It is no longer a situation people bat their eyelids at, as child labour is gradually becoming a norm in our society. Parents who cant cater for their kids send them off to stay with relatives in other cities or with families that need maids, these kids get used to run all sorts of errand, hard labour inclusive and lose their childhood and most times they don’t even get the opportunity to be educated,they have no opportunities to want a better life for themselves because all they know is the life they have been presented with. But Grace didn’t want that for her children.
Single motherhood is the life that Grace had come to terms with, after their third child came and her husband ran away because of the pressure of providing for the family leaving poor Grace to cater for the kids. She had to relocate to the village back to her parents home to at least take the burden of house rent off her shoulders.
Going back home didn’t make life easier, farming and sales of farm produce was how she was able to feed the kids, and since the public school in the area was free for all, she had the kids registered. Looking back on her youthful days, Grace wished that her parents had been more inclined to send her to school, at the very least her children would have had better lives, but at that time sending a girl-child to school was seen as a waste, as it was predetermined that she would end up in a man’s house and he would cater for her and their kids. But looking at her situation now one would guess how that turned out.
These days she would start with waking and prepping her kids for school, then arranging her bundles of wood to be sold at the town square, which she would split among the kids to enable her carry a reasonable amount on the first trip of the day, this was convenient as the school was located in a portion of land a little bit ahead of the town square. When she drops the kids off at school she makes multiple trips back home to bring wood to the square and sell off, so as to buy basic house hold needs.
And yes she felt bad that at such a young age her children had to learn the hard life and that they couldn’t have a normal childhood where they were sheltered and duly provided for, but this was the hand life dealt, a situation she couldn’t escape.
Grace wanted the best for her children and didn’t want her daughter to live the same unpriveleged life as she, hence her desire to see her through school, and to also teach her how to survive in a world where women had to most times struggle for rights. If she had the opportunity she would enroll at the adult education center built by volunteers for the residents, but raising and providing for three kids wouldn’t afford her such luxury, yet she still carried a burning desire to do right by her kids and she worked diligentely to get to a stage where her kids wouldn’t need to engage in such draining tasks but would rather enjoy life as children their age should.