Growing up Catholic was interesting. I vividly recall preparing for my First Holy Communion. I must have been seven years old or so. We had to go to church for Catechism to learn the teachings of the church. There was a little red book, written in question and answer format, that pretty much served as the syllabus. I still remember the first few questions by heart.
“Q1: Who made you? A: God made me.
Q2: Why did God make me? A: God made me to know him, love him, serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.”
Q3: Is whose image and likeness did God make you? A: God made me in His own image and likeness.
Q4: Is this image and likeness in your body or your soul? A: This image and likeness is chiefly in my soul.
(Recalling the exact way we emphasized the ‘chiefly’ just made me laugh out loud!)
We recited the answers from memory in a sing-song way, and I still remember Brother Augustine the teacher – who made us get punished one fine Saturday afternoon.
My mum had dropped us off at church as usual. Unfortunately for us, the day’s session was over earlier than the time she was meant to pick us up, and rather than wait with us till she came, Brother Augustine decided to walk us home. Nah, that’s putting it nicely. He decided we should all trek home together. That was probably great of him, however, we grew up with a few ground rules. Following strangers was a definite no-no. And it didn’t matter that he was the Catechism teacher who we saw in church every week. We should have known better than to agree to go with him. While we were on our missionary journey, Mummy had gone to pick us up, and did not meet us there. As you can imagine, she panicked. In the middle of her panic, she comes back home and sees that we’re there already. I recall her being livid, and us getting punished. I still remember we had to kneel down and there was some butt whooping that day.
That was definitely the last time I did any nonsense waka with anyone as a child.
Speaking of rules, I remember bedtime. 8 pm at the latest. Matter of fact, we usually got sent to bed by 7:45. Once in a blue moon, we got lucky and were allowed to watch New Masquerade. Too often, we fell asleep on the sitting room couch, and woke up in the bedroom. We loved it! So much so that sometimes we pretended to be asleep so someone could pick us up, only to ‘wake up’ laughing while being carried to the room. This bedtime routine was definitely reason why I slept so much during night prep in boarding school.
Boarding school. Yet another library of memories – from the silly songs we sang in pretend Tiv accents, to hiding at the sick bay in the mornings in order to avoid going for breakfast(?!!) to that time someone snuck a sulphur compound out from the Chemistry lab and placed it all over the mattress and locker of someone who had bullied her, leaving her corner smelling like rotten eggs.
Now we’re grown. Time to make new memories.
Got any hilarious ones you’d like to share? Go ahead, tell 🙂