Oh we submit easily now! Yes, we avoid those obvious pressure spots (read toy stores). We have buried the iPad indefinitely inside our cupboard. We don’t leave home in front of you (yes, we have to devise new ways to dupe you every day). We have learnt to read your tastes in clothes, notice how we give in to your fashion policing every day. And we play along with your midnight antics, no matter how urgent is Baba’s meeting in the morning the next day, or how pressing is Mum-um’s need to read or write after you sleep.
We have learnt to give in. In each of your little demands. In each of your timely-untimely meltdowns. In each of your ‘I want you attention’ moments. We have learnt to adapt. We have learnt to humour you and be a child like you are, no matter how silly we look.
But between your little demands and our giving in, we hope you will learn to pick the good lessons that we tuck in. Like those little moments that make me sleep better. And for a child who grows up to be a parent, I will always try to make your growing up special, with little nuggets of learning and pretty memories that will be your companion all your life.
While you cradle your swanky new Spiderman toy, we want you to believe that Baba and I are all your superheroes rolled into one…but really…we are just like you, kids who have grown up with life’s beautiful gifts.
It’s Okay To Not Have It All
We didn’t have an iPad or all the pretty contraptions that you have today. Let’s not even get started about your grandparents’ growing up! But we found happiness in whatever we had. It’s okay to not have it all, my boy. Just because we have an iPad doesn’t mean you will get to use it. Just because we can afford it, you needn’t take a flight every time we go on a holiday. Just because we can, its okay to not have that big remote-operated car. It’s okay to prefer Mum-um’s small Nano over Baba’s big SUV. It’s okay to look silly. It’s okay to fail. It’s okay to try again. It’s okay if you don’t reach your dream. It’s okay to take a new route. It’s okay to fail again. Yes, it’s perfectly okay to not have it all!
Tolerance & A World For All
Religion, race, nationality. Gender, class, prejudice. There will be enough reasons for you to grow intolerant. You may see the world throw up images and examples very different from what we tell you. Don’t believe them all. God made us all different and for a better world, you have to learn to embrace every one. So don’t make your religion a war cry. Don’t assume you are a superior sex because you are a man. Stand up to another’s prejudice and never bend and bow for what you are against.
For The Love of A Good Story
I imagine you growing up into a reader. While my insistence on reading may be juvenile, but you know I don’t want to be pushy. What I would like you to do is always look for a good story. Look for inspiration around you. Discover new places. Travel and make new friends. Gather experiences and add a world view which is different from what we would have given you. Find your own inspiration. Your own leader. An icon, who makes you believe that you can achieve it by yourself. Above all…write your own story, like no one else can.
H for Health, Honesty & Humour
Health, not just for you but us too. I know the price for having old parents whose health worries you to death. For you my boy, I promise to take care of my health. So that I can live long to see you grow up into a beautiful human being. I promise to swim the seas with you. Race up the mountains. Walk the length of life, right behind you as long as I last.
There are many lies that we tell you. Like when I say that Baba has gone to buy chicken when he has really gone to work. Or that the green lizard with pink eyes is waiting for you in the balcony. Oh yes, we are dishonest with you at times. I hope you grow to forgive us. Never pick these leaves of dishonesty. There will come a day when you will know that a lie can take you nowhere. Like the day when you will see through the stories that we tell you.
Keep laughing. Keep a thread of humour in your life. Learn to smile through your tears. Find a reason to laugh. Find a reason to make another laugh. Just like your baby babble that throws us into fits of laughter…or your childish antics that makes a child of us everyday. Never lose it in your life.
Money Can’t Buy You Happiness, For Everything Else There Are Your Parents
We don’t promise you the stars. We won’t promise you a ‘Stanford education’. We don’t promise to fulfil your every demand. Because honestly, baby, we don’t want you to know that money can buy you happiness. You have to find happiness. And we will help you find happiness and every thing else, everything else that money cannot buy. Love. Cuddles. Family. Sharing. Warmth. Security. Education. Smiles. Respect. Dignity. Yes, you will know there is a lot more than that.