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a letter to my son

To my beautiful Boy,

You might be 15 and waaay taller than me (but then again, I think most of humankind are..) and consider yourself a big boy now, well, quite honestly with the level of maturity that you carry yourself with, I sometimes forget that you're 15.

Coming into this world, you literally made me do a 360-degree turn in my life - you changed everything – you gave me perspective when I was struggling to find perspective – and I will always be grateful for that.

Most of all, YOU are the person who made me a MOTHER. Till today, every time you say ‘mommy’, I catch myself realising how so lucky I am to have that chance to be one. It’ll never get old!

You might read this and say this is all ‘cringey’ but you’ll get it one day.

When I used to pick you up from school and watch you playing football whilst waiting, my heart swells of pride for the person that you’ve become – it’s really overwhelming. When you were younger, you were seldom without the ‘I love you’s and your affectionate hugs and quite frankly I miss those moments as now it’s almost as if I have to force you for them. Since you’re 15 and all, I know you’ll squirm out of my arms or scream if I were to give you a big hug, that’s the reason why just before I wake you up for school, I sometimes spend a few minutes next to you just holding you, its more for me than you because my heart will burst if I don’t get those little moments.

I love you. I love you more than there are words to describe the feeling. It makes me tear up and my heart sits in my throat every time I think about the depth of this love I feel for you.

When I was carrying you for the short 29 weeks, my fears were different due to the ‘different’ situation I was in; how to survive with a child was a concern – financially it was a bit challenging. I am so ever grateful that we’ve overcome that phase. Now my fears are different – I wonder if I’m doing a good job raising you. But then again, when I look at you as a person, I think to myself that I’m doing a pretty darn good job but then again, I find myself questioning the decisions I make sometimes – is what I’m doing enough to support your needs? How do I know? As a parent, I get really scared..

I may not be perfect and may not have all the answers when it comes to raising you and I can only hope that what I have been doing so far is okay.

You’re not the boy who yells back or throws tantrums, never have you, ever. Sometimes I wonder if you suppress your feelings or if you’re just a calm soul. I really don’t know and it scares me a little to know that I might have had a hand in you not being able to express your feelings – if that is indeed the case. I would never want that for you. But from what I can see now, you were always an easy child. Mischievous but nothing to give me a migraine. No rolling on the floor or even crying! You never cried!! You would cry only if the cut was really bad or if I yelled really hard during homework time... Other than that – nothing!

I also know I used to be quite harsh when we did homework together and I’m so sorry if I made you feel small or not good enough – it was never my intention. It was my frustration – of knowing that you’re one of the smartest people I know but I was too impatient and couldn’t understand that you just didn’t understand. I might not push as hard now but I know that you will come into your own as and when you’re ready. I've learned to relax a bit and trust that you do know what you're doing.

I do know that your current pressures in school, to do well and get good grades is high but I don’t want you to achieve these because of me, I need you to do well because you want to. The pressures from teachers get to me too and you know I’ve a different thinking from what is expected in school. For me, grades are not important but overall development and progress are. I get succumbed to the pressures because our education system focuses too much on exam results and I strongly believe it shouldn't be that way.

But you must understand, the education system in your school is so much better because you learn so much more than just what’s in textbooks. You learn stuff that even some people in the workforce are not even capable of and I’m proud of that because it prepares you for the outside world. Your ability to give presentations to a big group of people is what I’m most proud of. Not many people can do this, including me and you’re a natural. In the current working world, this is more important than any sort of grade!

As you grow into your own person I need to always remind myself to see you as who you are beyond my hopes for you. I often come back to Khalil Gibran’s poem below to find perspective when I get off the rails concerning you and I’d like to share this with you.

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,

which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them

but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children

as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

and He bends you with His might

that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies,

so He loves also the bow that is stable.

This really resonates with me for it truly reminds me of what a beautiful human being you really are and what a beautiful life this is.

I have some advice below that I'd like to leave for you, not that you need it but something you could always come back to from time to time. I hope they help you as much as they help me.

  1. Chase your dreams no matter how wild they may be and work towards them. Believe in your dreams. They were given to you for a reason.

  2. Be respectful no matter age, gender, skin colour or religion. Even to people who don’t deserve it, not as a reflection of their character, but as a reflection of yours.

  3. Live your life with passion and purpose. Doing anything less would be sacrificing your gifts. Don’t let life pass you by.

  4. Be generous with what you have.

  5. Be brave – go outside of your comfort zone - that's what YOU tell me!

  6. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. They are lessons you can learn from.

  7. Be humble.

  8. Be grateful ALWAYS!

  9. Defend the weak.

  10. Don’t let failure define who you are. Disappointments, mistakes and setbacks are simply an opportunity to learn. Forget the mistakes and remember the lessons.

  11. Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.

  12. The past never defines the future.

  13. Learn to forgive – others and especially yourself.

  14. Courage doesn’t always mean not being afraid. Courage also means having the inner strength to embrace fear and still move forward.

  15. Magnify people’s strengths and not their weaknesses.

  16. Your words have special powers – say it, believe it and you’ll see it!

  17. You’re allowed to scream and cry and be frustrated but NEVER quit.

  18. It’s okay if you fall down and lose your spark. Just make sure that when you get back up, you rise as the whole damn fire!

  19. Whatever you decide in life, make sure it makes you happy.

  20. How you make others feel, says a lot about you.

  21. There is a story behind every person. There’s a reason why they’re the way they are. Think about that before you judge someone. Always practice kindness-you don’t know the struggles the other person is going through.

Again, I hope these sayings will serve you as they did me. Words can surprise you and bring you inner strength when you most need it. If anything I am here for you, always.

I’ve repeatedly told you that you were meant for greatness in whatever it is you do, and with all my heart I strongly believe that and I always will. But most importantly, my wish for you is that you are always happy.

I love you, Adam, always.



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