The Thing About …. Your 1st Year

Please read the introductory post for context.

The day I was born at the Military Hospital in Delhi, there was another new mother in the ward next to my Mother’s. When the doctor came in after my Mother regained consciousness, my Mother asked if I was a boy or girl. The doctor very sternly responded with a question “You want a boy?”. My Mother said she had no preference. Only then did the Doctor relax a little and announced that my Mother had given birth to a girl. She explained that she was annoyed because the lady in the next room also delivered a baby girl and when she found out she only cried. Her in-laws were expecting a son and they didn’t want this baby girl whom she had brought into this world.

But you sweetheart, will be loved whatever the gender. You were made out of love and will be raised with a lot of love. Speaking of raising you, I occasionally day dream about how I want to raise, what all I want to expose you to and what not. These are based on the way my parents chose to raise me- some that I like and some that I don’t.

First of all, I want to have a pup or two. (I hate cats and you will not have a say in this.) Here’s a secret- whenever I feel really low or have had a bad day, I like to watch YouTube videos of babies playing with dogs, and that instantly makes me feel better. It makes me realize that life is indeed beautiful and these low moments are just a small part of it. Anyway, the point is, I love dogs and I’m sure it’ll make a good play mate for you. I remember I had a dog when I was a baby. Its name was ‘Frisky’. My Mother had won it at a raffle when it was a tiny pup and it was the only dowry my Father accepted. It was a beautiful and loyal dog. I think I learnt walking by holding its fur. I have so many lovely memories with it and I want that for you too. I’ve also read somewhere that having pets around your baby improves the baby’s immunity. I’m not sure how true that is, but if I find that it is, we’re going to have a dog! And I’m sure you’ll love it!

Second of all, I’m not going to be the kind of mother who keeps her baby indoors all the time in order to ‘protect’ it from germs, etc. No. Germs are everywhere; there’s no escaping it. The only way to deal with it is to build your immunity and healthy habits. In fact, I’m of the school of thought that a little exposure to germs actually builds your immunity. (Think about all the westerners who can barely survive a week in India without falling ill.) And I don’t want you to become a couch potato who’s afraid of the world. I want you to win the world. So, either your father or I will take you on a morning walk everyday. I sometimes imagine riding a bicycle with you sitting in the basket in the front and enjoying the wind in your tiny little, silky hair. I imagine you smiling with awe at these little things that are so new to you and you trying to reach out for them. I want to put you out on the grass soaking in the early morning sunlight along with our dog. (Let’s name the dog Thor!)

I want to introduce you to all these people that your Father and I love. We are social birds and we will take you with us and you will be an outgoing baby. The only people I will keep you away from are those who are sick with an infection. I want you to be loved by all the people who are important to us and in turn hope that you will come to love them.

About five years ago while I was cleaning out my house, I found a baby book in my name. 19 years gone without me knowing that my parents maintained a baby book for me. My parents aren’t very emotionally expressive so when I read the contents of this book, I simply cried. And every time I look at this book, all I can see is how much my parents love me and what my birth meant to them. There are tiny little details like ‘The day she recognized her Mother’ and ‘The day she discovered hands’. I will keep one for you too. Of course there will be Facebook for this too, but I like traditional and I will note down all your firsts 🙂

If things go the way I want, then by the time you come into this world, I will have my own business and a swanky office with a whole bunch of employees. If that does happen, I will take you with me to work. Who says one can’t be a mother AND a corporate leader? I will have a day care in the office so that my employees who don’t want to leave their child elsewhere can bring them along. I will bring you with me and do my work too. I will not let you be one of those children who doesn’t see one or both of their parents everyday. As I grew, I saw less and less of my father because he was working so hard to earn a good life for us. Circumstances left him with little choice in this matter. But I will see you and play with you everyday.

While I’m being very lofty with my day-dreaming, I hope that I have an independent house with a front and back yard so that I can leave you out in the open to play and enjoy nature. To show you the extent of how crazy I am, I want to let you in on another secret. When I was working in Facebook, we had an internal online store that sold Facebook merchandise like stationery with Facebook printed on it. There was also a section of clothes which included baby stuff. There were cute little onesies with Facebook written on it, little beanie hats, bibs, and so much more! I wanted to buy them and keep them for the future when I would have you. But that would be insane and no explanation that I could give would convince my parents that I’m not crazy. So I dropped the thought 😦

Lastly, your name will not be a mix of your parents’ names. It will have a deep meaning and I will try my best to make it as unique as possible. The only thing I can’t guarantee is that you won’t be given a typically stupid bengali pet-name.

Anyway, just know that we love you and will do the best we can to raise you into a strong, healthy, and smart child.

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