In order for you to be happy, you need everyone to be happy with you. And that means your parents, your family, your teachers, your friends, people you met for the first time. Truly everyone! There is also the fact that you are good at a lot of things. You pick up things taught at school without a lot of struggle, you love arts and craft and have the patience to finish coloring a picture perfectly, you are coordinated and dance well, you have a good balance which helps you in sports. These two things combined means that it gets very difficult for you when you don’t do well at anything. Your first instinct is to avoid doing it, pretending that it does not interest you. Then the struggle starts to try and try a little more. As a grown up (and a biased mom), I still things you pick things, you thinks are difficult, easily. A few tries and it is not a challenge anymore.
Beginning of this school year, learning to read was your biggest struggle. You knew you letters, you knew the sound they made. But seeing it all together and you decided it was too hard. It has been slow work, trying to sound every letter and fit it all together, but you my smart one, memorize words you get stuck on and remember them so that you don’t have to sound them out. In a way that is how we are all read, our brain processes most written text that way, which makes your way a great way to go, but your Maa still makes you sound every word and makes you work through it. Super mean of her, I know, but you are doing great, even when you think you are not. I look at the progress you have made in the few short months and am amazed at how far you have come.
You love to learn. You wanted to learn how to read and write Hindi, so I taught you how to write your name. For about a month, you wrote it everywhere you possibly could. When your school offered Hindi class in their after school program, I asked you if you wanted to go? You were so excited to start that it was difficult to make you wait the week before class started. Every week you would come home talking about something you had learned. There was the k, kh, g and your funny pronunciation of them, there was Ravan and Diwali stories, there was practicing writing the letters. And you had fun doing it all. We worked together on ghoda and not goda, jhoola and not joola but as we laughed, you learned.
When you were a year and a half we had gone to a beach. You were so excited to see the water that you ran towards it. A big wave came charging and I picked you up in the nick of time, but it scared you off. Big pools of water were not for you. It took slow build up of confidence to get you inside a swimming pool but once you got over your fear, you were amazing. Now I see you mastering the backstroke, working hard on free style and just this weekend they progressed you to breast stroke. The smile on your face and you talked all about how you moved your legs was a sight to behold.
Having heard and watched videos of your Paa skiing and snowboarding, you could not wait to learn either. But having skis on is a totally different experience and the cold and snow does not help either. Once you got used to that, they started teaching you how to stop on a small small (almost un-noticeable) slope. The first time around, you were scared. I stood below, with a promise that I would not let you fall. You smiled and came down full speed, not even trying to stop. A couple of trips down the slope and you realized, you would stop without any effort on your part as you came to the flat section. No matter how many times your instructed asked you to break, you would not. You looked at me and said, ‘I like going fast, why should I break?’. I explained that only when you learned to stop will your instructors take you up on the chair lift. Indeed they did that to a few kids in your class, while you got left behind. Not happy with that, you practiced you stops, relentlessly.
This weekend, your ski class was off. The plan was for your Paa to see if you were ready for the chair lift and if so take you up one and come down an actual long slope. A couple of reasons and we decided that I would carry my ski along and not him. The two of us did three runs on bunny slopes and we thought you were ready. With a little bit of trepidation (OK a lot more than little), I took you up the slope on the chair lift. You laughed as we sat on the chair, hanging high over the ground, looking down at people. The getting off the lift used to be the scariest part for me, while I was learning how to ski, but you were a pro at it, in your first time. I told you, ‘skis straight, stand up and I will push you a little.’ You did it exactly as instructed, not even a wobble and you were off, skiing out. I went in front, you followed. Not only breaking when your speed became too much but also turning as I did. Any expectations I had, before we started the run, you blew beyond recognition. As we came down to stand in line again to get on the chair lift, you asked me, ‘can you tell Papa, I did well? I feel down twice, but that is OK right Mumma?’. I hugged you tights, ‘of course it is more than ok!’ 3 more runs, only one more fall, while Paa and Bugz, standing in the middle of the run, watching and you were ready to move on to the next challenge.
Your little hills, you concur with so much ease. Your highs so much bigger because of your little age. Our pride ever growing with each step of yours. My dearest one, my wish for you stays with you, through the hills and valleys. Stay healthy, stay happy, stay you.
Oh and as you grow up and laugh at my skiing skills, remember I was the first one to teach you how to come down a hill!
Loads of love,