Stories from a Teenager raised by a Single Parent in a Developing Country
So I got gisting with the adorable teenager that lives with me, and she said
“Aunty, let me tell you three things that happened to me”
I was eager to hear these things due to the fact that I have constantly had to push to get her to do some things in the past. I felt, if I knew more about her past I would understand her actions better so I was all ears.
She narrated to me how when she was thirteen, herself and her younger sister where sleeping in a room lit by candle. The candle melted and began to burn the television it stood on and a wooden furniture just beside it however, they didn’t wake up till a neighbor from outside sited the fire, alerted people and eventually turned it off, and I thought, “oh dear that must have been some sleep”
She went on to tell me about how at the age of eight, she insisted on frying yam with her ten-year-old cousin. She stood on a stool with him because they both were not tall enough and while he beckoned on her to step down because the stool was not wide enough, the frying pan tipped over and the hot oil poured on them. I was perplexed, I checked her body again to recall how I could have missed those scars but she immediately said “my mommy rubbed Vaseline on it”, I thank God it left no scar. In my mind I thought “how I would almost bring down the house if my kids even as little as come 1meter close to the gas cooker when something is frying”. I remembered the minutes I would take out to lecture them on kitchen hazards and safety measures in the kitchen.
Again, she told me of how when she was younger she loved to put things in her mouth and how she had a metal object in her mouth (more like a nail and swallowed it). Now, at this point, I was stunned and curious to know what happened and how they got the nail out. She casually said, her cousins told her to keep drinking water and gradually, it moved down her throat. she said it was so hard to breathe but once it moved down her throat she was relieved and after a while she brought it out from …………… you know where things come out from.
I thought to myself how panicked I would have been if it was any of my babies, I acknowledge someone would have already been caught open before we even find out drinking water might have been a solution.
As a matter of fact she didn’t just have three stories to share with me she told me over ten stories of her life including; when herself and her younger sister where home alone, they decided to burn the edge of her braids with candle like the braiders do, forgetting she had beads on and how the hair caught fire. Like that was not enough while trying to shake it off, the flames got into her eyes. Thinking to myself, I must have heard the worst, she however, narrated of hiding in the play ground during a shooting incidence in her nursery school (just to mention a few)……
There and then it dawned on me that you can never know what the next person has been through until you have the opportunity to find out. Immediately, I acknowledged that she did not just have extraordinary experiences but she was a walking, breathing miracle and so I asked her “what did you gain or learn from all these experiences?
She smiled and said, “how to trust God because every time I found myself in one of those situations I would say dear Jesus help me, like my mommy taught me to say”
And obviously, He did, He showed up and helped every time she called, oh yes it was an inspiring moment and I learnt something very valuable, it is God that protects and keeps his own.
Some children are not as fortunate as others and are seemingly more exposed to the hazards and dangers of life but make it a priority not to rest in your ability as a parent but teach your child how to always engage divine presence by calling on Jesus when you need him.
In addition, a lesson learnt is that, some people’s stories are simple and straightforward while others are more dramatic and sometimes, these experiences make or break us in one way that it becomes the hidden scars we carry around and people never really understand you until they know your story and hear what you’ve been through.
Today happens to be the birthday of this multi-talented 17 year old, whose stories reminded me of these truths I just shared with you.
May her stories be bright and continue to shine new Light to the lessons learnt from life.