Today, my most precious bundle of joy turns 11 and I simply can't believe how and where did the time fly by. Every year, just before the onset of November , I go through some serious nostalgia pangs when I happily tread down memory lane thinking about the most special day in the life of my husband and me – The day when my special gift was hand-delivered to me on a Monday evening at sharp 8:03 pm and how I was numb with joy at the sight of my baby boy happily getting tucked out of my tummy ( courtesy C-section) and handed over to me all gift wrapped with his umbilical cord tightly intact and I was officially a brand new mother on board.
Since that day onwards, my husband and I have been blessed with immense happiness and privilege of having Soham in our lives and all we wish for him is to be a happy, healthy and a good human being. And I have my very own special 11 wish –list to celebrate his 11th birthday and gear him up to do a subtle ( that’s what all parents pray for and no one succeeds) transition from a tween to a teen and take on the perks of being a tween with full energy and enthusiasm.
My dearest Soham,
- I wish you loads of fun and laughter always. Always keep the funny bone within you intact and let it grow stronger and better with every passing year. It is simply amazing to have the ability to laugh at oneself first and then laugh away loudly at whatever tickles you and let your laughter be contagious and let it be the reason for a lot of laughter’s in this world. The world needs that and always, believe in the good old adage ‘Laughter is indeed the best medicine’. Never laugh at people or at their circumstances, but laugh when you think it is needed to laugh and be proud of that. You have inherited that infamous laughter from your Mom!
- Be ready to accept the change. Very soon, you will experience a roller-coaster of emotions and physical changes within your body and your moods, but that’s all a part of growing up. You have already noticed how there are subtle strands of hair emerging on your upper lip, and that’s a sign that you are getting ready for something big and good in the years to come. Never be shy or worried about what’s happening inside and outside your body. You have the best teachers at home to explain you this , they are your Mom and Dad and they are far better in this area than Google. Trust me, we are waiting to get roasted by your questions.
- Always be happy and smiling. And this is not because your Mom is an Happiness Coach , but because that’s the biggest treasure of life . You may not always get everything you demand, you may not always have the things that your best friends have, you may not always be the best dressed or most popular boy in your class, you may not have fancy cars or always go on international vacations or be your teacher’s favorite. All you need to do is keep telling yourself ‘ I am blessed’ for everything that you HAVE and trust me, that’s all it actually takes to be happy.
- I would love you to have GIRL friends . Yes, you have heard it right , its GIRL friends. Your Dad and I sent you to a co-ed school so you could have the opportunity to have friends who are a healthy mix of boys and girls but honestly, I am so disheartened to see that you only have BOYS as your friends. This needs to change soon, I so want to have your GIRL friends to give me company during your boring boys-only birthday parties and to make you realize how special friendships are at this age . Your Dad and I have been best friends since school and you know how may BOY friends I had during my school days because friends are friends , the gender really doesn't matter.
- I wish you to be a very compassionate and empathetic person – I know these words are difficult for you to fully understand at this age, but just think of your most favorite person and see how you always treat them with love and affection. That’s how you should be with others and always try and understand what the other person is saying. You will not always understand their situation and be able to help, bust just listening to them alone can help and always try and help someone. Kindness always pays.
- Always keep your friends close to your heart – It gives me great pleasure to see the way you have developed a deep bond with your friends in the building complex, at school, at your coaching classes and how your guys are always there with each other. Right now, you guys are happy being with each other all the time, playing and spending time at each other’s home during vacations and busy planning your sleep overs . But soon, as some of the friends move out of the nest or move away from you, don’t lose heart and remembers that ‘ once a friend, always a friend’. You must always keep in touch with your friends and always be there FOR each other and not only WITH each other. True friendships are another big treasure of life and always look after them with tender loving care.
- Have a curious mind. Yes, you heard it right . Ask , Ask , Ask and no one will tell you to stop. I know this contradicts with what you may have sometimes seen Dad and me do as you were younger. But that’s also because we were young parents . Now, you have grown and we have also grown along with you . So we want you to be a curious mind and keep asking for help or information or anything that excites you and you want to know more about it . A curious mind is what you need and we are happy to help always !
- Study well and enjoy what you are learning – You know we have said this to you ‘ Marks are not everything ‘ but its very important for you to understand and know the fundamentals of what is being taught to you . You have excellent teachers in your school and its great to see how you like all your class teachers every year and keep that bond going to help you study well and enjoy your study time. I love the time we study together , not sure how much you love it because I am constantly telling you to improve your hand-writing or something that you can do better . And that’s also because you have the potential to shine and after all , I am a MOM !
- We are a TEAM – Your Dad, you and I are a team . We are in this life TOGETHER . Whatever you do, whatever challenges you face , whatever issues you have , we are there to support and guide you always. Please never lie to us (however tempting it is or someone tells you to do this), come and tell us everything and we will only help you come up with a solution . We want to be your BFF too !
- Eat well and sleep well – It’s important for you to increase your intake of those green , leafy vegetables and have a healthy balanced meal and when you eat well, you are fully charged and your brain is completely ready to take on any challenges and leads you in the right direction . And do continue to get your 8 hours of beauty sleep, you need it and deserve it and you are ready to rock early morning every day.
- Do deliberate practice – Whatever you are doing right now, be it swimming or learning to play the guitar or learning Martial Arts, nothing in life will make you succeed at anything until you practice hard and work hard . You need to do ‘deliberate practice’ in any of these areas that takes you to a completely different world and you get lost in what you are doing . Until you don’t reach that zone , remember you are not reaching towards perfection . This will sound boring and tedious to you, but in life ‘ No pain , no gain’ . That’s the reality that you must do this to be good in whatever you do.
With this, I wish you all the happiness in the world and may you always keep shining and smiling. Your Dad and I are very proud to be your parents and we love you the most . Love you my GupPai !