Dear little girl.
As we usher in a new year and you turn 17 months, I cannot beam at all the strides and milestones you have reached.
We just spent a long weekend with your grandparents and your ‘Tinka, Tinka’ made everyone a lot happier though stories of illness and retirement have put us down past few weeks. Your giggles and naughty antics made us forget all the heaviness that have been weighing on us.
That instant you took your first step – I hadn’t felt as proud for my graduation march. You took your first steps at 15 months. There are a few lessons this has taught me and I share it with you.
Never ever try to make children sit before they can, stand before they can.. they do it at their own pace, not at the pace of the other kids. At your own pace. At around 6 months when we visited the paediatrician and I asked him if I should make you sit since you haven’t started sitting on your own, he gave me a quick reply, Why do you want to do that? Baby will reach her milestone on her own. Alhamdulilah you did, you sat down without any coaxing or walked without a walker. When left to your own growth you did it at the time perfect for you. That is the same parenting technique I would like to follow always. Never to push you but to be by your side throughout your growth and development. I’ll be there whenever you need a hand!
The first day when you turned away from me and slept because you were more comfortable that way or the first day you took those steps away from me, they were truly bittersweet for me. But then as a parent that is what I should try to instil in you – To be confident and independent enough to walk away from me and do it all on your own.
As you reached your 16th month you have learned to climb the chair and reach for the all the higher objects and as you grow the things around at home goes higher too. The side tables are empty. Soon the dining table too will become empty.
The parenting fact with first-born children is that it is a big learning experience for the parents too. It worries me often if I will take a wrong decision while parenting you and maybe a different one with your younger siblings (if any- inshaAllah) I pray I am just and kind with whatever parenting decisions I take with regards to all my children.
6 years ago today, I lost two of my friends. It was a jolt for me. Sudden death – we are so unprepared for it always. Sudden illness- another thing we never put a thought to. Yet these happen – over and over again. We often think about these only when it is someone really close to us. All that I want to tell you is to be strong in your faith in God and to truly believe in Qadr (fate) That to Him we belong and to Him we return. If we breathe that sentence into every fibre of our being, no obstacle or hardship looks difficult enough.
I say this again, as you grow and learn, I am learning too.
To read more from the series – click here.