(this essay is an entry to this online literary contest . good luck to us all and happy reading.)
I can still vividly recall the first time I finally held you in my arms. I was supposed to breastfeed you not because it is hospital protocol but because it is the right thing to do. Although I felt like I was going to die bringing you into this world trying to push for hours only to be cut up and have you taken out of my tummy I just could not help but see you as some tiny, glorious miracle. I ended up inspecting your fingers, your feet, and pinching your tiny nose as tears fell freely instead of me having to feed you with my milk.
Nothing is more heartwarming, more fulfilling than finally seeing and holding one’s own flesh and blood in our arms. I knew then that I have just became the most empowered woman there is. And you are going to be the most empowered son I could ever have. Even as a little baby in my tummy you have always been too defiant. You'd kick when I would try to reach out and caress you. You would roll all over when I'm about to sleep. You'd keep still when I'm travelling and moving around as if enjoying the same sights I am seeing.
When you came out you have always been big for your age with that seemingly all knowing eyes as if you know exactly what you want to do with your life. And looking straight at them makes me feel like i'm going to be your slave for the rest of our lives.
Yes, you can be whatever you want to be. No doubt about that.
You hear some upbeat tune and you would just dance to your heart's content.
You love singing with your cousins and would squeal and play the drums or strum the guitar or whatever is available.
You would write on the walls, on the sofa, on the pieces of paper you could get your hands on as soon as you take hold of some pens. And yet you are only two years old!
We can only guess and marvel at what you will become when you get older.
True enough, bringing you into this world alone will not be some mean feat. I have always been scared of what you might become if I will not hold you with some iron hand. But much as I would want to shelter and protect you from all that is evil and unpleasant I know It could never be done. Ideally for some it would be more comforting and much easier if I will have your life mapped out ahead for you. I can create some blue print if I want to and mold you into the kind of person I would want you to become.
But of course that can never be done. Not because it will be extra hard but mostly because I don’t believe it is the right thing. My own experiences in life have taught me to be extra strong, to be extra independent. I learned to fend for myself at quite an early age. And though there are times when I wish someone has always held my hand and led me to whatever path I would have taken I would always feel prouder about being able to make the right or wrong choices for myself.
They say a child should be reared with the right guidance and values till up to eight years old. By then they should have been more equipped to take on the world by themselves. Our constant fear for our children not being able to do the things they ought to be doing will always be there. But as the great prophet Khalil Gibran said, "Your children are not your children". We are only the instruments in bringing them to the world. The rest will all now be their choice.
The possibilities are endless. I am actually more excited and eager in discovering each day what you will be when you grow up. I will forever marvel at how you are going to live your life by yourself. I will be more proud of you and of myself if you become a better person all because of the choices you make and not because I hovered over you and dictated what you must do for each step that you are going to take.
I only vow to become one proud momma and not some evil stage mom. :p