When you become a mother yourself

Dear Aly,

I was just explaining to someone the other day, that one reason why I keep this blog is because I would want you to read all these entries one day, for you to remember how your childhood was like, to (hopefully) understand why we did things a certain way, understand our thoughts and feelings, and most of all to understand how loved you are by us (as if it is not obvious enough), how proud we are of you and how much joy you have brought to our lives.

Maybe I would pick and print a number of these entries and bind them into a book and give it to you when you are old enough to understand. Maybe when you turn 21 or maybe as a wedding gift, or as a gift for you when you become a mum yourself?

But whatever it is, I am sure it would make a nice gift because one day, when you become a mother yourself, you would understand these strong emotions I am feeling and come to understand why mothers all sound the same, and why they nag about the same things, and how powerful and unconditional a parent’s love for a child is.

You might cringe at first, on seeing all these unglamarous pictures and videos we post of you, and on reading how we record every single milestone of yours with such graphic details and on seeing the frequent declarations of love (like this letter). When you are a mother yourself though, you will understand it is with such pride and joy that I describe and record each of your milestones here. In fact, I forgot to mention that you clapped your hands for the very first time last Tuesday. I had just come home from work and was waiting for dinner when I started singing one of your favourite songs from Gymboree, which goes “we clap and clap, and clap and clap” and at that moment, you beamed and put your hands together and clapped! It was something so simple, you clapping your hands but it was such a proud moment for me!

When you are a mother, you would understand why I am constantly worrying. I worry when you don’t poo, when you poo too much, when you can’t sleep, when you sleep too much (you get the idea). You develop a rash and I spend half the afternoon googling away and trying to find out the cause, and freaking myself out with the things I read and pictures I see.

I can imagine myself worrying myself silly over things that you do, things that you don’t do. I can see myself nagging at you, just like how your grandma nags (note present tense) at me.

We were not always this naggy and this worrisome you know. Yes, your papa and I were young once and were carefree once, when there was nobody else’s life to be responsible for. That changed when you came along and when you are a mother yourself, you would realise that we nag and reprimand you only because we love and care for you too much! FYI, we too, suffered from an overdose of nagging but that didn’t change the way we turned out when we became parents ourselves.

When you are a mother, you would understand that I do not expect you to be successful in your career or marry a rich man or drive a nice car or live in a nice house just so that I would be proud of you. I just want you to be happy, healthy, grounded, respectful and compassionate. Most of all i would want you to love and respect yourself. That is all I would ask of you (it’s a long list I know). Of course, my greatest challenge in parenting is to help you achieve all of these, which I will try my best to do.

When you are a mother yourself, you will realise all these and more and I can only hope that at that point i’m still around to guide you along, to share your thoughts and to talk about mummy stuff with you.

Like I tell you very single day, I love you.