My heart has a name

Apparently in my husband’s culture, there’s a ceremony or meeting or party that is hosted by a woman before she gets married. She slaughters a goat (they always slaughter a goat), and invites all her cousins to come eat, drink and be merry before the wedding.
I went to Ciku’s house on the weekend before she got married for such an event. Martin wasn’t around, so I only had Kendi for company. When we were leaving, I put her into her car seat, walked around to my door, and leaned over the seat to get something in the passenger’s seat. While doing that, I leaned into the hand brake and released it. The car started down the hill (I was parked on a very steep hill), with my baby in the back and me half in, half hanging out. I cannot clearly described what happened next but it went something like; I noticed the car moving, I threw my leg in and stepped on the break while simultaneously pulling hard on the hand brake.
Ciku, who was standing by the car with a few other cousins, to see us off, all saw the car moving, pointed at the car moving, and breathed a sigh of relief at the same time. The whole thing took maybe 3 seconds. I started to cry and hyperventilate. Kendi was singing to Opuk and Tiga hanging above her head. She didn’t know anything had happened. And I didn’t tell her.
I realised then, that I had indeed given birth to my heart, as my friend Sitawa Namwalie had once described. I vowed to myself that day to do these three things:
1. Never let my fears of the world hold back Kendi. She needs to learn that the world gets loud, cold, and mean but mama will be there to help if she can’t go through.
2. I will not rescue Kendi too quickly. I will wait and see if she needs help. I will give her a chance to figure out the door, the step, the zipper.
3. Sharp edges, banging doors, and hot surfaces will hurt my child. There’s nothing I can do about it, short of being there for her to rub Vaseline on her knee.
I am not junior holy spirit. I have to know that one day my heart will come and ask to go to a sleepover and I will need to let her go. If only to teach myself that it is God who protects children.

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