As has been every day, since then. The infant began to recognize me, to crawl, to toddle; she exhibited curiousity, got into several scrapes, went to school, got interested in various things....turned into a very independent-minded adolescent. When she was barely out of it, and just into young womanhaood, sheleft home for a destination halfway across the world, at the age of seventeen.
Being a stay-at-home mother, I did have a large part to play in her life until then...but the distances of the continents, however much we bridged it with phone calls and (recently introduced) email, made her become a person in her own right. She fought discrimination; worked very hard at both her studies, and in the college cafeteria, and baby-sat to make a few extra dollars. She earned two bachelor's degrees, and then moved to St.Louis, where she earned two master's degrees. Very soon after she landed in America, she met the young man who would become her husband.
The process of accepting him, and life in the United States, when she was very keen on returning to her home country, was a difficult one; she brought great maturity to the budding relationship. She went off for a six-month stint to Denmark, and another to Spain, and evaluated how the relationship fared under the state of absence. When the young man in question gave up his job in his country, and came to live in India, taking up a job there, and found living in India quite easy, they decided to get married, and set up home in the States.
She wanted a very traditional wedding, and she did get it...and enjoyed every bit of it. Her generous father provided the money, and I provided the organization, and to our great joy, 30 of DS' family and friends flew in for the event, making it one of the most memorable events of our lives.
She's dealt, all her life, with health problems...from having a major acid burn at the age of two, surgery for adenoids at the age of 5, a bad fall, a pre-cancerous lump behind her knee, when there was a fear her leg would have to be amputated...with courage, determination, and positivity.
She took up a job, then another; she dealt with difficulties at work, with being fired, and rose from the deep trauma of that, to find another one, where she was (and is) very happy, working for public transit in St.Louis.
She's so generous with herself, her time, her effort, and her money. She's always volunteered for social causes; she always helps out people in trouble. She's a great runner...she's run several half-marathons, all to raise money for the education of poor children in India.
She is a good citizen (even though she's not an American citizen); she takes an active part in the community that she lives in.
She's become more than a daughter; I've depended on her so much for emotional support, which she has unstintingly, and unjudgmentally, given me.
She's become a mother, too....and she's shared her children with me. The children of my child are very great sources of joy to me; she's done, and is doing, a great job as a mother.
She's articulate, artistic, and a great achiever...very warm-hearted, and I just wish I could take credit for all that...but I think that's the way she's always been!
Here's the Mother's Day card she made for me:
And the message inside:
Every day, for the rest of my life, will be Mother's Day...I give thanks for the wonderful child I have. I am the luckiest mother alive!