Don’t worry that your children never listen to you, worry that they are always watching you.
My friend’s son has moved out of his parents house to attend college and was unable to attend their 25th wedding anniversary. He therefore, sent the following email:
Dear Muma and Papa,
Usually on occasions like these, one sends gifts and cards to show the love that there is for those closest. At this point of time I hope to be a little more explicit in telling you how much I love you both, and there simply isn’t anything I can buy and/or send that would do that job accurately enough for me.
But first, a little about me. When I came to Bangalore I did think that I would be leaving the person I am behind and becoming a reformed individual, ready to face what the world is going to throw at me. Exciting as that may sound, having spent an ample amount of time here, I have come to realise that the individual I am, doesn’t need much improvement. May not be the best at everything, but I do have the characteristics that really matter. Those are the things that no one can teach you at this stage in life, but they come coded within from birth and are enforced only by family. You have made me how I am today and am forever grateful to you for that. You have taught me how to handle every situation, good or bad, how to look beyond the obvious and how to think using the mind and the heart. Wherever I reach in life (physically and mentally), the one constant thing that has always been, and will always stay there, is you.
I may not call everyday, and sometimes not even message, but not an hour goes by when you are not with me. Even when I say to someone after a long day at college, ‘lets go home’, I always correct myself and say ‘lets go to the hostel’. Home is where the heart is, and my heart is with you.
Even on my birthday, I was upset that I was unable to meet you and for that matter, even talk to you at length, because of the work there was that day. I did come over the very next day, and that was great, but during that time, I did realise that life is going to be like this. That work is going to take priority, but never preference. It will take you far from family, but it can never take you apart. And here I am in the same situation on your anniversary, feeling rather upset that I am not around you, consoling myself that the only thing good about this situation is that you celebrate this anniversary the same way you celebrated your first :) Was also upset when you had to cancel the anniversary celebration because of factors outside of our control, but even at that time, you taught me through example about how to handle myself in such times. I look forward to meeting you in December.
You have been my earliest and best friends. You have always given me something to aspire to be, and I’m sure life has given you hardships as well, but you have always shielded me from them, even if I didn’t want you to. Somewhere inside one of my biggest worries is whether I would be able to ever match up to the both of you as a parent one day, and whether I would be able to always offer the best to my family, like you have.
Muma, you have always been there as my strength. You somehow manage to love me at times when I’m not very fond of myself. You always have just the right thing to say, be it the thing I need to hear, or the thing I want to hear. And how much ever I hate to admit it, you are always right. You always put all of us ahead of yourself. Even right now I know you are thinking about when I managed the time to write this letter to you, and why I am not studying instead. You are the force that holds us together. The strength that keeps us moving forward.
Papa, throughout my life, you have been my hero. If I am able to be one tenth the man you are in your mind, and in your heart, I would consider myself more than successful.
Your ability to make us smile and laugh is one of the greatest things in the world. You have always been the light that shows the correct path. The face reader we had met some time ago could spot just from a photo of you that you are truly the ‘Kalyug ke Raam’. To us, this information came as no surprise, was just good to hear it from someone else. I still remember the days when I would wait for you at around 6PM and you would come home and I would come running to you. The size of that little boy may have increased, but inside I am still the same person.
So here is wishing you a very very happy anniversary.
As someone who has seen the both of you throughout life, I can say for sure that i have truly been in the company of pure love, of two people no better suited for anyone but each other. People who in their own way are great as individuals, and even greater as a couple.
Here is to celebrating the 1st 25, and looking forward to the next…
As I read this poignant note, I had to take atleast 2 breaks to compose myself and to continue reading. I felt that if my son would feel even half of what is written above then I would consider it my parenting success.
The reason for posting it here is to let you parents out there have a feel of what your children may actually be thinking of you and haven’t really let you know. Children are very perceptive. They observe you. They learn. They emulate. And it’s for keeps. A quote I love to remember is:
Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you.