My dear sweetheart
23rd November 1976….the day you were born…the most memorable moment of my life. I was ecstatic but more than that I was afraid….will I be able to protect you enough, love you enough!
You must be wondering why I am mentioning all the past memories or even writing to you when I could have easily dialed you. Talking on phone is easier but for communicating my emotions I preferred this old-time method of writing and mailing a letter by post.
You have a beautiful life today but the days of your childhood weren’t so pleasant and cheerful as you rightfully deserved, my dear. The uneasiness you must have felt, but never expressed, for fear or respect I don’t exactly know, was always present in your eyes. Being brought up with siblings is one thing, but your being subordinated to your cousin, whom your father and I took under our guidance, wasn’t something normal or natural. Was it absolutely necessary for us to have put our nephew first and our only son always second to him? I haven’t been able to answer that to myself till date. The strange feeling of greatness, as if flaunting a medal of nobility of character, prompted your father to bring in his nephew one strange day. What compelled us to sacrifice the happiness and the blossoming childhood of our son? Was it a pressurized decision or we acted on our own will? Or was it the circumstances that constantly pushed you behind our nephew? Or was it the fear of ‘what will people say’? I wish I could answer any of these…
Whatever the reasons, but we probably never had the right to take away your rights as our child. The newest clothes, the best of all things…reserved ….not for you but for him. Do I hate our nephew for being there snatching all your rights? Hatred isn’t my type of quality….I can’t hate anybody but I do think at times….What if he hadn’t been there ….I might have held you more in my arms; I might have listened to you more; I might have loved you more….unafraid, unhindered, unstoppable. But….that never happened!
How could I not see what you must have missed! How could I not feel what you must have felt! When did I become more of his mother than yours! Suppressing your desires, your needs, your ambitions and even your wish to marry your sweetheart…..as if you had no right whatsoever over your own life!
You never complained….you still never do.
God forgive me for I knew not what I had been doing.* I somehow failed as a mother to my only son….failed to protect you enough, failed to love you enough!
I am very glad today as you have outgrown the influence of your past and share a beautiful life with your wonderful family. Love your kids equally and let them grow and branch out according to the best of their capabilities. Never compare, never suppress one because of the other. Remember never to repeat my mistake.
Happy Birthday dear!
Your loving mom.
(* 'Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.' - Luke23:34 - The New Testament.)