Soniah Kamal

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'Islam is not Pakistan's religion; Marriage is'

Monday, June 11, 2012

Advice from a mother to her ten year old daughter.

Loving Advice from mother Lindsey Mead Russell to her ten year old daughter Grace (it can transfer to sons too)-- I wonder what the Desi mother would have added: definitely a few caveats about getting married, how to get married, and who to get married to. I'd like to add a smiley face here, but also a very very sad face.

"Grace is rounding the curve to ten.  I am not sure how this is possible. I feel ever more aware of her girlhood and looming adolescence, and of all the things I want her to know, as if I could somehow instill values and beliefs into her, like pressing a penny into soft clay.  I know I can't; the best I can do is to keep saying them, keep writing them, keep living them.
Ten things I want my 10-year-old daughter to know:
1. It is not your job to keep the people you love happy.  Not me, not Daddy, not your brother, not your friends.  I promise, it's not.  The hard truth is that you can't, anyway.
2. Your physical fearlessness is a strength. Please continue using your body in the world: run, jump, climb, throw.  I love watching you streaking down the soccer field, or swinging proudly along a row of monkey bars, or climbing into the high branches of a tree.  There is both health and a sense of mastery in physical activity and challenges.
3. You should never be afraid to share your passions. You are sometimes embarrassed that you still like to play with dolls, for example, and you worry that your friends will make fun of you.  Anyone who teases you for what you love to do is not a true friend.  This is hard to realize, but essential. read rest here"
And here is Lindsey's blogpost about that Huff Post Article up above

"That my article on The Huffington Post, 10 Things I Want my 10 Year Old Daughter to Know, resonated with readers was immensely, heart-fillingly gratifying.  I am hugely honored and deeply humbled.  I was buoyed all last week and weekend by the knowledge that my words – the deepest wishes of my mother heart, at this particular point in my daughter’s life – had burrowed into the thoughts and feelings of even perfect strangers.
And the comments on the piece blew me away.  I realized there are things in that piece I passionately wish I’d said differently.  Many of the comments were kind, and I cried as I read them, sad for the people who said they wished they’d had parents who had spoken to them like this and deeply touched by people who told me I was a good mother.
See, the thing is, I was never really thought of myself as a mother.  Early on in our childhood, my sister and I took on roles within our family.  I’m not sure exactly how this “taking on’ occurred, because I am certain it was subconscious on the part of all involved.  But as stories and beliefs about a child sink into family lore they likewise seem to saturate our very cells.  I was not particularly maternal, it seemed.  I never babysat.  I wasn’t very interested in dolls.  I had literally never changed a diaper until I changed Grace’s.  The fact that I adored being a camp counselor belies the assertion that I wasn’t especially interested in children, though it’s true my charges were teenagers and not in fact that much younger than I was.
An endocrine specialist told me when I was 23 that I would never get pregnant without significant intervention.  I remember that last experience vividly: I walked away from the appointment feeling grateful to finally understand what was going on with my body, but also with a chilling sense of an emotional instinct being confirmed by my physical body.  I wasn’t focused on being a mother, and now it seemed that my body didn’t know if it ever wanted to be one anyway.
And then I got into business school and at age 24 threw myself headlong over the cliff towards the world of Career.  It’s not that I didn’t want kids, not at all.  I did always assume I would have children, but truthfully I never thought very much about it.  I never defined myself through the future children I would have, never planned for that life.
And then.
read rest here"

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