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DADDY DIARIES: The season of breakages

Tuesday December 3 2019

I doubt any kid intentionally hits a ball to shatter the windshield on someone’s sparkling Beemer. ILLUSTRATION | IGAH

I doubt any kid intentionally hits a ball to shatter the windshield on someone’s sparkling Beemer. ILLUSTRATION | IGAH 

HILLARY LISIMBA
By HILLARY LISIMBA
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There was an uproar on social media recently when a young mom tagged the daughter to a wedding at the coast and lost her to death by drowning.

There were two factions; one school of thought argued that the hotel was responsible for ensuring the pool has 24-hour lifeguard services, while the other blamed the grieving mother for negligence.

Those that saw it as negligence wondered why a woman would hang around a pool and get so engrossed in a conversation with relatives to the extent of losing track of her own child.

It is the kind of news that sends shivers down any parent’s nerves, especially one with a child who is nimbler than a goat.

SEASON OF HEADACHES
That was not the type of argument people should have, especially at a time a very young girl lay lifeless, but it was a stark reminder that once again schools have closed.

For a whole eight weeks, parents will be in charge of monitoring their children’s moves without the help of teachers.

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It is the season of headaches for most parents, endless shouting and a parenting dilemma for those who hardly spend with their offspring during school days. A season where too much noise is frowned upon while extreme silence raises questions.

The season when some parents will spend on things that hardly exist on normal household budgets; breakages.

I will focus on breakages because that has already hit home here in my yard. Just the other day my son, who has out of the blues fallen head over heels in love with football, took the ball out to play with this new team he created in the estate.

He was in full gear; white jersey, kicks and a big smile, excitement written all over as he descended the stairs with the ball tucked under his armpit like a pampered Chihuahua. The new footballer in town had arrived!

When the doorbell rung to signal his return, which was rather earlier than I had expected, he had company. In tow were three boys his age, two security guards and a middle-aged woman I had not met before.

No one was talking, just heads facing the ground like sheep in the barnyard. As it turned out, one of the teammate’s best kick ever packed so much velocity that the would-be goalkeeper (read my son), ducked to save his forehead.

Only a neighbour’s car windshield stopped the killer shot. The car in question is a metallic grey BMW X1, shipped in just mid this year. A KCN.

It even had traces of those white digits they scribble on the windscreen while at the port, so you can tell the car was still in its honeymoon face when the lady owner was called from the house to come look at the fruits of a budding footballer.

Now, it has to be noted that although the actual shooter was not my boy, it is him that provided the weapon of windscreen destruction, and also him who had been tasked with stopping the shots being the day’s goalkeeper.

So that made him an accomplice to crime, or is there something like ‘accomplice to accident?’ I don’t know, what I know is that when the owner’s mechanic was called, he tabled a replacement cost of Sh13, 000, a figure that I was asked to contribute towards. 13K, man!

I refused, and that is how I created a new enemy in my hood.

HARSH TALK
While we were still arguing on why offering the play tool or evading a career threatening shot was no basis to incriminate my son, the mom to the boy with the lethal foot joined us. She was seething in anger, seemingly fighting back tears.

The shooter was pinched and slapped crazy by that lady, followed by a harsh talk about the promised things he was set to lose because money set aside for them would be diverted into repairs.

You could tell the boy was dejected, not sure whether he was sorry about the accident, sad about the things he would no longer be bought or the fact that, like yours truly, his football ambitions may as well have crashed before kicking off.

After back and forth, the consensus was that the cost would be spread across parents to all the five kids who were on the team, with the shooter bearing the larger portion. Sh2,000 by each of the 4 and Sh5,000 by the main culprit.

Two of them are brothers, so their parent will pay twice; Sh4,000. Don’t even laugh, parenting is not easy. Everyone walked away, leaving me with the evidently porous ‘Berlin Wall’ to deal with.

I did not quarrel him; first, it is I who bought the ball; secondly, I always encourage him to follow his passions and thirdly; sometimes you have to duck when you are a man.

Out of curiosity; does comprehensive insurance cover costs of such happenings since in all honesty it is an accident just like any other? I doubt any kid intentionally hits a ball to shatter the windshield on someone’s sparkling Beemer.

Meanwhile, I am reorganising the young man’s monthly budget to accommodate that Sh2,000 he gave out unceremoniously.

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