Letters to my Child, #1

Before anything: Mommy loves you. I have loved you before I knew you, and I’ll love you regardless of who you are or who you will be after today. My love for you is instinctive, even irrational, and at a depth I have yet to understand at this time of writing.

Mommy is at the cusp of adulthood. Soon, taxes, carpool schedules, and weekly grocery stock ups will be my main preoccupations. I suppose that would be the Mommy you know. Right now, though, the vast rye field of childhood is still visible from across the moor of my teenage years.

Beyond here I pass through a fence where idealism takes on the connotation of foolishness; getting away with mistakes will no longer be a privilege of mine. I will catch myself inexplicably calling out to you: “don’t run around”, because that is what good mothers say, because that is what we’ve heard adults say while growing up.

What I really want is for you to run as much and as fast as you want, while you can. Run and fall down, it doesn’t matter. Mistakes are your privilege now, because I’ve taken up the baton to clean up after you, as my parents did for me.

So before I yell “don’t run around” and actually mean it, I want to tell you everything you ought to know at a stage where I would still make sense to you, and where you would still make sense to me. Firstly, and one of the most important things you need to know, is that I am fallible.

I am so fallible. If I raised you right, you would not only know that Santa isn’t real, but also that he is an annoyingly Western-centric conception. In lieu of that (rather inconsequential and trivial, I’m sure you would agree) nasty realization, I have to give you another one – a harsher truth to digest, sure, but a necessary one:

Most of the time I have no idea what I’m doing. I try my best everyday. I get stressed, I am sometimes angry. I have ugly thoughts. I do things I tell you not to do. There were probably several instances I should have apologized to you but didn’t. Sometimes I use my status as a parent for selfish means, maybe at your expense.  The advice I give you are my own approximates of what I think is best (which may not be the best).

I can only hope that I haven’t failed you (too much) yet; that the illusion of parental perfection is chipped away proportionally to the development of your maturity. I need you to know this because it would be then easier to forgive me for anything I may do or not do, and trust me forgiving spares you more than it does the person you forgive.

This is the first of the many things I want to tell you, also a more difficult one because Mommy likes tackling the bleaker stuff first. 先苦后甜。Your grandpa taught me that and if I did it right, you’d have picked this up too.

Today Mommy is young with great skin and tiny boobs. Are they now bigger from breastfeeding? One of the less horrific byproducts of childbirth I am looking forward to. You will feel squeamish having just read that, but live with it. I love you! *kiss*

Mom, 17th Jan 2014, Letter #1

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5 thoughts on “Letters to my Child, #1

  1. I always wanted to leave messages for my hypothetical kid. But I find myself far too angry to leave letters that wouldn’t emotionally scar my kid (so I leave short angry advices for myself instead). Yours, however, has expressed almost exactly what I feel. I sometimes wonder if our parents feel the same way too.

    1. I fully know what you mean by the advices to self bit. In a way couching the advice for someone else instead of myself forces me to see things from another perspective. You should try if you’ve thought of doing it! Pretty sure my parents would’ve thought these at some point of time, we always end up to be a little bit like our own parents.

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