MY emotions are just the exact way like the day you were born: I really cannot put a name to how I feel. The period of your pregnancy was a very interesting one. I kept a diary that I could not keep up with because my PC went bad but one day, you will get to read how things progressed.
Our plan was not to have you come so soon after our wedding but being a gift that would not be held back, you came. That exactly is why you got the name Oluwatamilore, which is translated as God has given me a gift.
With you coming into our lives with ease, I learnt to be more thankful than ever. How the weeks and months rolled by without any trouble while your mom’s tummy grew in size was amazing.
Then the scare! We were to cross to the other side of the road as we made our way from Church that Saturday evening in January. As the road seemed safe enough, we moved only to be caught in the middle of the road by a motorcycle that had no headlamp. Your mom was hit right on the tummy by the handle of the motorcycle whose rider managed to steady himself and run off. It all happened within the twinkle of an eye; more like a movie scene.
We rushed straight to the hospital for an emergency scan that showed something little to worry about. As much as we worried, you kept kicking. In fact, your kicks grew more regular. I would ask Mama to let me take a look at her tummy in the evenings to see how you were kicking. That stage of your life fills me with a lot of gratefulness.
You had been named by the fourth month of your pregnancy. I was tending the birds on the farm when the gentle voice whispered to me about Obed Edom. Right from when your pregnancy was confirmed, I pet-named you ‘Champ’. On this day, The Whisper told me you are to be called ‘The Ark of Testimony’ as your pet name, and IREAYOMIDE as your first name. I called Mama to tell her immediately, and that was it.
Your delivery story is in itself one that I use as a prayer point for people. Mama fell into labour very late on Tuesday evening. We got to the hospital past five in the morning and before half past seven that morning, you were born. I looked into your eyes and the first words I said was “Thank You Jesus”. I was taken by your looks as I smiled and added “Welcome Chief”. I shed tears of joy just looking at you but I could not touch you till after twenty four hours. Yes, I betrayed emotions as it was too much to take in.
Indeed, there were 20+1 names given to you. Behind each name is a story. There is Oluwabamise because it is the name of one of my seniors back in Olivet Heights Oyo. I doubt if Bamise Adeniran would even remember me but I like his carriage and behaviour back then. There is Oluwadamipe because your Big Mommy said you looked every inch a job well done. Your grandparents on both sides know why they named you Oladapo, Oluwadamilare, Adejare and Ayooluwaniagbarami (The joy of The Lord is my strength). We asked what your late grandfather would have named you and we were told ‘Abdulqahhar’, meaning ‘The Dominant One’. God rest my Big Daddy, Pastor Adewole Babalola. You were the last Babalola he named before passing. He called you ‘Olamilekan’. Uncle Jibola said you will be called ‘Oluwaseyitan’.
Mama gave you David. She always called you Collins from before you were conceived. Uncle Nifemi smuggled in the name ‘Emmanuel’. You were named Dennis because you share the same date with Dennis Bergkamp, the non-flying Dutchman who is a legend of my darling Arsenal Football Club. There are two great people I know who answer the name Ajani. That exactly is why you were given that name.
I have watched you grow from that tiny 3.7kg infant to an amazing 10kg toddler. I have watched you take your first steps a bit early. Seeing you learn how to clap and babble as you learnt to sing has been beautiful. Your first words ‘bata’, ‘Grandpa’ and ‘water’ have brought me great joy. You will wake in the morning to “give my Daddy hi-five”, do the routine ‘Halleluyah’ and ‘clap for Jesus’ every morning before proceeding to turn the place upside down. I appreciate the fact that your burst of energy is amazing and your smile very contagious.
Don’t stop being a shining star HiRay. Your heritage in Christ is secured. Everything that has held those before you down will have no power over you. Nothing will truncate your destiny. Yours will not be a life of struggles as The Lord lives. The words of The Lord which “are in Him Yes and Amen” will find fulfilment in your life in Jesus name; And just like #TheArk of Covenant that you are, wherever you are, there will be a lot of blessings.
This is the first of many beautiful years. The BIG promise I am making today is that I will be a father, a friend and a confidant. I will bring you up in the way of The Lord, and will not force my likes on you.
God bless you son. Have a very happy first birthday. I hope one day when you read this, you will come give me a big hug.
Blessings all the way son. Happy birthday