A Five-Year-Old Vs An Eight-Year-Old Mind

At five years old, you really don’t care much about anything. Not about that woman on the other side of the phone who is under the weather, lying in bed with drugs running through her veins, their effect making her drowsy so all she wants to do more than anything is to grab some shut-eye, but she will not do […]

Do You Know Where Your Children Are?

“Do you know where your children are? Because it’s now twelve o’clock If they’re somewhere out on the street Just imagine how scared they are” (Michael Jackson, ‘Do You Know Where Your Children Are’ lyrics) The feeling is that of anguish, frustration and immense fear. That is the emotional turmoil that a parent goes through when for any reason, they […]

You’re Every Woman

You have listened to Whitney Houston sing her rendition of Chaka Khan’s ‘I’m every woman’. You have watched the video where she dances with her belly showing the promise of life. You’ve believed that you too are every woman, just like she is. You are young and you believe that when the time comes. When the time is right, you […]

A Tale of Two Cities: Long Distance Motherhood

There I was in Eldoret, minding my own business; raising my children, writing the hell out of stories – and trying to stay financially afloat in the process – when Nairobi beckoned. I bet it thought “Huh Renee. Your life has been uninterruptedly calm of late, how about we change that darling?” Nairobi saw me, seated under the shade of […]

Holding Hands And Conversations

I find my hand always seeking hers subconsciously. I notice how small her hand is. How small she is. I notice how young and innocent she is. How beautiful and fragile and alive and accepting and unassuming and embracive she is. You have to love Heidi: Her person, her smile, her sweet baby voice. We are heading home from school. […]

How To Acquire A Heavy Heart

Get into the half-empty bus. The usual noise will greet you; murmurs from passengers and shouts from touts. Ignore the noises. Find a seat not too far behind. Sit next to the window and hope that whoever will sit next to you will not be some horny guy who will be rubbing his knees against yours. Hope hard because you […]

Dear Kenyan Father, Happy Father’s Day!

To walk your daughter down the aisle. To take out the trash. To fix your daughter’s car engine. To give your son the contacts of the best mechanic in town. To fix the light bulb. To teach your young daughter how to ride a bicycle. To check out her fiancé when she is ready to get married and scare him […]

The Magic Bean

“First tell us a story then sing for us. When you are done, we will all pray and go to sleep” Hailey clearly gives the sequence of events when I try to send them to slumber land with just a prayer. Heidi nods in agreement with her sister. A prayer is never enough. A short story, a song, prayer, then […]

Coloring within the lines

My daughters have answers to every question asked. Check out our conversations recently: Hailey: (Makes a sound; half-belch, half-hiccup, half-cough) Me: (Teasingly) Did you just belch? Hailey: No! I don’t belch. Me: You don’t? Hailey: No. I am not a boy! Me: (Rolls eyes in defeat) Me: (Offering Hailey her 4 o’clock tea) Do you want bread or pancakes to […]

Scramble for Excellence

I opted for the third row from the front, a few meters away from the podium. I sat on a seat at the end of the row, next to a gentleman who was reading a newspaper. There were a few of us. The meeting was to begin at 9.30am. Please keep time, the letter had said. I was twenty minutes […]

Motherhood: What I was never told

Something happens when you hold a small fragile-boned newborn in your arms. If you sit still for a moment and really get lost in that moment, you might feel your heart melt. I kid you not! The sweet baby scent will waft to caress your nostrils and you will be tempted to have another baby if only to enjoy that […]

The Church of Play

Allow me to let you in on the drama that unfolds when you take a child Heidi’s age to church. She is two years old now and at her age, she can talk – boy, can she talk! She is however still new to socialisation and  cannot be left with unfamiliar faces without her making a fuss. The deal with […]