased. I’ve always been a little bit of an attention monster so I spent all my time in hospital smiling secretly because I knew you were worrying yourself ragged.
So forgive me if I’m not sure how exactly I should go about this. Our emails, are significantly less flowery than this, and our iMessages are even worse. I bark demands at you and you bark counter demands back. And what’s more, this letter isn’t just for you. It would be nice to apply copious amounts of tunnel vision to it, and bang it out, but I can’t. It’s for everyone. That makes it more difficult, because our jokes would be lost on them. I find it difficult to believe that anyone who reads this will be consumed by the giggles every time anyone says monkey bottom. I just cracked up. I’d explain it to the lot of you, but you wouldn’t get it. I think it’s a genetic thing. There are some things that simply can’t be got.
There are only two things I want to say, and those are I’m sorry and thank you. I’m sorry for a lot of things. I’m sorry that I break more things than I fix, even though you and Papa Afam are partly to blame for that. I cannot understand how you did not consider that some of your worse traits would be transmitted into one of your children. Of course you couldn't possibly have predicted that I would be the sole inheritor of the disorganization, carelessness, and the lack of coordination that the both of you are afflicted with.
I’m sorry that I do not tell you that I love you enough. The thing is I don’t think I need to. Words can be so inefficient! There is no one word that can summarize everything I feel when I think of you, so love will never do. I suppose it would be better for me to say that I cherish you, but that hasn’t got the same ring to it as love. Love sounds nice, but it means too much while managing to mean too little. How can I say I love my Macbook pro or my car aka loser 644 damaged, and then go on to say that I love you. You bought me the Macbook pro and loser 644 damaged and as such you cannot share adjectives with them. The very thought of it is ridiculous. I’m sorry that I don’t listen. Well, I do listen, and I do agree, but my brain suppresses the instructions that I find distasteful and only focuses on the ones that I find agreeable.
Lastly, thank you for everything. I’m aware that everything is very broad, grand and unspecific, but it will have to do. You’ve done too much for me. You continue to do too much. Sometimes I cannot believe that you’ve read everything I’ve ever written, and that’s a lot. I write more than the lot of you know. Thank you for not disowning me after seeing me do some incredibly cringeworthy things. I cannot believe that you survived the Mammy Water halloween incident, and the sexy clown debacle, and the flash costume unzip me scandal, and the my son has been dancing on instagram debacle and the help my son just bought a cat onesie thingy.
I'll wake up tomorrow when you come to wake me up for church, because my just woken up mind is incredibly adept at hitting the snooze button. And I'll probably forget that it's mother's day then because I'll probably be the victim of hang over amnesia. But even as I groan, "ready in 30 minutes", you'll know that this entire declaration of love was completely unnecessary because you carry my heart in your heart, and I do the same for you.
Love you like Always,