My Mother’s White

During my childhood days, it was a normal practice in my family for everyone to engage in one form of sanitation or the other on Saturdays.
You either weed the compound, clean the windows, join in doing the laundry or go ground the beans we were going to use for either akara or moimoi.
As a little boy of about 8-9 years old, I observed as my mother always removed the clothes from the line and iron everything whenever she was off from work. She worked as a nurse.
One fateful day while everyone was at work, I entered her room and found out that the last set of clothes she washed was not ironed yet.
Feeling like a good child of God, I took all the clothes out and decided to press them for her.
I chose to start with her white uniform so that even if I couldn’t finish pressing everything, she would be able to wear a pressed uniform to work.
So I plugged the iron and after a few seconds of straightening her uniform on the table, I placed it on the cloth and received the shocker of my life.
Immediately the iron touched my mother’s uniform, it burned it immediately, leaving a big hole on both sides of the dress and even the towel I used as a base for the table.
From the best of my knowledge, my mother had only two white uniforms and she wore one to work. Apparently, I’d burnt the only one left.
I began to cry. I wept in anticipation of the cane I was going to receive.
When my mother returned and I told her what happened, she was furious as expected, but she didn’t flog me because I was only trying to help out.
Later that day, she called me and said something to me, and that is what I want to share with you today.
She said “Next time when you want to try something for the first time, make sure you use your own property so you don’t spoil things for others.”
I took that message literally.
As a baker or a makeover artist, when you want to make a cake or do a make up job for the first time, don’t go and try it on someone’s wedding day so you don’t end up spoiling things for others.
As a barber, try your skill first on your son or brother before trying on a customer. Don’t spoil someone’s outing.
As a tailor, make a dress for yourself first before proceeding to make for someone’s ceremony.
Until you have perfected a craft, don’t ever make an attempt to try it for other so you don’t spoil things.
A few weeks later, I tried to iron again. So I took my school uniform…and burnt it again.
This time around, I received serious beatings from my mother.
Not all items are for practicals.
When trying out new things, know your boundary.
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