Hello little Zahra, our little bundle of joy! As you lay peacefully asleep in your cot tonight, I can’t help but watch you and feel incredibly proud of what your father and I created. A whole new human being – capable of feeling, smiling, talking and understanding.
You came into our lives as a happy surprise – and I still remember my trembling hands on the pregnancy test as though it was just yesterday. Its been almost a year since the day, and carrying you has been such a delight. From the gentle kicks in my tummy to the way you hold our fingers after you were born, you have filled our lives with experiences we never thought were possible.
And its not just me and your dad. You, my love, have brought the family closer with your own little magnetism. From “Sorry, I have plans with my friends” to “I’m coming home early to play with Zahra”, you have been the center of attraction, center of attention and the center of peels of laughter.
It is because of you, that your dad and I have become more appreciative of our own parents, your grandparents. We have learnt to appreciate their relentless hard work up until this date – just to ensure that we live our lives comfortably. I don’t think there is any way we will ever be able to repay them, but the best we can do is to raise you into a fine person that they will be proud to call their own.
We often discuss about how you will be when you grow up – a rebellious teenager, embarrassed to be seen with us, thinking we put too many restrictions on your partying and late nights. But at times like these, remember that we were the first people to dance with you – your father and I. Before you could even raise your neck to look us in the eye.
Your dad when he first nervously lifted you on his shoulders the day you were born – swaying you to sleep or preparing you for your first burp. And me during our countless afternoons alone at home during my maternity leave – when I would tell you the Cinderella story. I would raise your hand and we’d do the ballroom dance. I, the Prince charming and you – my delightful Cinderella. We could be our little goofy selves that time, without the world having to know – those secrets we shall keep. Oh those gurgles of laughter. Oh those tears of joy!
Now that you have wings on your back and you think that you can achieve the impossible, we feel nothing but proud of you. I can’t help but remember how I first taught you how to fly, propped up on my legs while I lay back and raised you higher. Your first amused expression as I held both your arms by your sides, rocking you back and forth, making you believe in the power of your wings.
Or your father, when he lifted you in his arms at 45 degrees as if you were floating in air, and run around the house with you with your one fist outstretched – the super woman that you are.
We didn’t realize it then, but we were teaching you how to trust those who loved you, and trust in your own ability to fly.
So fly, my little one as there is nothing that can really stop you besides the limitations of your own imagination. By the time you will be reading this, we would have raised you not as a daughter, a female – but an equal human being. Someone who could pursue sports if she liked, and came back home to share my make-up. We will keep you away from stereotypes – that someone who likes sports and fast cars cannot possess feminine charms. You were so effeminate even during your first hour in the outside world. Holding your hands together, so lady like as you suckled your first meal.
Learn. That is the one biggest goal that your father and I have for you. Learn as much as you can, from wherever, whoever and whenever you can. If our means permit, you will be the kid who will be enrolled in a wide array of classes. From sport, to dance to art and craft. Not because we would like to show-off our all rounder in front of friends and family. It is because we believe that you will never truly identify your passion, unless you are exposed to it.
You will resist, we know that. You will want to spend mornings tucked in bed rather than packing away to your next practice. We understand, because so did your dad and I when we were enrolled for dance and basket ball classes when we were kids. But we did go. We sacrificed our sleep for the sake of our parents. And we both slowly realized that we really enjoyed those things. Your dad went on to win awards for dancing, while me – well, I just enjoyed basket ball a lot. I would have never known if I had never taken that class.
And when you learn, never just stop at that. Teach someone else less fortunate than you . You might be surprised how their viewpoint can actually add value to something that you already know. This will keep your fire going.
And when you soar high and enter the mad rush to achieve all your goals, never forget your roots. Your parents, your family and your friends that stood by you. Be grateful for their contribution in your life and be humble in your demeanour to your friends and strangers alike.
Don’t forget your roots, I say that again. Never forget your humble beginnings, and never cease to be grateful for the head starts you get in life. At the cost of accelerating your future, never leave behind the first man that ever lay his eyes on you, the one who always put your needs first. Don’t forget the arms that rocked you night or day or the ones that took you out everyday after work. Never lose sight of the one who taught you the manners or the one who sang to you even on Skype. The one who took pride taking you for a sunbath, or the ones who got you new clothes and accessories ever so often just so that you’d always look your pretty self in photographs. The love of your parents, grand parents and extended family is truly unconditional and the purest you will ever find.
With this, my love, I end my letter to sit by your cot while you sleep – watching you dream.