Since I found out I was pregnant with Shloka, I've written secret letters that I hope to pass on to her someday, of how I've felt, what she's brought into our lives. I went from being a super open person to a very private one over the course of the past year and a half. However, this one is an open letter for her to read and for me to share because the past year has been wonderful, in spite of the lockdown, in spite of COVID. I also want to share this because they say mothers take maternity leave and need all the help they can get, well I haven't had much, yet I'm grateful for those who helped me out especially my husband, a doting father and my mother who cooked us meals for the entire lockdown and continues to send them over with such love, for my inlaws who eagerly await video calls with my baby girl and most grateful to God for giving me this angel, for inspiring me to try to be a better mom and set a better example for Shloka.
Today as my baby girl turns a big ONE my heart explodes with so many emotions. Last year this time I was scared, nervous, petrified and excited all together. I couldn't wait to hold her and also to be unpregnant haha i was so scared, I just wanted her healthy and happy, in my arms...I knew life was going to change forever but nobody can prepare you for what is to come - labour and post-delivery. That rush of seeing you that first time, even though I passed out immediately after, I got to hold you only after a couple of hours.....You've filled our lives with such love and joy, a kind that is genuine and pure.
This past year will be a year I will forever cherish in heart and memory. I think I have grown with you over the past year, there is so much I have learnt, so much you've taught me. To see you smile, gurgle, hold my finger, sit up, crawl, stand and walk have been the best moments for both your parents in our entire lives put together. Nothing is sweeter than your little cheeks squished on me and your long eyelashes on your closed eyes. Your little parted lips and your breath that always smelt sweet. I breathed you in so much and will never forget your smell.
It hasn't been easy for you or for us, I know that amidst the lockdown life has not been how I planned it to be for either of us but I am grateful to have had you in our lives, hearts and arms, life doesn't seem so dreary anymore. You've taught me what is to fall in love with somebody, at first sight, your cooing and giggles are my favourite sounds in the whole world when you learned to lift your head and roll over I learned to celebrate within, I didn't want to startle you...You taught me to be grateful for the little things in life - a good night's sleep, a supportive partner and something as mundane as a shower...
You've taught me that being clear and vocal about what you are ok with or not ok with is a personality trait and not a function of age - I am so glad that you have it. There are very few things you dislike, like sweet food! Definitely not got that from me but I hope your sugar aversion continues. You don’t like being left alone especially because your world literally comprises of your two parents and the people inside the phone, but that’s okay because we’ll never leave you. We’ll teach you that it’s okay to have likes and dislikes, but to always stay open-minded.We’re excited about every stage and milestone. We’re so grateful to have you in our lives, it's been a long long journey!
The day you sat up you made me realise that you won't always be my baby in arms and that you will bloom into a beautiful independent girl very soon. You taught me that mess is fun and that it is absolutely ok to not be a perfect mom, and that every mom is actually a perfect mom...
You've taught me patience... when you clamp your mouth shut and refuse to eat what I have spent time and effort cooking for you or when you struggle to do things that we adults take for granted and when you manage that joy is what true celebration means. I really learned that you were going to do things in your own time. I learned that everything is a phase and my role is to support you in your process. You learned to play with your toys and be silly. I learned this was my most favourite way to spend my days. Being silly with you brings me pure joy.
I learned that being a working mom was not so bad, even if my productivity levels were far lower because you wanted to type the same time as me on my Macbook, I also learned that it takes a village and with all hands on deck to raise a baby but if that can't be done, then you raise a baby anyways, and that isn't so bad either.
I learned to see the world through your eyes and everything was suddenly amazing again. You learned to wave and say “hiya” and I learned that something small really could take up the most room in my heart. You learned to crawl, pull up to stand, then I learned, not to hold my breath in fear of your fall, but to support you in all the wonderful things you could do. You and your daddy became partners in crime, the bond you share is unique and leaves me looking in from the outside often. I never knew how much I loved your dad until I saw how much he loved you. This year you learned and grew so much. I learned just what we could achieve together as a family in one simple year - you inspired me to start Chai + Sing + Rainbows because little girls need pretty bows but more because we could help empower and enable the women behind it together. You inspired me to launch this website so that we could share our amazing finds with little people and their discerning moms.
So happy birthday sweetheart! We have so much to celebrate today.
I dedicate this website and everything I do in my life to you, my inspiration, my muse my little peach! I would not have it any other way.
Happy One, may I continue to grow with you and learn from you!