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A Letter to My Son

By Tasneem Lokhandwala

To my little one who shortly turns two. My first letter to you is definitely long overdue.

I wanted to start writing down the day you were born. Thoughts were rushing through my head, so clear so pure, but just when I took to pen and paper, they seemed to disappear.

So now when I finally sit to write, I hope I can do justice to every feeling, every emotion felt from the moment I saw you first, as a beautiful heartbeat.

I know you will read this when you are much older. With time, my letters will change, maybe the pattern, the voice, the content, but what will remain consistent will be our love for you.

You know, as clichéd as it may sound, a wise man rightly said, “Time Flies”. And oh!!!! It does so fast.

We know that night you were born and when the doctor announced, Ïts a Boy”. We remember your crinkly little face and cries and your eyes tight shut. We remember when you were bought all pink and cute, wrapped in a light blue blanket, sound asleep.

We remember your tiny hands and feet and yawns and smiles and the abundance of hair on your little head (oh!!! The heartburn it has caused).

We remember all those fleeting expressions on your chubby cute face.

We remember that overwhelming feeling of love, a new kind of love, a love never felt before.

That love is still there, always overflowing, but you are not so tiny, so little any more.

A part of us wants to freeze you in time, but a large part of us enjoys as you grow up.

Yes there are tantrums and meltdowns now, but it is amazing how you yourself forget about it and come and kiss and hug us, in spite of we being mad about it.

We want to keep you safe and protected, but we dare not suffocate you with only US. The world out there with so many people has an abundance to offer and we have to let you venture out in the open. We may be scared to let you step out, but we need to make you brave.

US (parents) are not sufficient for you. If you have to grow and spread your wings, you have to learn from all. Love them all. Your grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, friends and so many others, who may even just fleetingly be a part of your life.

So be strong, be brave, be kind, be forgiving. But not too kind or too forgiving, for the world may not always reciprocate your feelings with equal fervor.

We both love you, dad (abba) and mom (mamma). We will always do. That be sure, is infinite and forever. But then remember that our love will not always be about hugs and kisses and smiles. It may even be about anger, a difference of opinion or even a small whack on your back.

But be it whatever emotion, happy or sad, acceptance or anger, do not ever doubt our love for you. It will always be a part of your life. Omnipresent.

We are not perfect parents you know. We have never been. And in the future too we stare at imperfection. So neither of us have ever topped in studies, have never necessarily excelled in any extracurricular activities. We have not always been right. But then we know its ok. Cause we are learning.

So don’t ever stop learning in life. Aim for the best, strive for perfection if you wish too, but enjoy the process. Be it the planning, the organizing, the execution.

Learn from the people who will guide you, those who follow you or those who work side by side with you. You will reach your goal with hard work and persistence eventually, but enjoy those moments in between. Those moments of laughter and tears, of smiles and fears. These moments will be your memories that will last you your lifetime.

Try to learn to be contended too. To respect. It is important.

Respect yourself first and learn to respect others too. If you want respect, Give respect. Learn to respect all. Even the ones younger to you, or maybe those less fortunate than you, those lower in class than you or even those working under you.

Respect, because that is when people will respect you back. That is when you will learn and do learn from all. Be it the young or the old, the poor or rich, woman or man. Cause wise words can come from anyone. Wisdom sees no age, caste or creed.

As parents we shall always strive to give you the very best. But do remember that best is not necessarily equal to expensive. And now as I write this, I hope I remember my very own words and if I ever get misled by my own self or by someone else, I pray somebody taps us on our back and reminds me about my own dose of advice, that best does not mean the most expensive toy, or school or any other object.

Like every parent, we know we will begin to have expectations of you too. But we hope never to burden you with it. Once again I pray we are realistic and not allow our expectation of you to bind you down, but allow you to rise and soar

The best we can give to you, my child is love, understanding, time, empathy, strength, wisdom, experience and a varied of memories to cherish. I once again pray to God to give me the patience to remain true to my own words

Many more letters are still to come. I wrote this letter from my heart, my hand moving as fast as the thoughts rushed in. Only time knows, when I shall write the next one !!!

By Tasneem Lokhandwala

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