Jide clocked ten yesterday.
The night before his birthday, he couldn’t sleep well, he kept thinking of what it would be like to be ten, and he couldn’t wait to brag to his friends who were already few months older than him.
He woke up smiling that morning, as he checked himself to see if he had grown taller than the previous day, he couldn’t tell, but still, he was very happy to arrive the big ten.
He remembered his parents had previously told him, that once he clock ten, apart from eating and sleeping in the house, he would begin to partake in some house chores like the washing of plates; which had previously been the task of their house help, Bisi. The daily washing of his undies, and polishing his shoes himself.
He immediately ran to his parent’s room, for his birthday present. It had always been a tradition for him to wake up earlier than his usual time, whenever it’s his birthday.
‘’Daddy! Mummy! It’s my birthday!’’ He climbed on the bed, pulling away the blanket covering them.
His mum rubbed her eyes as she yawned.
‘’ Awwwn, my honey is now a big boy, come and give mummy a big hug.’’ He hugged his mum tightly, as she showered him with kisses.
‘’ Wouldn’t you give me a hug also? Come here my boy.’’ He rushed to his dad who had already gotten up from the bed, and gave him a hug.
‘’ So, my boy, now that you’ve clocked ten, your mum and I have a present for you, it’s not a big one but it’s an essential one.’’ His father explained to him, as he went to their wardrobe to get the wrapped present.
Jide curiously looked at the wrapped present his father was holding, it looked smaller compared to what he had received as presents in previous years.
‘’Son, you remember when I told you that clocking ten isn’t just a number, but it’s an onset for responsibilities. Inside this present is something that would make you have power over your money. Those little stipends you receive from your uncle and aunts, can now be saved by you, now that you’re a big boy.’’
‘’ Dad, what about the ones previously collected.’’ Jide asked. His parents laughed.
‘’Don’t worry, we would take that as a loan, that means we are owing you.’’ His Dad explained.
He handed over the present to Jide (who was already getting bored of the long talk), but he assumed that that’s another responsibility that comes with clocking ten.
He opened the present and what he saw surprised him, it was a small wooden box with a little opening on the top.
‘’Mum, dad, what is this called?’’ His mum smiled. “This is called a saving box, also known as kolo in Yoruba language, you can easily save your money in there for future use, and you are only allowed to break it on your next birthday. Then you can use it to buy a gift for yourself, in addition to our gifts.’’
Jide smiled back, he loved the idea of having an autonomy over his money. He could remember how difficult it had always been for him to retrieve monetary gifts from his parents , most especially his mum.
‘’ Thank you mum, thank you dad.’’ He hugged both his parent’s affectionately.