Mantam turned 11 in June and I’m so late in writing this letter. (Before coming up with excuses for the absence from this space and half-hearted promises to be more regular, let me directly start the letter)
I really can’t believe that you are just two years away from being teenagers. How did we end up here so soon? You both have grown into such loving young girls with their hearts in the right place. Baba and I feel so proud when we hear praises about you both from different people. We must be doing something right.
Some time back, you both were discussing a girl called M, who was being mean to A. How M had influenced all of A’s friends and ganged up to say mean things to A and make her feel alone. When you both stood up for A and called M out for being insensitive to A’s feelings, my heart swelled with pride. You even talked to A’s former close friends and encouraged them not to be swayed by M. Cut to a month or two later, when I met A’s mum, she told me that you both were like god-send during the phase when A was feeling very down. She told me how she would not listen to them when they tried to talk sense into her. But when you both told her the same things, she would listen. They were relieved that their daughter had you both by her side to give her the right advice. It melted my heart and I can’t tell you how happy I felt!
Some days ago, I was discussing how a team from my workplace had volunteered at a school that educates kids on the spectrum. They were going to organise a Trivia afternoon to raise funds for the school. You came to me and asked if I could donate some money from your Savings account. I was surprised, yet touched by your thoughtfulness. When I asked you how much would you like to donate, you said $50 without blinking an eyelid. When Abbas and I were surprised, you asked if it was too less? You have a large giving heart, young lady! I hope you continue to give to people and touch lives as you grow.
You, on the other hand, are miserly when it comes to giving (especially in cash and kind). In terms of love and happiness, you spread that in abundance. Recently you said that you are never going to pay taxes to the government because it’s ridiculous. When I asked you if you are never going to earn money, you replied saying that you wouldn’t need to. Because when you grow up, you are going to live in Mannu’s garage and look after her home and kids 🙂 Your ambitions terrify me and I sincerely hope it was a joke.
Last year brought so many new changes in our lives. We finally brought a pet home after all the pestering. Our little bunny, Laddoo, has truly become a family member (the only one who doesn’t work hard yet gets to enjoy every corner of our home, that we slog our backsides off to pay the mortgage for) You both treat her like your sister and the love you shower on her, looking out for her and defending her when she chews cables off are heart-warming. We also got two more pets (parrots) to fulfil Abbas’s crazy passion.
We were visited by my Uncle, aunt and cousin this year, which was the first time you both had the experience of maternal grandparents visiting. We had the best time with them when you convinced me cheekily to bunk school to be with them (Ammamma and Ajja, rooting for you), we went on a road trip with them to Gold Coast, then on a flight to Cairns and had one of the best vacations ever. The connection that you established with them was unreal and it was amusing to see my uncle and aunt turn kids again with you both.
This year also saw us visiting my cousin in Gold Coast and my other cousin visiting us from Brisbane. I think we spent a lot of quality time with family this year than we ever had! We even had my colleague Sooku, who treats me like her daughter, come over and spend a night with us. She came with so many goodies, cooked a feast for us and taught you painting.
I have always felt guilty of being the reason for you have missed out on maternal grandparental love. Well, not any more. When Sooku came all the way with paints, brushes, Korean snacks and brought stuff that you love, I had a light bulb moment. I have carried this guilt of you both growing up without having my parents’ and siblings’ love. The kind of love you both receive from so many people, my colleagues and friends, Baba’s colleagues and friends, your teachers, your daycare staff members, Baba’s side of the family, so many of my blog readers, Facebook friends is exceptional. I want you both to know that you are very lucky and you deserve all of it and more. I hope you value the love that is showered on you and always reciprocate and spread it even more.
Mumma and Baba ❤
PS: I wanted to write about your birthday party this year but this letter has already gone too long. I will have to write another post.