It was the scorching January one Sunday afternoon when Christine and her mother in law (she called her mother in love or MIL) crossed the dusty road to the shop next to "come eat it all" a place where roast goat meat is sold across the street for a "me or us time" as they would call it. They settled down for a bottle of Coca-Cola and Pepsi each and a made a toast to their friendship the way they normally see in the movies whenever they were in the convent to visit sister Hannah Mary Joe Lubuje. I still wonder up to now why they called her min Lubuje (mother of Lubuje) as I grew up knowing that nuns do not get married nor have children.
The barbeque boy came to them and asked if he could get them some sticks of roast goat meat. He offered them without even a sauce or pepper. They made another toast as they ate straight from the sticks. The soda was not chilled as there was no electricity or fridge in that trading centre. They did not mind about it as all they wanted was to go out on this day before they could talk to the other women on that day dedicated to the women all over the world.
They closed their eyes and pushed their heads backward and leaned against the hard wall which sent chills down their spines which transported them to that far away land away from all the daily routine. Christine did not want to be a mother, wife, teacher, head teacher, counselor, a lay leader in church or all that. She just wanted to be her and forget all about the early rising to go and collect water from the well, or the afternoons to go fetch firewood and all about the scorching sun when weeding plus the demanding husband who was sometimes another baby. She wanted to forget the stubborn pupils at school and the smoky kitchen which made the eyes teary.
They were being pointed at with tongues, elbows or ugly looks as they thought Christine bewitched Donna her mother in law so that they can laugh out loud together like that. But NO!! She did not. It was a mutual understanding to keep the home in check as they did not want to have PhD (Pulling him/her Down) because they knew the consequences and so decided to build each other up and do the same to those who seek their counsel which made that home a model home and themselves a model to the other women (daughters and mothers in law) who seemed not to understand them.
They awoke from their tranquility moment, cleared their bills of three thousand shillings (about a dollar). With no words but smiles from within, they headed back home after that "self-treat". It was not the perfect place but at least it worked for them as they were able to make new work plans and strategies both for their home and the groups of women they meet and work with.
I would love to have a mother in law just like my mother had. I plan to work towards this kind of relationship with my mother in love so that we do not feel guilty for spending at least a dollar to the "silly" things as the society call it. As long as it builds us up.