you're three tomorrow. You are the Child this blog was created for. My first baby. I've said so much here, sometimes to you, most of the time about you and always because of you. I imagine you reading this when you're grown, when you are older, maybe when you have your own family. You and your brother are who I write for most of the time. My silent readers.
A famous person said that when his first child was born it was as if life came into focus, like he didn't even know he'd been walking around with an impairment. This is how it happened for me too. When you came to me, I began my journey to my better self.
Last night when we were reading together you told me that someday you would be big and I would be little. I told you that yes, it's true, you would be big one day, you would marry and live somewhere else with your wife. When you looked perplexed, I explained for simplicity's sake that when people grow big, they become mommies and daddies. You told me that you didn't want to be big and that you just wanted to stay at home with your Mommy and your Daddy and your Naveen. My heart swelled because it's how I wanted it too.
I know that you will leave me one day...I've already begun to fall behind, watching your back as you run on ahead. Trying to grab at your shirttail...
I'm not the best mom, not an excellent mom, maybe not even a great mom. Too often I go to bed knowing I could have done a lot better. I think to myself, I should have said yes more when you asked me to play, I should have played longer those times I did and I should have taken you outside when I didn't. Because for some reason, when I don't get you outside I feel like I failed you a little that day.
I want so much for you. Mostly I want to teach you to be a good and kind man. I want people to see you the way I do.
This job is hard sometimes. Because often I just want to indulge you. I want to give you everything you ask for. I want to laugh at your antics instead of disciplining you. I want to baby you, overlook things so that you never have to get mad at me. Being in your favour, in the sunshine of your love feels so good that it makes my job as your mother, tricky. And honestly, watching you cry, has made me sad enough to want to weep myself.
I didn't know life could be so good and frightening at the same time. Good because of the joy children bring to it. Frightening because none of it is under our control.
It's been a gift to have you home with me this year. I'm enjoying getting to know you as someone's brother, as my oldest child, as a jokester. I'm thrilled and delighted with your growing sense of humour.
Thank you for teaching me to have fun again. I forgot about pretending, and creating, and the enchantment of building forts. I'm grateful too for learning about trucks,trains,cars and motorcycles. You constantly get me out of my comfort zone.
I try everyday to listen to what you are saying. I know I'm not always right just because I'm the mother. I strive to encourage you to express your feelings, even the negative ones. I try to teach you that it's okay to cry, feel angry, or grumpy. I try to model good behaviour but know that I fall short all the time.
I want you to know that everyday can be fresh and new. You can wake up and start again, leave yesterday far behind.
I would love to teach you that having a clean house always makes you feel better. That to give to someone who needs it is one of the most important things in life. That you lucked out by being born into abundance. That there's no room for intolerance and that your brother is your best friend.
I hope you always want to include me in your life. And happy, happy birthday my sweet first baby.
Check out some of the other entries over at the Red Dress Club using the prompt Charity - how do you teach your children about how much they have compared to children in other less fortunate parts of the world.