Tender steps, life lessons

Mom's musings

Tender steps, life lessons

I remember like it happened yesterday, the many lessons that unfolded before me. Though it has now been more than two decades ago, those lessons are etched in my mind.

She arrived just as the gynaecologist had predicted — upbeat and playful. From that moment on, like a tempest that wrecks the tranquillity of a quiet night, my life changed forever. I would not know what a good night’s sleep was for days on end since then.

Overnight, my carefree life was morphed into a chore-filled one. Nights became long and days were cut short as I went from one task to another with an infant in hand. And yet, as in the case of any woman who has tasted motherhood, it was one of the sweetest experiences of my life. Nurturing her body and mind was all that mattered, as I found a whole new meaning to my womanhood. Between changing diapers and a hundred other responsibilities, the days rolled on quickly, and in no time my daughter turned a year old.

On her first birthday, with pride and joy I celebrated the first 12 months of motherhood and her life with friends and family. When the guests were gone and the plates were all cleared, I sat down in amazement at what the last 12 months had taught me. Like a thunderbolt, it struck me that what my university education failed to teach, my infant daughter had revealed to me during the first year of her entering my life.

Lessons galore I learnt by watching my daughter grow from an infant into a little girl. She demonstrated to me the power of rest in the process of growth. With the many hours of rest she got in the cradle in the first few months of her birth, she was being adequately fortified to face the days to come when she would teach herself to turn over, lie on her stomach, crawl on fours, stand on her feet and eventually take the steps towards walking.

An illustration of the truth that remaining still is as much a part of growth that every person desiring consistent growth in life ought to adopt.

I also learnt the worth of persistence from my little one. As she learnt to walk, never giving up, despite the repeated falls she faced in trying to take baby steps, she showed me what can be achieved by persisting in failed attempts. She brought alive the words of Thomas Edison: “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

It took my little baby to reveal to me life’s many priceless, yet simple and eternal truths: the joy of laughter, the importance of play, the magic of curiosity, the beauty of enjoying the moment, the delight in love, and the art of study. As she juxtaposed her days in myriad moods, she fed her interests, satiated her cognitive needs, amused herself with the wonder of her surroundings, gave love freely to all around through her innocence, and was all there — engaging in life, delighting in the world and growing, all at the same time.

Indeed I remember like it happened yesterday, the many lessons that unfolded before me!

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