For some of you,the day you became a woman was the day you saw your first period.Well,when I did see my first period,I was still a girl.I remember that week vividly when my perspective about life started changing,I was no longer that wimping girl who withdraws from everything in a feeble way but a woman who was ready to take charge of the situations in her life!It was seven years ago,I was 16 and still flipping at every single time my parents shouted at me!I was on a week's break from school(my most dreaded school,Madonna university,nigeria) and just before my mother left for work,she gave me a simple task of cleaning the living room and with an air of care free reluctantly agreed.She noticed the frown on my face but chose to ignore it as she was going to address it later.As i was used to doing things at my own pace and time,I procrastinated doing her bidding.I went about doing my own trivial matters,not that I was self centered but because I was not under pressure doing those things knowing they were not important.I didn't know time had flown and it was already time for my mother to return from work.I called for the maid as she had returned from getting her end of term results from school,to assist me.She was tired and as she is not obliged to disobey,she grudgingly came to help.We were half way through cleaning when my mother's driver pulled up the driveway.I was calm because I did start cleaning,in essence, I didn't disobey her.I sent the maid away while I continued cleaning.
My mother walked in on me cleaning,she studied me for two minutes silently, as she didn't respond when I greeted her.She got me confused all through the time.As she was walking to her room,she asked me to join her.I left what I was doing and followed her,still not getting why she asked for my presence in her room.I waited for her to undress,as she finished,she threw the clothes at me and instructed that I get them laundered that same day.i was stunned as that was her first time she told me to launder her clothes.On my way out ,she called my name,"Rhoda!". I turned and she continued softly but with an edge,"I gave you a simple task of cleaning your parents' living room since morning and you failed."I was about to make excuses but she held up her hand in the air."You do not give excuses every time you do something wrong,you are no longer a kid.Now I want you to clean every nook and cranny of this house!"
Initially I thought she was joking until she took it upon herself to supervise me.What amazed me was the way i took everything,I did not argue with her,although at first I wanted to throw in my tantrums but I realized not everyday is Christmas and also if I do not start right away,she would have me work for my wrongdoings until the wee hours.Well,she meant business for me that day but after a while she was no longer angry but calmly told me she is trying to teach me many lessons and she hoped I would understand at the end.Surprisingly,I did,for she made me scrub,even the ones that refused to clean,I had to spend extra time on them.When I was done,she asked me to look at my handiwork,I did.I was no longer angry but greatly impressed.The house was clean already but I did something magical to it for it sparkled!She kindly squeezed my shoulders and with a sigh of achievement,she told me,"Rhodygirl,you can do anything,everything,however you want to,do them in time and stop making excuses!A year ago,I would have been so mad at mother and would not have understood why she made me clean the whole house,I was tired and numb but fulfilled for I actually did something!
On Thursday of that week,my mother left the house,my father,my two siblings in my care.Up till that day, I had never been given such responsibility.My other two elder siblings were not around and the maid was paying a visit to her family in her home town,so I had to resume responsibilities as my mother traveled for a conference in another state!When she came back,she was so happy with me for I did even more than what she expected,I took care of the people and things she left in my custody.That Saturday,my parents made comments that opened my eyes to the fact that I was now responsible not only for me but for others and also that I was no longer a girl but a woman!My mother said to me,"I am proud of you,you handled everything like a young responsible woman that you've become!".My father said,"My little girl is now a woman,she can actually cook very well,almost more than her mother!"
That got me grinning from ear to ear.For the fact that I learnt a lot from a hectic week made me confirm that I had become a woman!