Go Baby, Don’t Be Long

Beautiful day. Serene. The sun quite literally is kissing the skin; infinitely gentle. A walk about the yard is always a welcome respite, therapeutic on so many levels, a mental reinforcement exercise … well, you get the point.

To add to it, there’s a delight in the home. A small-a-nyana drop-top automobile; V8 engine; classic black. Get this, it doesn’t start up, it roars to life, at the slightest turn of the ignition.

Of course, a short yet intensive dance-routine-workout is in order, so is nourishing breakfast, as is reading up on latest global news and a few chapters of the current book. Are there any urgent emails? Beautiful and enriching conversation in the middle of all that. The children’s laughter and antics about the house always contribute to a cheerful atmosphere. Are they ready for a trip with Dad to his presentation in Cape Town scheduled in six hours’ time?

I mean, look, their eccentric grandfather took me to the family car tyre sales and repair business to work on weekends and without doubt, school holidays.

I figure, one has to pass the blunt to future generations; strengthen the surname, further the clan — strengthen the kids.

Well, at this moment, I have to, before we thrust ourselves to the airport, juggle the ball about the yard for some twenty minutes. They actually know, and have accepted the animal and his interests. They often join in and a game ensues; well, it’s more like providing free football clinics for no penny at all. The missus opts to play referee.

Shower time. I enjoy some naked cuddle-time with their mom.

Shhh! Don’t tell no one. She’s such a Riqué Rascal (she hates that saucy pet name; L.O.L). A lady of noble standards and essentially, with a sober \ sharp mind and strong demeanour (strength; full confidence) that pulls us — myself and the kids — back in line when we need it. She is my dream love supreme queen meanest thing on the scene.* A reader with a voracious appetite; ahhh! Lest I forget, a riveting thinker, too.

Unenkani futhi, firmly stands her ground in any conversation; explores and experiments quite a lot in the kitchen, which has led to my own experimenting with food-making — two words: lovin’ it! Dressing up doesn’t take much time, for it’s become a team activity now. Fun.

I’ll confess at this point. I’m a food guzzler on most days. I love and appreciate food and have lots o’ fun eating it. (Ugimba … is what you must be thinking of me.) So, I whip up a light meal before take off.

In no time at all, we be speedin’ and screamin’ down the road on a Friday morning, aviator lens blockin’ the lukewarm sun rays, the entire clan bobbin’ heads to D’Angelo — Cruisin’. Brown Sugar.

Work gear \ daily essentials neatly stored in a portable Goyard trunk in the boot.

The kids and I volunteer to drop mom off at her office. The family beast yearns for a roar around the city in any case. The children smother her with kisses and hugs; they also volunteer to help open the office for her and lead her in while jumping excitedly up and down. We leave her behind with boatloads of love and wish her all the best in the boardroom (it’s a jungle in there, as the kids will come to learn some day).

Only three people are jetting off, my sweetheart has to round off three key meetings before the day is out, before lunchtime, actually — Fri (short) day.

Checking-in is smooth as the music on AirPods.

Touchdown. Phone off airplane mode, their mom has sent a text: “Baby, I am jamming to Erykah Badu — Gone Baby, Don’t Be Long. It’s fully dedicated to you, the kids and Themba Jay Consulting. I love you Mahlobo!”

Dad has to get muffins and tea at a coffee shop he visits as a matter of tradition whenever he lands in the Republic of the Cape. The kids join in, opting for ice-creamy type delicacies. Abayisabi inyongo laboxamu.

It’s helluva fun.

We’re bonding and becoming friends; and the boy is learning to take care of his baby sister and help her find her way in the world. I’m supervisin’ all o’ that.

They meet cool peoples at the venue I’m speaking at in precisely an hour-and-half, play around with other children while I connect with the client, and go on to casually discuss project briefs \ communication challenges with potential clients, shoot some rough ideas and skeletal strategies of this and that project.

Two hours later.

Insight delivered.

Ideas thrashed out.

Strong disagreements.

New theses formed.

Audience moved and stretched to its depths.

Processes to solve business \ personal storytelling and communication challenges launched; I’ll be readily available to them to monitor and advise as it all unfolds, too. (That entails fortnightly Cape Town trips; I might as well get property down here — it’ll make for a great hideout spot for wife and self.)

A few intelligent jokes here and there, people roared and crackled.

Thick action.

Heated discussion.

Standing ovation!

One more thing. A Q-&-A Session (to discuss and develop solutions for specific business cases and challenges) for about 45 minutes and then the engagement is concluded. (The kids and mom will help me write up a report for the said client to send within the following week.)

The kids and I then dart around a few stores around the V & A Waterfront and pick up some art (books for me — I am slowly building a library at the house); the boy got himself a pair of soccer boots and gym gear; the girl got herself (and her mom; how sweet) a pair of trendy \ matching t-shirts.

Lunchtime at a cool burger joint — Jerry’s. Their food is freshly amazing. After which we go see a few friends around the Mother City and then jet off without wastin’ any more time; we touchdown ko Jozi around 03:10PM, reacquaint ourselves with the family beast at the airport and off we are to pick up mom from the office. For the whole trip home — I couldn’t be much bothered by the congested traffic — we jam to the dedication: Gone Baby, Don’t Be Long. My gear-changing hand cuddles both hers — she was sorely missed. The siblings, it turns out, are fast asleep in the back seat.

Erykah’s voice crooning, it sets an entire mood to the place (and people) I’d rather be (with), any day.


(*) Reference from Lupe Fiasco — ‘Paris Tokyo’.