Thursday, February 27, 2014

Being your Mother

Every single day I teach you to become more and more independent. Mainly because I think you need these skills to do well in life. Every night as part of that process, I encourage and most times force you to sleep on your own bed, and tell you, you are not alone, you have your glow pets and princess dolls to give you company. I tell you that all other kids your age sleep this way and you should be like one of them. Deep down, I want you in my bed, and even though I don’t sleep well with all your kicking, I sleep better than when you are not in bed with me.

You turned 7 today, and while I said my goodbyes at school, I realized very soon you won’t need me to drop you off at school. You won’t need those last minute hugs and kisses and most definitely will prefer to hang out with your friends than with your mommy. I look around at the other kids who couldn’t care less if their parents were in the room, and even though there are moments I am jealous that those kids are so hands off, I know you are special and cherish each of those moments you don’t want to let go of me.

This past year I’ve seen you work very hard, both at home and at school. I’ve felt your struggles to fit in socially, to try and perform in ways that is expected out of you.  I have experienced your transformation every single day and all I can say is I am very proud of you.

I am also very sorry, because I wish you lived in a world that was less judgmental, that did not require you to be a certain way. Which is why it was absolutely phenomenal to see you at school this morning wearing the outfit you had picked for your special day. It was a complete disaster – but it was YOU. And even though my first reaction was that of shock and a need to tell the world I had nothing to do with it, I couldn’t help but see how happy you were, and laugh about whatever other people might be thinking of the way you were dressed in school today. I did not have my camera with me, but this image will never leave my memory.

I know I am your hardest critic and push you every single day to be a well-behaved girl. But what I don’t tell you more often that it is okay to let go and be yourself and pursue things you love in any way or form. Today, on your birthday, I promise to do that more - to listen to your heart and mine, to value your opinions and personality, and to thrive in the glory of who you are and who you are meant to be.

That’s what being your mother is all about and I want to cherish ALL our moments together.

1 comment:

Kim Prior said...

Mala, I adore this post. Happy birthday to Evani. I remember both of us, pregnant. Both of our babies. And we have both experienced so much in the last seven years. Evani and her attachment to you is a dear treasure. Her personality and her quirks are uniquely her own...and quite beautiful and endearing. This world is hard. People are judgmental. There are boxes that we're forced to fit into regardless of how ill fitting and painful. It IS such a hard truth to be forced into "the world's mold" for the most part. I think you are doing a beautiful job guiding her and, supporting her to show her true colors when possible. You are preserving what makes her a unique and special human to this world. Some parents do not. Some parents are so concerned with fitting in and normalizing that they strip their child of quirks and idiosyncrasies and homogenize them. I'd rather my son have a small group of friends who love and understand him for who he is (low impulse control, talkative, hyper, touchy, thoughtful, musical, emotionally connected in rainbow leg warmers, a darth vader mask and a magic wand racing BMX and playing with a dollhouse) than a wide circle built on superficiality, one upping and forced norming. I celebrate you for that. I celebrate Evani for being uniquely her. THIS is what bringing up kids is all about. It's so hard right now to preserve those special things in this harsh world while guiding them in a balanced way to fit where it is only absolutely necessary for success. But, this tender time will be over soon...and they will make those choices for themselves. Keep doing what you are doing. As a mom who is doing the same, it IS the most challenging job. I know you have moments of exhaustion, frustration, tears fear and and great joy and triumph. They are all so beautifully necessary on our journey. Love to you both and, happy birthday to you both. You are so lucky to have one another. So lucky and so blessed. xoxox