Slipping through my fingers all the time

Do I really see what’s in her mind

Each time I think I’m close to knowing

She keeps on growing

Slipping through my fingers all the time

Wrote, Debeshi Gooptu, Writer/Blogger at The Gurgaon Diaries referring to her daughter.

Tears welled up inside as I read them. I felt pensive. My daughter is five and half now and in a real hurry to grow up. She insists her teeth are shaking, her clothes are becoming tighter, she can do almost everything on her own. Well somethings she can, for others she still needs my help and although I do indulge her at times, there are moments when she stresses me out! At those times, yes, I desperately want her to grow up, fast. But when she’s being an angel or sleeping peacefully with a slight pout and her bum sticking out, I want to hold her tight and plead that she always stays this way. I don’t only want to treasure or cherish those moments, I simply don’t want her to grow up, period. I want to spend my lifetime being in that moment. I want time to stop!

But, of course that’s not how life pans out. Reflecting I realised that in the past, every few years, there have been drastic changes in my life that I have had to struggle to adapt to. The foremost being relocating to three different cities within 10 years. The rippling effects of that was hard. It meant changing jobs, colleagues and work environment. I was lucky to relocate all three times with almost the same portfolio but each office offered a new set of colleagues and external clients, work ethics, politics and environment. It meant turning yet another new house into a home with a workable support system. It meant making new connections and friendships, a social structure that would help ease the discomfort of being alone in a new city.

The latest change was the birth of my daughter. She was both a gift from the heavens as well as a challenge for the inexperienced me. Learning to love, care and live with her meant a constant test of my roles as an individual, a woman, mother, teacher, wife and daughter. I owed it to my daughter to experience life to its fullest so she became a priority.

growing upI suppose the fear creeping up on me right now is that allowing her to grow up to be the person she’s meant to be, I would have to let go. Oh, how it hurts to simply think about that. I could visualize my free fall into yet another abyss from where I had to once again re-route myself to a safe landing. I would have to give her the space to explore, make the mistakes, test her limits and trust her and my upbringing enough to know that she would grow up to be a good person – sensitive, strong and independent. From being a SAHM since her birth, I would now have to get back to full time work. Did my fear extend to the dread that perhaps now I lacked the drive or skillset to be relevant in the work space? Did I feel burdened with the pressure of having to readjust to a new way of life? Was I scared that I would fail? Or was it that I didn’t want to try? I had done it so many times before that I just didn’t want to make an effort anymore!

As I sat mulling over these thoughts, the memory of a father driving with his little daughter seated before him on a bike flashed before my eyes. He was talking to her animatedly and she had a wondrous smile on her face. Her eyes were twinkling, she was so happy and elated. The father looked proud and protective. Perhaps he never felt this proud driving around with his girlfriend or wife!

Their happy faces suddenly made me feel calm. That’s what life was all about, wasn’t it? An assimilation of little moments. I could continue worrying about the future or I could live every moment with my daughter ensuring she knows that in that moment, nothing else matters except for her. She was my sunshine and she was mine. That was enough to give me the strength to navigate through life’s twists and turns.

(Children have the unforgivable habit of growing up was first published in Momspresso (formerly mycity4kids on October 16, 2017)