Some things in life are things you never prepare for but when they come, you are so happy that you can’t imagine your life without them. That’s the case with my youngest sister. We never expected to have another sibling when she was born but when she came, she brought so much sunshine and laughter into our lives that we couldn’t imagine life without her.
I was in high school when my mom was pregnant. I was totally oblivious to the fact that her big belly meant a baby was growing in her. I thought she had just gotten fat.
A classmate of mine visited me during that period and when she saw my mom lying on the couch with her protruding belly, she asked me, “Is your mom pregnant?”
“No, she is just getting fat!”
I answered, shocked at why my friend would assume that my mother was pregnant. My mom being pregnant was not something I thought was going to happen at that time because my siblings and I were quite older compared to the kids of women who were still actively bearing children.
My younger brother felt the same way. He thought pregnancy was not for my mom at that time. So when he noticed that her tummy kept growing, one day he called her into his bedroom and said: “Mommy I hope you are not pregnant. Don’t disgrace us oh.”
My brother’s logic like mine was that mama had past her time for childbearing because we only knew much of younger women having babies at the time.
One day, a while after my friend had postulated that my mom was pregnant and I refuted, my dad came to visit me at the boarding school I attended at the time.
I went to boarding school for high school. In Cameroon, boarding schools for secondary to high school are quite common. As a student, you are required to stay in the school during each term of study. So it was always a delight when a parent came visiting.
I lighted up when I saw my papa. He was unusually cheerful that day. He announced to me that my mother had been delivered of a baby girl.
Alas, my friend was right! My mother had being pregnant all along and naive Precious had no idea.
I was so glad about the news then I offered to name the baby. I named her “Pearly” which is kind of synonymous to Precious. And of a truth, she is such a Pearl.
Our unexpected sister grew in wisdom, stature, cuteness and quickly became me, my siblings’ and everyone’s favorite person. She was the light of our home. She said a lot of things that made us laugh!
Pearly was the girl who will ask me to wait for her to have a final slide on the slide of her school playground before I took her home during closing time.
She is the girl that will imitate the way my dad spoke while eating meat in the most hilarious way when she was just a kid.
She is the girl who will challenge an adult man who joked calling a little girl his wife by saying, ” No, she cannot be your wife! You are a man and she is a girl!”
Pearly was funny in every sense of the word. She had several nicknames in her childhood including, Pearly Nash, Abobo, Jerry the Jerry, Mpeke. We just loved her and she was just so phenomenal that she kept gaining nicknames.
Now she is a teenager and she’s still a good dose of fun. My parents, my siblings, and I can’t imagine life without her.