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As I write this, my naughty 15 month old is trying to dance to ‘heads, shoulders, knees & toes’. There was a time when she would stay put in her rocking chair. But now, she keeps all of us on our toes. Unbelievable how things change, how life changes really. Or perhaps how time flies?
Now don’t get me wrong the past 15 odd months have definitely been surprisingly rewarding because I never knew I could love someone this way. She’s now so important to me that everyone else is way down on the priority list. I never thought that was possible. But what did I know?
However, I must say that it has been exhausting too. Tough, challenging and non-stop. Sometimes I have even felt suffocated and burdened by the responsibility of raising and caring for a child. It’s not easy. None of it is, pregnancy, giving birth or now being a mother.
But we have somehow made through the first year. So, cheers to us. There are some things I want M to know at the end of this year. Things that I want her to grow up knowing but which she cannot comprehend just yet. I know this post should have been written back in November around her birthday probably. Something to celebrate her special day. But that’s okay.
She can’t possibly fathom any of the things I want to tell her now but maybe one day many years down the line she will. This one is for that very day.
So, M you turned one last November and I have been meaning to say a few things to you. Now that you are a big girl going to the 1-year-old toddler section at your daycare, I think it’s time I share these with you.
- Ma and Papa love you the most. You are the most important person in our lives.
- I decided to join back work after you were born. It was actually a decision I had taken much before you were born. In fact, even before I had conceived you. This was something I wanted to. Thankfully when the time came, I was able to follow through on this. But that doesn’t mean I don’t love you like the mothers of those friends you’ll go on to make in life who chose to stay at home. I need you to always remember this.
- We started leaving you in the crèche since you were 7 months old. My darling, it was one of the hardest things I have had to do.
- Leaving you in the crèche doesn’t mean we are okay with missing out on your growing up years. On the contrary, we want to be there for every step you take. It’s just that mommy wants to keep working and have her own identity too which someday I hope you will understand.
- I want you to know that we were there when you took your first steps. We didn’t miss it. Actually we didn’t miss any of your milestones yet.
- You took your first independent steps a week after your first birthday and we were there, so very happy for you.
- We celebrated your first birthday in Goa, just the three of us. You’ll be happy to know that we had lots of fun there. I’ll show you the pictures some day.
- Since mummy and daddy have different mother tongues, we are trying to teach you both, Bengali and Hindi. You are even saying a few words in both, some you understand as well. It’s a joy and at times hilarious too, to see you try to speak. You should know that your dad is better than me in interpreting your words but I promise to improve.
- Dropping you off at the daycare every working day is just as hard as it was on the first day. But then picking you up at the end of the day is the best part of my day. You have no idea how much I look forward to that.
- You should know that being you Mom is something that I love. But I also have this need to be something more. Having a job, following my passion, these are things that make me whole. Someday if you decide to have a family, I want you to remember not to lose yourself as well. It is not easy but I’m trying and I want you to know that.
- We have tried to be good and decent parents, love, but there were some not so great parenting moments as well. I just want you to know that we are not perfect but we will keep trying to do the best for you.
Well, I think that’s all I wanted to tell you, munchkin. Hope one day we read it together and then share a hug.