She's special

Dear N,

I’ve written to your brother earlier but never thought of writing to you. You seem so self sufficient, so self assured, so responsible and grown up already that I never thought you needed advice. But I’m a mama you see, and offering advice is second nature to our tribe so bear with me.. this time and all other times as you grow up.

Do you know it was papa who picked your name for you? Among other things it means ‘someone special’. And you really are. Of course you are special to mama and papa, all children are.. but you are special in a very SPECIAL way.

I don’t think you need me to tell you that, you hear it all the time. You may not be the prettiest girl around nor the most talented.. yet there’s something about you. Your teachers, your friends, their moms, the didi’s and the dadis of the society, the watchmen, the uncles and the aunties.. and sometimes even total strangers on the road seem to have something to say to you. I love it that you’re secure in the knowledge that you are everyone’s favourite.

However along with all this affection comes responsibility. People expect much much more from you. Have you noticed? If a child is feeling left out or alone it’s you his/her mother calls for help? And to your credit you ALWAYS listen and run to help and include the loner. If you happen to get into a disagreement it’s you who are asked to ‘understand’ and back out. It’s a tough deal but you handle it with aplomb. I am so proud.

Oh you’re a smart girl, I know, but sometimes mama-wisdom can help so here goes.

Be your own person.. don’t try to please everyone. It’s impossible to do that, not to say exceedingly exhausting. Trust your mama on this one baby, she’s been there. Don’t depend on others’ approval for your happiness. Don’t evaluate yourself by others’ parameters. Have your own. It’s more important to BE good than to be thought good.

Keep an active conscience.. it pays to have one. Life might seem easier in its absence but believe me it actually gets more complicated. Honesty, you will see, IS the best policy. So do your own homework, don’t expect mama to chip in even if the teacher never gets to know.

Don’t expect too much from yourself. It’s not important to be THE best.. it’s important to give YOUR best. I remember the time you went for a fancy dress competition, you were just two years old. You got tongue tied on the stage and then couldn’t forgive yourself for the longest time because you couldn’t give your best. Don’t be hard on yourself baby.. leave that to the others.

Focus. When you take up something stick with it. You’re a busy girl I know. There are many many things to be done, places to be explored, activities to be taken up .. but do finish what you start or else you’ll get nowhere.

Look beyond the external. Beautiful is NOT always good. And while on looks -- clothes are not the end of the world.. oh well you are a girl after all, I’ll let you have that one.

More later
Love and hugs


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