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Motherhood Notes from a Kenyan Mom in the Diaspora: The Obsession with Balloons


Kenyan-born mom Nabubwaya Chambers lives in Lubbock, Texas USA, where she is raising her family. She shares with us some notes on her motherhood journey as she raises her son Lema who is now 1 year 2 months old. Lema seems to have discovered a new toy!

“Lema’s first interaction with a balloon was last year on his birthday. We gave him several balloons of different colors to play with as we entertained our guests. Little did we know that this initial interaction would be a life-long friendship between our son and balloons!

Red, green, yellow, orange, blue, gray, black, you name it. All colors of balloons fascinate him!

Lema is usually very quick to remind us of his fascination when we are out in public, especially when he spots the helium balloons in stores. He points at them and won’t quit talking about them until we acknowledge his love for balloons. We thought he would outgrow them by the end of the year but we are very wrong. Meal times are not complete until the word balloon has been uttered.

If you were to come to our home this day, you will find a special corner reserved for Lema’s balloons. He loves to play with them, punch them, kick them, carry them around, spread them all over the floor and even just stare at them in fascination while chuckling.

Has anyone ever had a child who is so obsessed with balloons like this one? We have tried hiding them but he finds them. He seeks for them if he does not spot them nesting in their special corner. I am pretty sure I have seen him trying to use some as a teething toy. Efforts of presenting Lema with a variety of teething toys are usually thwarted once he spots a balloon. So I shall continue to discover new hiding places. And I bet he shall continue solving the mystery of the hidden balloons.

We wonder when this stage will pass. What will become of the balloons after our Lema moves on to a new interest? Will we keep them or toss them? Well, we shall cross that bridge when we get there. I am happy as long as my boy remains happy, even if it means jumping over balloons and other toys spread all over the floor.

I guess we don’t always need to buy pricey toys to please our children.  A simple balloon will do just fine.:) You can read more of Nabubwaya’s experiences here.



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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.


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