Sunday, September 18, 2005

"Would you give your daughter away?"

When Iman was only 3 months old, I was watching her sleep as she lay peacefully in her crib. This was also about the time that I knew I was completely in love with my baby. I remember my mom coming up behind me and watching me "so much in love".

She asked me the silliest question "Would you be ok if someone came and took your daughter away from you?"

Hunh? What was THAT supposed to mean? How can anyone be OK if someone takes their child away? What in God's name is she talking about?? What's wrong with my mother???

So I said in the nicest way possible... "Mom, what are you saying? Ofcourse I won't be "ok", in fact, why would I let anyone take my baby away from me??"

And she replies...

"I can see you're so "in love" with her, and if someone came to you today and asked to take her away, you'd think they were crazy, but in 25 years or so, some guy is going to walk into your lives and ask to take her away, and you're going to have to let go."

Hmm. At the time I had only had 3 months of memories at stake when I thought of having someone take Iman away from us. But the story kind of stuck. And every now and then I remember what my mom had said that day, and as I watch Iman become more and more amazing as time passes, I realize that 25 odd years from now, when it is time for her to find the right guy and move on with her life, how hard will it be as a parent to let her go?

Years of falling in love with the most beautiful girl in the world. Years of memories, first steps, first words, first day at school, first sports day, first prom, first graduation.

And then one day she's going to leave us and move in with a boy.



At 12:05 PM, Anonymous D said...

A very interesting entry. It reminds me of an extract of a poem which I'm going to try to cut and paste here. Sorry if you've already read it...

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children."

And he said:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Hina said...

now I'm even more sad :(

At 2:16 PM, Blogger bakpakchik said...

why did you have to go ahead and make me cry?

Don't you know, 'When in Rome, dothe Romans'?

I don't the trusts the Indians.

Don't let the Imans the marrys the ones of those.

At 4:06 PM, Anonymous D said...

Well, I didn't mean to make you sad (not in the sense of wanting to be horrible to you or spoiling your day or anything) but wouldn't it be true to say that being a parent must be the ultimate joy as much as it must be the ultimate sadness?

All this also reminds me of a film I haven't seen for years called Shadowlands where one of the characters says something about the joy we have now being the price we pay for the pain we have later, or something like that. So you must cherish and treasure and remember every single little speck of joy that your little one gives you.

And now I'd better stop, or else the global demand for tissue paper will ruin what's left of the Amazon.

At 10:39 AM, Blogger mayya said...

awww that was such a cute entry

I have wet eyes :(

At 4:24 PM, Blogger Khurram said...

HinaMommy... Ever heard of a "Ghar Damaad" :)

At 5:05 PM, Blogger arfiman said...

Yes, but ever think that after 25 years, you may actually be able to plop back into your sofa and sigh, "Finally..."

I know you are thinking, "wait until you have one of your own and then you'll understand!" But at the moment there is no way you can objectively consider it - and 25 years is a looong time. The fun really begins when she becomes a teenager... slumber parties, sneaking out with boys without you knowing etc.

You know I am going to be the cool uncle who she is going to tell everything too - so better start being nice to me! ; )

At 5:18 PM, Blogger arfiman said...

D, why is this poem so familiar, please tell me?! I know I have read this before - way to much deja vu.

Please let me where I have read this before...

At 1:51 PM, Anonymous D said...

I am tempted to let you squirm a bit longer Arfiman... but here goes... yes, you most certainly do know the poem very well:

Think: CHS.
Think: Speech Day.
Think: D refusing to read the poem.
Think: they then made Abid read the poem.

Of course the REALLY CRAZY TOTALLY WEIRD WHACKED OUT thing is that you and I both know who was trying to make me read the poem (she's since revealed that she thought I was being a really difficult so-and-so at the time) but then that's a whole different story...

At 1:54 PM, Anonymous D said...

To respond to Arfiman's first entry, yes, Hinamommy, you may well find that after 25 years you will be ready to have a life of your own... but it may not even necessarily be a case of you wanting to get your daughter out of your life, but more a case of you wanting your daughter to have a full life of her own.

Would you rather she didn't fall in love and get married?
Would you rather she didn't set up a home of her own?
Would you rather she didn't have her own family etc etc?

Of course, knowing that your child deserves their own life won't make the moment of parting any less painful, but at least it might make you believe that letting go is the right thing to do.

At 3:41 PM, Blogger arfiman said...

Yes, but you CAN be a really difficult so-and-so at times!

But I am SURE that's water under the bridge...

At 10:33 PM, Anonymous D said...

Excuse me...?

At 12:09 AM, Blogger Hina said...

d, We want Iman to have her own life. A husband who loves her, a family, a home... Everything we have with each other.

But 25 years later, our kids would have been our life. When they leave to pursue their own, we'll be left with an empty nest, not knowing what to do with our time.

Before you all jump in with suggestions, have children, then we'll talk. We not only invest our time and effort, but also our emotions and our soul into being parents. Letting go of all that is going to be the hardest part.

Khurram, in this day and age daughter's aren't willing to live with their in-laws. Finding a boy who is willing to live with us might take forever!

Arfi, with all that said, do you REALLY think we're going to let Iman see you as a teenager?? The plan is to sneak out of this country before she learns how to say "chachoo"

At 6:39 AM, Blogger Stacy said...

Sounds to me like YOUR mother misses YOU.

She's the mother in love with her baby.

Sweetest post. Thanks for sharing.


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