Growing with my daughter

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Being a father is akin to enrolling yourself in a lifelong journey of learning and rediscovery of long forgotten values and ways of life. I still remember the day when I held my newborn daughter in my hands. That was a moment of realisation that I hold responsibility of another soul. With exposure to learning and meeting wonderful parents in my adult life, I was confident that I know it all and will be a wonderful father to my daughter. I will teach her this, and then a bit of that. I had it all sorted, all aligned in my big scheme of things to raise my child.

But G B Shaw said, a child is the father of man. I never did understand the quote, at not until I became a father myself. Every moment since then has been a moment of self realisation that how fashionably wrong I was.

First thing I learned was that we truly are capable of loving someone unconditionally, without ever getting anything in return. That overwhelming sense of love is a blessed feeling. I realised that I need to be a better human being in order to be a better father. I realised howsoever twisted we may be in our lives, we still want out imbibe the best of human values to our offsprings. I realised patience is the most important virtue when it comes to parenting and without it, the process can be really endlessly tiring. And this happened in the very first days of I taking up the responsibility of the father of my daughter. Without even speaking a word, that little bundle of joy triggered the process of my metamorphosis as a human.

I did not consciously make the choice, I guess being a friend to my child happened on its own. I have felt that without making mistakes we cannot truly learn anything. And as a parent I wanted my daughter to make hers, only that I be there to help should she need guidance. 

My endeavors at teaching something new to her have always left me enriched with an unexpected insight. They say the more you learn the more you realize how little you know.  I experience this daily. I have learned persistence from her while I was trying to make her eat. Every time I put a bite of food in her mouth, out it came like the speed of light. Every time without fail. I would have given up but then I thought I need to be as persistent as she was. And one day she relented :) 

And when she started crawling I realized how I had lost my curiosity as life happened. For there she was my infant daughter exploring the world around her, touching things feeling them and accepting the sense of belongingness. In the rigamarole of life we stop noticing.  We stop wondering for we think we know it all.  And how naive are we! My daughter wondered about everything from the door knob to the shoe. She listened to all sounds from the creak to squeak of birds. And she saw everything from colors of clothes to hues of the world. When I paused to notice her I realized I need to keep this sense of wonder alive in me.

As she is growing I have noticed what an amazing way she has with people. She is accepting of all without any kind of discrimination not like us adults who are laden with prejudices. As I teach her how to be careful with strangers, I am learning a little to be more trusting. As I introduce her to music I am finding a bit of joy in Chip n Dale cartoons. It is kind of interesting as she is growing to be an adult one day, I'm rekindling the kinder-spirit in me. Life does come full circle, isn't it?

Raising her has reminded me of true love of life. When I explain her thankyous and sorrys, I realised I was not saying the same as often as I should. 

As I trust her more, she becomes more trustworthy. I am learning ways of life in their true from her. It is amazing that I am able to apply same philosophies in my work life with amazing results.

I feel there is no better way to raise her, or should I say rise with her, than giving her power of choice in little ways. She is already a strong willed child and is able to take small decisions for her. Whether they are right or wrong is inconsequential in the long run. What is more important that in doing so I am empowering her and making her understand responsibility of choice. With each little step she is growing to be a confident person and a wonderful human being. 

I always wish that she lives her life realising every iota of potential life has to offer. That her childhood is is full of wonderful experiences, that in happening thus, "khuljaye bachpan" for her. I guess by being her buddy, her guide, her mentor we both are growing through our mutual experiences.

This post was written for 'Khuljaye Bachpan' contest by Kellog's.


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