So I promised to write more often and then disappeared- life happened. Among other news from the past two months, I attended both of your birthdays and had a lot of fun; you two seem to like me a lot better than several other adults and I can’t help but be a little smug about it. Perhaps you find in me a child that refuses to grow up, a child that still has wide-eyed wonder when it comes to several things- it’s been getting harder to keep that part alive, but I am trying. Or maybe it’s just because I only cuddle you when you want it and I know from experience that smothering adults are a pain in the…er, okay, no swearing.
I also went on a solo trip to Mussoorie (yes I’m going to fund yours if necessary, but only after you’re eighteen) and got an acceptance to a US university for my PhD which means I’ll be going away for five years in September. It’s going to be that much more difficult to actually watch you two grow up, but we’ll figure that out.
Amidst all of this, I’ve noticed in both of you something, that is to me, incredibly encouraging and positive. Most adults will try to tell you it’s not- but pay them no heed, because you two have an innate ability to claim your own space. To put it simply, you are conscious of what is comfortable and acceptable to you, and what is not- a quality you share with children in general. You cry if someone that you do not like forcibly tries to pick you up, you ignore your mother if she tells you to go kiss a relative you don’t like, and that is excellent. I’m not trying to teach you to be selfish, but all the same, it is very important for you to learn how to be focused on your self. Rather, you already know it, so it is important for you to not let anybody make you “unlearn” it as you grow up.
Animals generally have better instincts than ours, but humans come with instincts too, instincts that tell them what they strongly dislike. As the years go by, people may try and get you to suppress these instincts. They will plead, cajole, bully and even emotionally guilt-trip you into being good little girls. As someone who’s been a good little girl, I’m telling you that being “good” is overrated.
Being nice is a wonderful thing. Being pleasant to everyone you meet, helping people, listening to them- these will make you a fine human-being. But losing the essence of who you are, and who you want to be, for anyone else- your parents, your friends, and in time, your partners- is not a nice thing. You do not owe being nice to people who make you feel uncomfortable in your own skin.
There are times when I wish I could do what you do now- cry out loud when someone’s intruding into my space to show them what they’re doing. They’ll tell you things will be easier when you can speak in coherent sentences. They are not entirely wrong. But they aren’t entirely right either. That is how most things stand in life.
Lots of love,