On 26th September 2013 I became a dad to yet another Kenyan, but this one was different. I got a son on that day. What is it with African men and getting sons? I do not have a logical answer but all I know is that, what I felt on that day was different from the birth of my girls. Don’t get me wrong folks. When my girls were born, my heart left me and now beats in them.

Having a son ensures your lineage continues somehow. Now there is this one guy who will ensure Dad’s view of things will be maintained and hopefully improved long after he is gone. I think this is informed from the traditional theory that boys never leave home. You build your house at home and become your parents’ neighbour. Although, some girls have outdone their brothers as far as taking care of family heritage is concerned. So mtoto ni mtoto and I agree.

Back to my kijana. He is 4 and i’m 40 so this is special for me somehow. Before any of my totos were born, I remember my desire was to have four boys. I don’t know why but having several sons is like having your quiver full of arrows. Like a personal army called by your name jeshi la Lucas. I am not sure where this is going but this whole picture of having sons was pretty cool and I wanted it.

That said, I think mummy shark was under some pressure for a boy with our first pregnancy. When delivery time came; it was a girl. I looked into her eyes once she was out of the delivery room and for a long moment I forgot that boy story. I could not imagine it any other way. I titled her the heir of my estate and she has been the apple of my eye. I now understand that hype about girls and their dads. See, I’m already stealing the thunder from my boy and this is his article.

I remember a few weeks before he was born, I took mummy shark for a routine scan at the clinic. After verifying that all was well, she asked me if I wanted to know the sex of the child. I was so nervous because deep down the African man in me still hoped for my Lucas junior. I agreed and the doctor started moving his mouse ya tumbo around showing us the baby’s various body parts. All of a sudden, he said, ”Look, here is the finger of God.” I have never heard that description before but I knew exactly what he meant. I was elated. Finally my boy was about to check into our lives. A few weeks later when he was born I titled him the defender to my estate. I now felt complete and the last four years raising him has been like playing a contact sport. Boys and men in general seem to need a level of positive aggression to bring out the warrior in them. This has led to more discipline cases with my boy compared to his older sister. Girls seem to follow instructions much easier yet boys will push the envelope till it tears sometimes.

We have kosanad several times with him for climbing over the gate. I fear that the sharp spikes at the top will prick him. I recently busted him squeezing his small 16kgs frame through the metal bars in the gate and running off to play with his pals. When I asked him to explain why I should not spank him, he told me teary eyed, ”Daddy, I didn’t climb over the gate, I went through it”. I was totally disarmed so I let him go as I thought of a comeback to that. I’m still thinking by the way. Although I liked the clever and fast thinking. Sounds like a real hustler in the making.

I look at my boy both with pride and apprehension. Pride, because I know he has it in him to be a great Kenyan man who will occupy his space fully and make a difference in this life. At least that is my daily prayer for him. For that to happen I need to up my game to be that first hero that every boy looks up to, his father. So help me God. The apprehension is because I made my mum shed many tears as I grew up and we hear that what goes around comes around. So will this little chap with a killer smile cause me sleepless nights as he grows older? I hope not. But my aim, together with mummy shark is to give raising him our best shot and leave the rest to God. After all we are only guardians to these little angels. They ultimately belong to Sir God.

I must admit I see some stuff teenagers are involved in nowadays and I fear for my kids. Like experimenting with drugs and sex. The social media driven peer pressure is excess. We must have real relationships with our totos. For me, I have decided quality time is quantity time. That’s what kids relate to. Huge endless amounts of time is what communicates they are loved. Read that to mean much less golf for me on weekends. Of course we are all in the hustle and cannot put love on a plate and eat it with ketchup, but I am sure with a little rearranging we can achieve that. After all I hear the window period to influence them is very small. So I will be in my boy’s (and girls’) face like his life depends on it because it does and mine too. This way, I hope he won’t steal my car as a teenager to go to the hang but he’ll ask for it and use it responsibly. Or better still; ask me to accompany him to the hang. Or am I pushing it hapo?

Happy birthday Baba. Thank you for fulfilling my African dream by being my son. I am proud to be your father.

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8 thoughts on “To my little man – Tosh”

  1. Levi Marang'a says:

    “Finger of God” hahahahahaha kifo and original. Good one bro. May Tosh be a blessing to many.

  2. Linda says:

    I like the part of “pushing the envelope till it tears”, that is so true. Mine is 11 and right now, I don’t matter AT ALL. It’s Dad, Dad, Dad.

  3. Dr.B says:

    Happy birthday Tosh…may you live many years on God’s earth and be a great Kenyan! Defender of Lucas’ estate indeed.

  4. Nyawira Kariuki says:

    Sharp lil guy, most definitely didn’t jump over the gate. May he always think on his feet. Happy belated one Junior Maranga.

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