Being a last born in a family is chance everyone would wish to get. It sounds awesome when you are born last because of the tender care you will receive from your mother’s. She will pamper you with nice clothes ,sweet things and sometimes you are treated in a special way. and the most enjoyable of all you have the longest breastfeeding time. In a well planned family of around 8-10 siblings you actually have chances to avoid every house chores because everything is done by your siblings. Most of them are 10 and above years older than you and are even married with kids.
Do you know the untold truth? Your birth is very obvious and your parents are used to seeing now born babies ,you are not a new thing at all. They will use their experience on your siblings in raising you. Some will even refer everything that happens in your line of growth to the stubborn, cool, hardworking and rude siblings and the approach they used in every situation will be copy pasted in your case without considering time changes.
Savage begins when you are now approaching your teens as your parents approach retirement. Most of your siblings are getting married some are graduating and happiness is all over the family and you have everyone to advise you about life. At this stage you won’t notice how hectic being a last born is.
In your early 20s you are now probably in the campus, the retirement benefits have been exhausted ,your parents are now not productive and also need to be cared for. A family of more than ten has narrowed down to 3 , you and your parents. All they can do is to tell you their history and how life was in their youthful ages. Believe me you have the best advice.. now you are in the campus you need fees and upkeep ,your parents can’t provide fully and they also need to be provided for. Your siblings who enjoyed the big share of your parents effort and resources in their education are now working and concentrate most on their families. Your brothers are making their families and trying to impress their wives and investing. Your sisters pay visits once in a blue moon and by the time they come you are in school and can’t get time to talk to them. This is the time you have to man up and now face the toughness.
The one who was referred to as ” our mother” is now “your mother”everyone is trying to sound busy to attend to them by sending little cash to dust their eyes in case of a problem. You are now a beggar in your own family trying to explain your needs to your siblings who know then but tend not to know. You try reaching through phone but they say they are busy and will call letter but letter will remain letter. Another day you call again but the secretary is addressing you as a Stranger and you can’t explain your issue to her. You try sending SMS but all in vain .they are never seen. it’s until the end of the year when they will appear with shopping that will last for a few weeks to fool you and after Christmas they will leave you in there.
Now you are bitter but you actually have none to tell because on your parents side it’s worse. Their calls ignored and only stay in wonder like abandoned cars at the garage and stress begin to pile up in their minds. Some of your siblings kids are almost your age and you have to lay foundation for being respected by working a little harder to acquire something wealth . You can’t keep on coming to their homes to present grievances and expect them to call you uncle. You should even not be broke for those in highschool to be your friends.
This is the time you will understand why you got extra breast milk. You have a big dream for your parents but the difference between you and the dream is money . With the hardships you manage to graduate and start tarmacking. In the tarmacking stage your parents are now in their 70s. Warn you every morning against some characters they see in your siblings and now you remain their only source of encouragement and hope. You manage to secure a job but the responsibilities are also demanding. At this time you get a little relief because your phone calls will be picked . You are now not a beggar. But now they make it open to you that those old people at home are in your hands. You are approaching 30s and need to marry and not just a woman but someone who can help you take good care of the abandoned parents. By God’s grace you secure a good woman and marry. You now need a house to raise your family and also your parents house is outdated and you need to do something about that issue.
You have made few investments and now you parents can put a smile on their faces whenever they see you. You struggle and make a modern house for them and they are very thankful. You also manage to make yourself a good home in the same compound because they see their ten children in you.
The struggle doesn’t end there. You are working full-day and your wife too, they need company. You try to install entertainment systems in their house to keep them smiling but they are not much happier as you want. You look for someone to help them in house chores, they appreciate and you feel good. Now you have kids who also need to go to school , a wife whose origin has to be considered as part of your family her parents and yours. But you remember you were told him stand like a man.
Your parents are now in their 80s and old age diseases are knocking day in day out . You pay the hospital bills but this denies you a chance to sit and chat happily with them when you come back late . Your brothers have grown horn’s and their kids born out of the wedlock are damped in your mother’s house. But remember your parents are in you hands. They dust your eyes with some cash and shopping when the kids are brought and go silent for ages. But now it’s good because they have company of these kids. Rumours come that you mistreat their kids which is false . You bitter about it but you can’t tell anyone. Your sisters kids visit your parents are happy you also feel remembered. You have to make a home to carter for all the family guests , the facilities should be classy to make your parents great.
You also have to create room for your sisters in case they are sent out of their marriages or when they visit. You never know why last born are born strong wise and courageous.
LONG LIVE OUR PARENTS TO GIVE US ROOM FOR PROVING OUR STRENGTH
(An undergraduate student of Civil and Structural Engineering at Masinde Muliro University)