A mother’s promise to always be there for her child, whom the world deems ‘different’. A mumma’s promise to not make life easy, rather make the child ready to take the world head-on and fly.
2nd April 2011 is a special day for us Indians. On this day, India had won the Cricket World Cup after 27 years.
I was 9 months pregnant with you on that day. But when Dhoni hit that ball, I forgot that I was pregnant.
I remember the world around me going absolutely berserk with joy.
Your Dad and I roamed the city streets for hours that night, celebrating with the rest of the city.
I was so round that I could barely walk. It was the collective joy of those around me that made me do a jig every time the crowds around me went crazy.
As I sat down on a roadside chair, totally out of breath, an excited lady, a total stranger came over, patted my belly and screamed over the deafening ruckus around us, “If it’s a boy, please make him another Dhoni. We need more Dhoni’s!”.
She was gone even before I could register what she had said or respond to her.
I looked down at my belly, patted it and made a promise to you right there, “In my heart, I know you are a girl. Don’t worry, you can be whatever you want to be. The world needs you to be exactly who you eventually become. That’s your Mumma’s first promise to you.”
It will soon be your 11th birthday. I have tried my best to keep my first promise to you. I am happy with the job that I have done at keeping this first promise – despite all my mistakes.
I know you are different from the others. I always knew. I didn’t need any test results to tell me that.
I know the world doesn’t get you. Nor you, the world around you. I know you see things differently. I know you express yourself differently. You amaze me as you stand your ground – always. You are sure about exactly how you want to do things, and 8 out of 10 times, you get it done your way.
You, my little girl, know how to shake things off and move on. You know how to stand up for yourself when the world makes fun of you when they find you to be ‘different’ from what they ‘expect’. All this, even before your 11th birthday. I am in awe of you, Kiddo.
Yes, I love you. But, I respect you more than I love you for your tenacity. For your willpower. For who you are.
I know the world doesn’t get you. I know that you struggle in a lot of ways. I know that it all gets too overwhelming. I know that you sometimes crumble and want to run away and hide in my arms, even as you hold your head high and get through stuff, situations and people who don’t accept you for who you are.
I know that it doesn’t seem fair to be left out, just because you are different, just because you are not like them, just because you don’t meet their ‘standards’.
Well, let me break it down for you: it will never get easier.
As you enter the second decade of your life, here’s another promise from Mumma.
I will always be here for you. Always nudging you, guiding you.
I will let you make mistakes. I will let you get hurt. They are necessary for life, Kiddo – these mistakes and pains.
I promise to not pitch in and make things easier for you. I don’t want you to have an easy life. I want you to experience it all – the good, the bad and the ugly.
I will always be here to jump with joy at every achievement, every win – however big or small. I will always be here to hug it out when things don’t go your way.
Someday, when you are all grown up, we will sit side by side and remember all the highs and lows, wince at the painful ones and smile at the happy ones.
I promise to always take a stand against you when you are wrong. I promise to make sure that you repent each time you make a mistake.
I promise to stand by your side every time the world gets too dark and scary and overwhelming and suffocating.
I promise to always be there for you, with a hug and a quiet corner, when you need to just get everything off your heart.
I might not always understand your world and its happenings, but I will always be there, calm and strong. I will be your Wall to lean on when you get tired until you are strong enough to move on.
I’m done protecting you, coddling you, pampering you.
My promise to you for your second decade of life is to make you stronger, to learn the ways of life, to learn to live in the real world with real people – the good, the bad and the dangerous, with real issues.
I promise to never let you see the world through tinted glasses that make it look like a dreamland. I promise to guide you as you make your way through the relationships and situations and emotions that come with the second decade of life.
I promise to make sure that you know who you are, know exactly what you stand for and against. I promise to make sure that you know that nothing and nobody has a right to make you doubt yourself, your values and your goals.
Dear Kiddo, here’s a memory for you.
As a tiny toddler, you would welcome me home with elaborate Lego structures and buildings, with intricate details. You would then spend hours explaining to me, every little aspect about each component, in your adorable toddler voice, with a very serious face.
I promise to take you back to this memory of you being superlative at what you were doing when you weren’t questioning yourself and your abilities when you weren’t listening to the world’s opinions about you.
I promise to make you get up, shake off the failures, the mistakes, the cobwebs of doubts and try again.
I promise to make sure that you never make a compromise with what you love to do, however crazy or difficult or impossible or impractical it might seem to either you or the world around you.
After all that ‘ugh, so deep and heavy stuff’, and to end on a happy note:
I promise to always be this annoying, nosey, mean Mumma that I am today. That, my dear Kiddo, will never change. It’s like a Mom’s birthright. Take a deep breath, and learn to live with it. There’s no point in giving me ‘the look’. Deal with it. It comes with the package.
(Saumya Dahake is a full-time mom and a passionate writer. She worked as a Product Consultant in the corporate sector.)
(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the author’s and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Autofintechs.com. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.)