So last week I got into a very heated argument with some mums, never minding that I'm yet to be one.
This fight started from one tiny thing. Sweet corn. I went to buy sweet corn the previous day and I gave the cashier 500 bucks expecting change, but she held the money out to me, asking for the balance. Apparently the sweet corn I bought at N220 last month is N400 this month. Oh, add to that the fact that I hadn't had light in over a week...
So when this argument began about raising one's children abroad if they have the opportunity, and these three women in the car vehemently insisted that they can NEVER let their children grow up abroad, I was shocked.
Honestly, I'd thought it's an outdated notion; raising children in Nigeria because children raised here have better morals. Alas, these young ladies showed me otherwise!
Still I stood my grounds. I agreed that it could be disastrous to send your kids abroad to grow and be brought up by someone else, but if you have the opportunity to move with your children to a developed (1st world country) then you should not even think twice about it!
I said that I understood their concerns but the pros far outweigh the cons! I couldn't understand why someone would hesitate to give their children the best if they could afford it.
The ladies said their kids could vacation abroad but they would never allow their children grow up over there, especially in the US and the UK. They talked about street gangs, drugs, extreme liberalism, limitation on ways you can discipline an errant children, disregard for God and religion, disrespect from the children, or worse yet your kids waking up and telling you that they're gay or going to transition to the opposite sex which they believe is their rightful sex etc.
I called that balderdash, after all teens still do drugs and join "bad gang" in Nigeria. I asked, are you saying that every child born and raised abroad is a bad egg? And in my inner mind I kinda felt the ladies are ignorant. I couldn't fathom how someone who has the opportunity to raise their kids in a better environment, in a place where things actually work, where children are encouraged to think for themselves and eventually become more brilliant and innovative than their peers in less developed countries, where you do not have to dry-fast for electricity and water, where your taxes are visibly put to good use, would rather keep their children here in today's Nigeria (Nigeria will be great again. But until then...) SIMPLY BECAUSE children raised here have better MORALS.
But on Tuesday I attended a women's prayer meeting at This Present House, Lekki, Lagos. And the visiting pastor shared with us the story of a heartbroken mother, a yoruba woman, whose daughter had just called from the U.S. to inform that not only is she a lesbian, she is also engaged and getting married to her lover, and they are having a child together with the help of a sperm donor.
Oh wow. I wondered what that woman would be going through. In one day, your daughter whose wedding you'd been planning probably for the last 10 years calls and tells you
1. I'm gay. 2. I'm getting married to my gay partner. 2. We are both about to be mothers to our child whose father we don't really know.
...And then this morning I saw pictures of Sade Adu's daughter who is now her son, and now flaunting his new mustache and manly abs on social media.
And I felt a sinking feeling. Then I remembered a few relatives abroad, one who's struggling seriously with heroine addiction and dropped out of college and has been living on the streets for the last few months, and is not even 21 yet!
And I began to wonder if those ladies have a point.
So I'm asking you people what you think? Given the opportunity for you and your spouse to raise your children in the Western world, would you grab it, or rather keep them to be raised here and maybe let them go when they become adults?