I don’t know what made me ask my mum this question; I was probably about 10 years old at the time. Perhaps I had watched a particularly sad movie where the choice was given, or maybe my friends had regaled me with stories in that vein, or I was in a “what-if” mood.
I was sitting on the couch when I asked my mum, “What if we were all kidnapped,” I was talking of my sister, brother and I – we were only three back then – and I severely doubt these were my exact words but you get the gist, “and you could only save one of us, who would you save?”
She replied, “I wouldn’t save any of you, I’d let you all die.” Those were her exact words, I remember vividly. Weird, huh? She then continued as if to lighten the sombre proclamation, “and then I’ll just have more kids to replace you!” laughingly.
I never gave those words much thought after that until recently when they came back clear as day with an explanation as to why she said them.
It occurred to me that for her, and I’ll assume all mothers, that the love of her kids was equal that each was special in her eyes. Therefore it would be impossible to just choose one. A kind of Solomonic view, don’t you think? Peace!!!

Written by Sidney Ochieng

Child at heart and mind. Feminist. Story teller. Fledgling data scientist. Your future boss

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