Week 32: Happy Mother’s Day!

My baby, it is Mother’s Day!

Today is a day where every child, regardless of age, celebrates the kindness, love and sacrifices their mothers have given to them. Mummy will be celebrating her real first mother’s day next year … with you! Mummy is already feeling the excitement of becoming a mother. The kindness of a mother towards her child is immense. From the day a mother bears her child in her womb, the love just keeps growing within. On Mother’s Day today, we celebrate with the old and young. We cherish the love our own mothers have given us. We try to make our mothers happiest on this day by showering her with gifts or offering to perform all the household chores for her. However, Mother’s Day shouldn’t just be one day of the year. It should be in our hearts every day of our lives.

My dear child, you will be born into a Buddhist family. Our values and virtues is strongly influenced by Buddhist teachings. I hope one day, you will be able to read, understand, and practice the Filial Piety Sutra, which teaches human beings the importance of being grateful and kind to our parents. One may not realize how much sacrifice, time, and love a parent gives to to a child. When a child reaches adulthood, they will have a mind of their own and may often rebel. It is easy to forget a simple act of kindness towards one’s parents. Most often, we judge our parents for being too conservative and naggy. We complain about their indifferent ways and such. Conflicts arise to a point where children fight and talk rudely back towards their parents. The littlest things we mind, because it interferes with our life. But we forget … we are where we are today … we are who we are today, solely because of what our parents have given us – a safe and healthy home, the best education, money, gifts, support when we are sick, hurt or lost … how do we repay such kindness?

That’s why Grandma always used to say to mummy, “You’ll know how it feels when you have your own child.”

Mummy never really understood, or took the time to contemplate what Grandma meant when she said those words. Now, mummy knows. And there’s more to come. You will cry and wail when you are hungry for milk. Mummy will feed you milk from her breasts, even if they are sore and painful. You will cry many times in hunger during the wee hours of the night but mummy will still wake up despite being exhausted from labour, to feed you and ensure you do not go hungry. When you poo or pee, your body will be dirty and you will cry because of the discomfort. Mummy will still tirelessly clean you. You probably will not realize these hardships until you have your own baby. Nights like this stretch on for many years after a baby is born. Nevertheless, a mother will still stay by her baby’s side even though she feels sick or tired.

Then, mummy and daddy will teach you how to walk. When you stumble and fall, we pick you up and cheer you on to try again. When you are disobedient, mummy and daddy will punish you. You may cry and get upset, but you’ll never understand right away the pain a parent’s heart feels when they punish their own child. Why do parents do all this? It is to help children grow into better persons; so that they will be able to survive ethically and responsibly on their own as adults. The real world out there … is not an easy place to live. It is scarier and more dangerous than you think. One day, mummy and daddy won’t be around to watch over you. We will grow old, our minds will slow down, our bodies will deteriorate in health and mobility. We will eventually pass on to the afterlife. While we are still able-bodied, this is our responsibility as parents to guide you the best we can. This is our sacrifice. Yet we know, when you become an adult, you will let go of our hands one day. You will find a partner, and pour your love towards him, and start your own family. You will take your own bold steps into the world and may even forget about us. Even if we have let go of our attachments to our children, a mother’s heart is always thinking of her children, be they near or far; always wondering if they are safe and healthy. Such is the suffering of life for a mother and father.

There are so many things mummy want to tell you about being a parent, but at the end of the day … mummy just feels grateful that you are alive and well. Mummy hopes that you will be able to learn and observe how mummy and daddy takes care of grandma and grandpa. There will come a time when grandma and grandpa will be dependent on us. When they grow old and incapable of living by themselves safely, they need our help the most. Grandma nurtured, fed, and loved mummy when she was a baby and a child. Now, when grandma is old it is mummy’s turn to care for her in return. We must always try not to leave them alone or in the care of others. Consider this, did they leave mummy when she needed them the most, ever since mummy was a helpless baby? This is the virtue of kindness we must undertake. We must always remember the kindness of our parents. Nothing is happier for a parent than to have one’s children come home to care and love them until their last breath on earth. It was never about the lavish gifts. It was never about money. It was always about family.

Look at this, mummy has started to become emotional about all this. I guess you can say, mummy is already nervous about becoming a parent. Knowing that one day, you will let go of mummy’s hands. One day, you will move out of the house and find your own life out in the world. Until then, mummy can only cherish the moments where you still want to hold her hands; where you still want her to sing and lull you to sleep; where you still want to be in the comfort of her arms. Oh my baby, mummy loves you so much. Mummy hopes you will love her and daddy the same way too.

Hugs & Kisses,

Mummy

Love Letters to My Baby – Week 33

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