Mum: No, I won’t do it. You should talk to your dad yourself.

Me: But mum, you know I can’t, please help me.

Mum: Why can’t you? Is he not your dad?

Me: I know he is, but mum you know…

Mum: Gideon, I said talk to your father about it. He is your father.

Me: Mum, please, just this one time.

Mum: No, I won’t. It is either you talk to your father about it yourself or forget about having what you want.

And that was it. She wouldn’t bulge. I ended the call, feeling heartbroken. Mum had turned her back on me. It was the worst thing to happen to me, I thought. Mum had always been our backbone. She was always the one we cried to for everything. Then she would be the one to take them to our dad on our behalf.

She had us three boys. I guess it’s natural that male children get attached to their mothers and females to their fathers. Or was it our wrong conception about our dad that kept us away from him? We always thought he was too strict and commandeering. Maybe it was the pride in us, being boys ourselves. Or maybe it was just mum’s soothing softness. Perhaps we had this feeling that mum knew just how to get anything from dad, so it was always better going through her.

But that day she said no and stood by it. She even remarked that she hadn’t done well by always being our advocate before our father. After all, we were boys and should have been able to rapport with our dad. It was sad because I had an urgent need.

After feeling frustrated awhile, I summoned courage, picked up the phone and put a call through to dad and told him what I wanted. It was something quite expensive, and though he did his normal rounds of trying to check if I really should have it, I succeeded. And later it was done.

It’s been some years after, yet this incident remains significant. My mother’s NO to me opened the door for me to boldly access my father. I wonder what kind of a son I would have grown into, constantly afraid to reach out directly to him, discuss matters or ask for things. And it is one occasion that showed me how important saying NO can be.

Friend, sometimes a “NO” can be the best answer you’d give that person who wants to make you their god, or even the best answer you’d receive from those you think are your saviour.

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