“Birthdays are a new start, a fresh beginning and a time to pursue new endeavors with new goals. Move forward with confidence and courage. You are a very special person. May today and all of your days be amazing!”
They say the bond a mother shares with her child is unique. The love, affection, regard, care, concern, interest and ability to interfere and give uncalled advice is also a quality exceptional to mothers. They are possessive, manipulating the relationship, and on many occasions, can be overbearing and demanding.
As an aging mother, I turn to my daughter for every little thing. She has grown from the child, who I mollycoddled to a mature adult with a mind of her own.
She no longer needs to hold my hand or turn to me for advice and comfort. She is a highly accomplished, sensible, rational, no-nonsense professional well known for being committed, far-sighted and a visionary in her field.
Yet to me, she will always be my baby, the one person who will never judge me. I can share all my feelings, negative or positive, with her, and know that she will make me see things in the right perspective.
When did the role reversal happen?
Gradually the dynamics began to change. From parent-child to friends, and from daughter, she unknowingly evolved into my trusted confidante.
Gone are the days when I would grit my teeth and try to be patient while she struggled writing her first A. Putting her to sleep as a baby was a battle I fought daily, a harrowing one that drove me up the wall!
Our pasts mold our behavior. As an only daughter, too, I got a lot of love and importance from my parents. I remember days before my birthday my father would start singing the birthday song for me and there was so much joy in the house.
They were no grandiose celebrations, but the day was made distinctive in the importance I was given, food made to my choice, the new dress stitched by my mom, especially for my birthday was the best present ever. My brothers could not get into any brawls with me, and I was just ridiculously happy.
The memories stay with me to date, and even so many years after my dad’s demise, a week before my birthday, the memories overpower me, and I wish he were here to make me feel like daddy’s little girl again.
I learnt the importance of making birthdays distinctive. Little things can give so much joy, and those experiences and memories stay with you forever.
Birthdays, at whatever age must be celebrated, and given significance by every member of the family.
Most of us like to act nonchalant, yet it’s only a saint who dismisses his birthday and does not feel a twinge of nostalgia or remembers his past birthdays.
The child in us tends to sneak out on our birthdays.
A parent’s list of birthday wishes is endless.
Children are God’s gift to parents. For me, not a day passes by without a silent prayer of gratitude to the Almighty. Life without our daughter would have been purposeless.
To every parent, their child is precious, adorable and most endearing. Regardless, we must nurture them with love, discipline, values, goodness and selflessness, not giving in to overindulgence.
I must have done something right because today, I see my daughter as caring, generous and willing to walk the extra mile for others.
She is sensible and does not waste money, understanding its value. She has a minimum desire for things, and the only greed she exhibits is for friendship and being happy and productive at work.
As she celebrates her birthday in another continent, I pray for her happiness, good health and success.
I pray that she finds time to enjoy the little pleasures of a homemaker, cooking, dusting, setting up a beautiful home and hope she inherits my sense of urgency in completing tasks.
Sixth sense brought my husband into the room, wanting to know what I was writing?
On being told I was composing a blog for our daughter on her birthday, he showed an unprecedented enthusiasm on reading what I was writing.
After finishing, he laughed and remarked, that it sounds like the narrative of a single parent.
It struck me, that I had actually omitted mentioning him.
Birthday wishes to our daughter would indeed be incomplete without acknowledging his influence, and the immense role he plays in her life.
Do I not recognize and sometimes marvel at so many physical and behavioral traits that she has inherited from her father?
She has his tenacity and spirit of adventure, which compels her to explore.
His positivity, sense of patriotism, sincerity and loyalty are characteristics that she portrays too.
She has his sense of humor and ability to laugh away the smaller worries of life.
Her love for yoga and fitness is not from me for sure. Her discipline when it comes to fitness is remarkable, and her grit and determination is so similar to her dad.
A child is the reflection of both parents, and so is our daughter. As a team, we tried to imbibe in her the right values, selflessness and discipline that would hold her in good stead always.
As parents, we miss not being with her on her birthday. Yet, we are confident that she will have a fun-filled day with friends.
I still remember how at the age of three, she would go for these endless birthday parties and to my dismay return home still clinging to the birthday gift she was to hand over.
No amount of explanation worked, so we just bought two similar gifts, one for her and one for the birthday child. Fortunately, she has come a long way and now has no desire for presents.
Today, our gift to her on her birthday is blessings and prayers that she leads a happy, focussed, meaningful life.
I pray that she will always,
“Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people.”
Previously published on “Hello, Love”, a Medium publication.
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