Wishing you a Very Very Happy Birthday!
You’re rounding the curve to ten. In your own words, your first double-digit birthday. Big girl!!
Time just flies. I wish I could hold on to it tightly and allow your wings to spread a little slowly before you fly off my nest. Selfish I am.
As I keep telling you, you’re my first child. The one that made me a mother. The one that has taught me how it feels to be in love with someone irrespective of what they feel for you. You’re that ray of hope that I found when I was at the lowest in life. You’re the one that made me feel alive again. You’re the answer to all those silent tears. You were the only light that made me want to come out of that dark shell I had cocooned myself into. You are the one that has made me the stronger self that I am now.
I see a lot of that old me in you. I want to protect you from all those haunting experiences that still disturb me. As a mother, you’re my most cherished possession. There, I made that mistake again. I DON’T POSSESS YOU. I should always remember that. I am only here to guide you. I have no right to control your destiny and I know I can never do that. Even then, my fears as a mother make me want to protect you from all evil in this world. But this is your life. You have every right to make your own mistakes and learn your lessons.
I know I have unintentionally been tough on you. I know I haven’t been a good parent on many occasions. Extremely sorry my child! I know no amount of apology can erase those little wounds I have given you. You know what, I feel guilty and ashamed most of the time, and very alone. I feel helpless about having hurt you. It’s the worst feeling.
Every day I feel more and more aware of your girlhood and impending adolescence. I want you to understand so many things. Time seems so less and not everything is within the limits of your comprehension. I know I can’t make you understand everything in one shot. The best I can do is to keep repeating them and lead by example. Sometimes I wish you were like Small Wonder and you could read everything from the book of life in a matter of seconds. But I’m glad you’re not because I love your smile.
On this 10th birthday of yours, here are some life lessons I want to share with you.
- Don’t try to please anyone – You can’t make everyone happy. And you can’t make someone happy if you aren’t happy. In short, try to be happy and cheerful always. Everybody else will be taken care of.
- Do not be afraid – Don’t ever be afraid to share your innermost fears, your insecurities, your mistakes, your likes, your dislikes. Speak up for yourself and for others. Something your Mom is slowly but surely learning to do.
- Be kind, not rude. – Everyone has a personality. And no two people are the same. Your right may not be right for someone else. Their right may be wrong for you. Learn to accept people for who they are and how they are. Be polite, humble and kind. Being rude has never helped anyone. We can agree to disagree with someone without being rude. Be humble.
- Don’t feel ashamed to apologize – Say ‘Sorry’ and ‘Thank You’. These are powerful. Very powerful. Sometimes they can help you mend broken relationships. They can help you be friends again.
- Don’t keep grudges. Move on. – However careful you are, there will always be a situation that you’ll get hurt. Your best friend, the love of your life, your parents, your siblings, they’ll all hurt you at some point or the other. People will let you down. Intentionally or unintentionally. Get back up on your feet, forgive them, let go and move on. Life is too short to keep grudges. All this will not matter in the long scheme of things that life is all about. Same applies to you too. If you happen to hurt someone, don’t shy away from apologizing. Your ego isn’t bigger than their pain.
- It is not always about you – The one thing that your Dad kept repeating to me when I needed it most is, ‘It is not about you. It is not your mistake. It is their mistake that they aren’t able to see the goodness in you. ’ This is true. It is not necessary that everything people say or think about you is because of you. Don’t blame yourself. I made that mistake. Get over it and move on. Everyone is fighting their own battle. So forgive and forget. If you ever want to speak, I’ll always be there. My soul is within you.
- Respect yourself – Don’t do anything wrong. Don’t humiliate or insult anyone. Respect every individual and their views, however conflicting. But most of all, respect yourself. If you do not respect yourself, if you do not appreciate yourself, how do you expect others to? You cannot allow people to treat you poorly and if they do, you need to respect yourself enough to walk away. You must love and respect yourself before anyone else can.
- Life is Precious – This life is a gift. A precious one. Respect it. Treasure it. Share the beauty. Share your experiences. Share your laughter. Every person you meet leaves a footprint in your life in some way or the other. Be thankful. Be grateful for this life.
- You are YOU. – You’re beautiful. You’re strong and powerful. You’re better than me. You’re you. You’re precious. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. There is no comparison. You’re unique.
- I love you. I always will. – I will continue to discipline you. I will continue to lecture you. I will continue to point out your mistakes to you. I will continue to ask you to do your best. Because I am here for a purpose. I am here to support you. I am here to provide for you. I am here to take care of you. But all this does not and will not reduce an ounce of my love for you. I promise. I’ll always be there when you need me. I will always have my arms open and wide enough to let you curl into a ball within them.
I love you and I wish you enough.
Ummas and big tight hugs,