Your first unsure steps to confident run, from blabber to clear meaningful sentences, everything kept us engaged. As if life had in its folds new miracles to gift us every day. How can I ever forget your first day at play-school. Everybody around was so happy! Only I was the one who was rather sad. School meant that you would be away from me for at least 2 hours every day. And also ‘cause, then onwards perhaps your real inevitable struggle to make a place of your own in this big uncertain world was starting. You entered your playway holding my finger. You went inside and I imagined that any moment some teacher or attendant will come out holding my baby crying uncontrollably. But I was wrong again! You took to school like a fish to water! You insistence to go to school even on Sundays gave us many tough times.
It is never easy to be the mother of a hyperactive kid. You always seemed to have abundance of energy, which never exhausted. Entire day, after taking care of household chores, running behind you for bathing, feeding, acting out funny stories and what not, I just wanted to fall dead on bed at night. But you always kept me up well past 11, not to mention the midnight and early morning wake-up calls. Your teachers termed you ‘living tornado’ and advised me to put you into some kind of physical activity that eats up that extra energy. I did put you into Tennis. But even that proved to be just insufficient. Since then, I reluctantly turned up at every PTM in your school, fully knowing, word by word, all the complaints that teachers would have piled against you. Initially I used to feel awful, frustrated and took you to task for every nuisance you supposedly created in your class. I admit that I also fell into the rut of measuring you against the yardstick thrust in my hand by the society. I rebuked, yelled and tried to emotionally blackmail you by crying bitterly. But then you were as you were. I finally gave up and bought myself some peace of mind. The blame also goes to your dad who always stood for you with ‘let-her-be’ chants. Now I know I was at fault.
Very early on you exhibited signs of a confident, strong and bit diplomatic persona. You waved off any comparisons or any examples I tried to set before you. If I tried to ‘motivate’ you by citing examples of always-on-the-top kids, you retorted,” You are comparing me with somebody else”, making me feel as I had committed one the most heinous crimes. If somebody said, ‘apply milk and honey pack on her skin, her complexion would improve’, you said,”all sports girl have darker complexion, so what!” You always seem to have your answers ready, some intelligent, some eyebrow-raising but intelligent nonetheless. Accept-me-as-I-am is the maxim you are born with. But sweety! Improvement doesn’t mean you are trying to be somebody else!!
On so many occasions, I found this mother-daughter relationship reversed. In the last decade, in my endeavour to raise you as a responsible, well learned, intellectual and decent person, I found myself at receiving end for the lessons you were destined to teach me. Patience and compassion are perhaps the first lessons every mother learns while giving birth and the raising the child. But there was more…
I remember when you was to turn 5, I constantly tried to make you a bit responsible by telling you that now you are going to be a big baby, so you are supposed to do this, do that! You were all excited about growing big on your birthday. I didn’t know when you took my words literally. On your 5th birthday, you woke up quite early and straightaway sprinted to the mirror in the room. You let out a horrible cry. I rushed in anticipation of an emergency and found you crying inconsolably in front of the mirror. “Mama! I didn’t grow up! I am still small, Will I never grow up now?” Oh! That made me feel miserable beyond words. I learnt the important lesson that ‘how you say’ is as important as ‘what you say’. I must say my classes are still going on!
From rattlers to PSP, from dolls to tabs and from ‘li’l tomatoes’ to ‘Woodland’, you have really grown up, taking your own route, following your own mind. Now, when you are pretty independent for doing your stuff and no more dependent on me for most of daily routine, I wonder if I have done a good job! I would like to hear from you one day.
There are tougher times ahead to deal with for both you and me. You will go through so many changes – physical, hormonal, emotional, social. I will have so many new roles to play. I wish myself luck for that. I need it. On your birthday, I just want to say, I love you…with all my heart, with all my soul and this love is unconditional. Whatever you do, whatever choices you make in life, you succeed, you fail; you will always find your parents extending a warm embrace. We promise that we will trust you rather than the world, will listen to you rather than some third person. You will always get acceptance in our hearts without tags. Your tag of being our daughter will suffice for this lifetime.
Picture taken from: inmagine.com