Late To The Driving Party
I love driving, whether it is high speed racing on Need for Speed (that’s a game, by the way) or actually getting behind the wheel. I even love driving on our Kenyan roads, bad as they are. When it comes to cars and driving, I always feel like I came late to the party…like everyone else my age got a head start. I just got my driving license a few weeks back. I have been anxiously waiting for it for a long time. Almost all my friends got their licenses way before I did. Yes, I had been driving around without a license whenever I got the chance but I couldn’t go too far onto the main road for fear of traffic cops.
I got fed up one time during one of my friend’s wedding. The cars were available and I could drive any one of them but I had to be given a lift because I didn’t have a license! It was too risky with NTSA (National Transport and Safety Authority) cracking down on un-licensed drivers. That was the last straw and I decided enough was enough. I would get my license. And I did!
The reason I feel like I came late to the party is that, in six weeks’ time, I’ll be thirty years old, a father of two and my license is still green. Plus, my driving license is for class E vehicles, not even the more respectable BCE! I started driving in my twenties when others had already begun even before they were tall enough to both press the clutch and see above the dashboard at the same time. While I was racing cars on my computer, others were out burning rubber and changing tires like mechanics. So you can understand why a twenty-nine year old guy would feel this way. Still, it’s not too big of a deal. Better late than never, right?
Driving The Fam
I have come to learn that it’s so much easier to learn to shift gears than build a home. However, more than driving, I love my family. Its the ultimate top gear. To be honest, I still can’t believe it; thirty feels like a dream, like I’m lying to myself and others when I tell them I’m twenty nine going on thirty. Sheli is my first born; she’s my adorable princess. Her name is of Hebrew origin meaning ‘mine; belonging to me’. I want Sheli to always remember that even though she was born out of wedlock, she wasn’t unwanted, never has been, never will be. I am proud and honored to be her father. She turns four in August.
I will never forget what she did the other day. I came home from work feeling a bit down. After a while I went to the kitchen and just sat down, not doing anything. She noticed things were too quiet and daddy wasn’t okay so she came looking for me. She climbed onto my lap, held my face with her tiny hands and put her head on my chest. She said something though I can’t remember what…I was moved. She gets me! When I’m not okay, I don’t want people to give me space; the silence only causes more brooding. I want to be jolted into activity and she did just that. She then dragged me to go play with her and I was fine.
Libbi should be coming into the world by the end of May. Her name is also of Hebrew origin meaning ‘God’s promise’, ‘God’s satisfaction’ or ‘God’s perfection.’ It was selected years ago after we had chosen Sheli’s name during our first pregnancy. I feel it echoes the concept of predestination, the idea that God knows us even before we were conceived. Every pregnancy is different. We’ve learned that with our second one. Whereas the first was almost painless and effortless, Libbi has really rocked the boat. She doesn’t just kick, she kicks and punches. She doesn’t just move she stretches, she really stretches! She’s likes to bulge forward or to the side. My wife can’t wait for her to leave the womb.
I love Anne with all my heart, and then some more! I cross my fingers and thank God for His immense favor, for enabling her to stick it out with me for this long. She means the world to me. If I don’t succeed as a father and a husband, no measure of success will be enough to make up for failure on that front. Marriage is a life-long commitment that we, as men, should enter into soberly. More than anything, I believe we should be willing to let love and tenderness take precedence over ego and pride.
I choose Hebrew names because I want to identify with the Hebraic roots of our Faith. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t do it because of a romanticized notion about the present-day nation of Israel. By no means are they perfect. I do it because, regardless of their unbelief, God declared that they are His chosen people and He never forsook them. But more than that, I choose to identify with them because it is on the basis of God’s track record with the Jews and his unwavering promises that I have confidence in God’s love and promises to me. I trust I can always go back to Him in repentance because he proved His faithfulness with the Hebrews.
I also want my daughters to know that I serve the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. I want them to also serve the God of John (my late grandfather), the God of Samuel (my father) and the God of Enock (yeah, you guessed it! That’s me.) There’s no greater legacy I would want to leave her than a strong foundation of Faith in these troubled times. Make no mistake, these are troubled times, just watch the news if you don’t believe me!