Letters to My Daughter: You Are Turning 1 Soon!

Dear Daughter,
I am excited beyond measure to write this letter to you. This is my first letter to you and I can’t believe you are going to 1 soon. You are just a week away from celebrating your first birthday. This is enough for me to rewind it all and cherish our memories together. My pregnancy was the easiest period until now. From the day you were born, it has been a roller coaster ride. If happiness of the ride is one thing, the head boggling it brings is another. Well, you were not just a new lesson for me, but a whole new subject. I am learning so much everyday with you. I want you to know I am trying my best to be a mother. This is a new role and a responsible one at that. My heart skips a beat whenever you fall down as you try new things, but it takes more courage to just stand there and say, “Come on, Sweetheart!” At other times, the hugs and kisses say it all. You’ve also taught me again to love without words. Your smile is everything to me.
This one year has been hilarious with you growing up everyday and teaching me to be a mother. It’s the child that gives birth to a mother. Just birthing a child doesn’t make one a mother. It is all about growing up too. So I am hoping I learn to be a better one. I know I miss on a lot of things, but you must know once I know I have made a mistake, I admit it and take efforts to make sure it doesn’t happen again. That’s also learning. There is charm in everything you do, that’s because you are learning so much everyday. There is so much excitement in you. You change the mood of your surroundings so quickly. I cannot be angry at you for long. Okay, I yelled at you a couple of times last week because you suddenly became a fussy eater, but I felt ashamed at myself for losing my temper by listening to others. Then I realized that I must “Be Me” first to be a mother. People will come up with so many ideas when it comes to bringing up a child. It isn’t easy being a mother or a wife or a woman. Don’t be scared. It’s a crazy ride, but definitely worth it. Anyway, I will talk about all this in another letter as you grow up.
On the day you were born, your Appa and I were pleased. We wanted an angel and there you were, being held by the doc. When the doctor told us “It’s a girl!” we just laughed and told, “We know!” That’s how we welcomed you. Then you started crying. Okay, we both laughed. The nurses took you to clean up and tag you. When they gave you to me, I couldn’t really believe that I delivered such a cute bunny. You were born early in the morning around 4.45. I had a long day ahead. You were busy sleeping when family visited us in the hospital. They started guessing who you looked like. Trust me, I had no idea. After guesses they concluded you looked a bit like me and a bit like your dad. Funny, no? We left to Ammama’s place from the hospital. You spent your first 5 months there. Your Ammama learnt how to bathe you and it was like playing a dangerous sport. I was so scared just watching it even from a distance. I was worried we might hurt you since you were so tiny. She did it so well that she held you like a little doll in her hands, but I got scared every time. You loved your bathing sessions. You slept right on her lap while she bathed you. You loved your bathing time. You hated your hair wash though. It was periyamma and ammama who bathed you always. You were this chubby little girl, but you suddenly looked tiny after 3 days, we had to be super careful with you. Then I learnt that babies initially lose weight because of the release of water content from their bodies. It was only two weeks later I was convinced that your weight was normal and most babies looked chubby only in photos. Chithi(Aunt, my sister) felt she has a companion for her Kungfu stunts. Didn’t you do the Hose(Martial Art Salutation to Master) to her in your second month? She was floating on air when she saw you do that!
You cried for everything. The first four months I lived completely on research and stories from your kollu ammama (great-grandmother).  Your ammama and kollu ammama thought I did too much, but most things I found online were true. You cried for the first 4 months regularly to pee and I learnt it means elimination communication and you were perfectly alright by 5th. My parents were so worried they thought you had a UTI. Thanks to google during those times. I never believed all old tales, only some were true. I am only thankful I was able to find out more when I wasn’t convinced with a story. That doesn’t mean I did not trust my family, it is just that they used to feed us only when we cried and they hardly had time in their hands back then due to joint families and work load. Now, we have time to learn about your activities and also take the time to enjoy them. They all understood later what I really meant and were glad they didn’t put you through unnecessary tests. You make everyone happy, but trust me this is only until you start talking, for some more time you will make everyone laugh. 
If Ammama and kollu ammama took care of your needs, it was thatha who swaddled you to sleep. You love sleeping in his arms even now. How you guys get along so well is so nice to watch. I am always more than glad to leave you with thatha if I have to go out. I even send you out with him to paati’s (my aunts) house. Your thatha is good at giving you fruits and making you sleep. Appa and thatha are fruit lovers and always encourage me to give you fruits if you don’t have your food. If not for their support, Amma would have to answer 100’s of unnecessary questions. Lucky me for their support in most things I do related to you, of course.
My mother and I did not miss each other even while I was getting married. We were just busy with all the work and wondered how things are going to be. It is only in these 5 months we bonded so well that we shed a tear while I moved back here. It was like the old times, we really missed each other. We all had great girl time there. I wanted to extend my stay there. However, I came back, because I cannot let comfort get too much into me. I definitely needed  the courage to do things on my own. And your Ammama had to get back to work. You were welcomed warmly by your paternal family too. They were all excited at your arrival. Since Appa is the youngest and they had waited too long for his wife to come(Me, of course), once that was ticked off, next in line was seeing the kid. Well, your Ava (paternal grandmother) adores you. She couldn’t let you alone for even a minute. She used to walk a 100 times from the kitchen to the room just to check on you. Anyway, that was a fun time.
I made sure you were vaccinated at Ammama’s place. The place was calmer than here and you always slept better there during fever. After the first fever at our home, you lost weight and never gained it for almost 3 months straight. I was so worried and didn’t know what was troubling you. All the doctors told you were active and that’s what really mattered. I wanted to trust them so much because as parents we felt the same. However, the questions I had to go through during that phase made me go through hell for weeks. From months 8 to 10 you hardly gained any weight, but these months you started sat firmly, crawled, rolled all sides effortlessly and tried to stand up. You stood up without any help for a few seconds by the time you were 11 month old. You were active enough for Appa and me to bother about your weight.
You started enjoying tub bath from last month. You splashed all the water and enjoyed every bit of your bath time. Your Appa and you love the air conditioned room during nights while I slept like I camped outdoors on a hill station. Yes, completely covered in a thick quilt. If not for feeding you, I would have slept heartily in a jerkin. Your Appa and you sleep alike and I roll my eyes watching you guys every morning. Your Appa and you fight over ice creams and chocolates, I just laugh and enjoy watching you guys go mad at each other. You crawl up to him and literally scratch him on his chest for this. You bite everybody with those squirrel teeth(4 up and 2 down). I dare keep my finger inside. An ant bite is better, I tell you that here. The way you smile after biting is precious, but being a mother, I just enjoy it by staring at you like I am angry at what you did. To my surprise, you understand my looks so well and you stop smiling and start doing other things. You understand so much at the age of 1. Wow! When you watch TV with your Ava (paternal grandmother), you fold your hands to the prayer pose immediately when you hear “Om Sai Ram”. You are adorable my sweetheart. Initially, I planned joining work after you turn 1, but trust me, I made my decision to join work only after you turn 3. I know I will think only about you and what you need if I join now. I am so tuned to you and your needs now. Luckily, Appa manages with work and though we are tight on finances at this moment, we are working on keeping things simple. We adore you and that’s all you must know. I love it when you pick everything from the ground and give it to me before actually putting it into your mouth. I am proud that I requested you to give it to me once and you followed it from then. You love it when I say “Thank you”. You smile so beautifully when you hear it. You are overjoyed.
All your squealing and babbles are for another letter because there is so much more to write in it. Amma writes only when you sleep or when you are busy playing with your cousins. Since you will wake up in sometime and Amma has a long day today, I am finishing this letter with hugs, kisses and wishes to you. I am so happy you are blessed to have grandparents from both sides showering their love on you. The best of all excitement is your Kollu ammama always being by your side and feeling gratified just by looking at you. You are blessed to have many paati’s and thatha’s, aunts and uncles, cute little and big cousins and a big brother. A big family. I feel blessed for all these people in my life, I am sure you will someday.

With your birthday just a week away, I am wishing you good health and prosperity all your life. And you must always remember, we love you. May you learn a lot and let your curiosity bring you more learning, exploration and experimentation. May you be blessed to differentiate between right and wrong and grow up as a strong girl/woman. May you spread love and kindness to all human beings, first of all being you! Let your motto be “Deeds not words”. Thanks for being my daughter. I love you with all my heart and with your father’s heart too.

I love you Sweetheart! Happy Birthday, once again!


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About Jayanthy Govindarajan

I share the reflections of my mind here as a mommy blogger. I share my parenting experiences and life experiences with gratitude.

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13 Comments on “Letters to My Daughter: You Are Turning 1 Soon!”

  1. Such a delightful post, Jayanthy. It captures the highs and lows of a first time Mommy so well. May your bond with your little Princess grow and may she blossom with all the loving care she gets.

  2. That's a lovely account of the last year. Revisiting all the firsts and the milestones will definitely bring a smile on your face any day 🙂 My best wishes to your lovely angel 🙂

  3. Oh, this is so damn sweet, Jay.

    I'm sure it was not an easy experience, but the joy you have been experiencing now must make it all worthwhile.

    A very happy blessed birthday to little I <3

  4. Oh what a lovely and beautifully put letter Jayanthy. The first year is filled with precious memories to be treasured and cherished for life. ANd its so true, its the child who gives birth to a mother,. It is she who teaches us what to do and how to be.

  5. This is such an adorable account of the ups and downs of early motherhood. I hope you write many more such letters to your daughter. I am sure she will grow to cherish them, and you would have created a customized rear view mirror to look back on your life and the wonderful memories. 🙂

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