THE OLDER WE GROW
I remembered writing the letter I was holding in my hand that evening, I gazed at it, rolling my eyes through the tiny and neatly arranged handwritten words on the foolscap, this happened back when I was sixteen. I remembered the confusion in my head that particular day.
I was a teenage girl, very naïve, adventurous, and on the search for self. On that particular night, I wrote this, I remember foolishly crying for nothing, I just felt emotionally unstable and broke down for around two hours, crying continuously. It was because of the unexplainable feelings I was experiencing inside me.
I wrote a letter to my future self. Tears dropping aimlessly on the foolscap I jotted on.
I wrote to myself assuring how splendid life ahead is going to be for me. I assured my dreams, that I would get a husband who would be my best friend for life. That I would get blessed with the four beautiful children I always dreamed of having ever since I was five. That my children would be my best friends too and that I would be a hardworking mother, loving and protecting them from this harsh world.
Okay, to be really honest with you, I never really understood then the absolute definition of a harsh world. My harsh world.. was a world full of haters that I never really had any but believed they existed, or maybe the fact that I wasn’t able to get the materialistic things I always asked from my parents and would barely get most of them, and many other things that didn’t really seem important or to mean much.
I retrospected on how life had been to date. I am thirty-nine years old right now. Educated, experienced, blessed with a happy family. The best friend and partner, the one I always prayed for silently in my sleep taking his place in my life as my husband, Tony. I am happy. I have the four children I always dreamed of having. My life seems to be taking the direction I have always been determined and anxious about. It still amazes me that, still not everything makes sense. I always thought that it gets better ahead but I had to come to a realization that things never get better.. we are the ones to get better and create the lives we always want to have.
I returned that letter inside the book I had kept it in all these years and properly put the book back to its place on my library shelf in our bedroom.
I walked to my elder daughter’s room. At the door, I can hear her sob bitterly. We had just had an argument with her and I think I was feeling for her, instead of getting mad as expected of me as her mom. She was the one on the ill side and I had to correct it. Her grades were dropping so bad, she was always on her phone, she barely spoke to us anymore, and her father always complained so much of her many friends that were only of the opposite sex. We at times suspect she’s on drugs but we are not certain. I feel parplexed.. are we overdoing it?. .She is seventeen. There’s a lot she’s going through at the moment and I may not clearly understand her but I feel like I should play my role much better than how my scenarios went when I was her age.
“Maya,.. open up the door Mammie . I want us to talk”, I say, on the other side of the door.
She stayed silent for about five minutes then I hear the doorknob crack and she opens the door.
I get in and give her a tight hug. She falls on my hands and keeps sobbing, not saying a single word.
She feels weak, I can feel it too. She sounds tired. She needs help. She can’t handle this. I can feel it. I think it to myself and say it out to her, “It’s ok baby girl, am right here. Mummy is right here. And you can talk to her about anything and everything you want to at anytime, alright?. “, I assure her. She keeps hugging me back. “ I love you Mom,.. am.. am sorry. I just can’t handle it I am sorry for my bad decisions and all. I am just tired mom… I feel like no one understands me … I feel sad, I feel alone mummy,” she cries.
“It’s going to be okay baby girl, okay!. I understand you.. I understand you Mamie”.
We sit on her bed. I see my husband standing at the door. It’s like he has been there all time.He’s always around, always doing it with me. He asks for permission to get in and walks straight to our daughter and gives her a tight hug. “You are a strong girl my dear daughter! “. He sheds a tear but wipes it off pretty quick.
We have a good talk with her and put her to bed. “Goodnight Mom and Dad”, she says back with a lazy voice as she dozes off. We turn off the lights to her room and slowly close the door. We walk to our room. “It’s going to be okay Honey”, Tony hugs me.
I just couldn’t handle my little baby girl going through all this and for a matter of fact, we weren’t able to fully help her but we were there for her. Growing up seemed challenging for her… but she had to. All we would do is guide her, walk with her, tolerate and bear every single stage of her growth. All I had to be was to be a strong mom. I knew it would be okay for my little Maya. I knew that she will also write herself a letter and one day be happy for her life. I smiled quietly and slept.