Out of absolutely nowhere, I had a lightening like dramatic feeling inside of me this morning. It was a feeling of extreme exhilaration because I am a mom and I have a baby, a realization that I am very lucky to have a child in my life, a sensation that every day is a lot more brighter because I have Samaira in my life, an emotion that can quickly be lost in the hectic, messy, unpredictable, crazy, not-boring-for-sure nature of my everyday parent-life! While I try to remind myself of the goodness every time I can, and while a simple yet unaware smile from Samaira can turn my frowny brows to much better crescent shaped brows – I am not always that positive. I get lost in the routine and lose the essence of why I am doing everything I am.
I have changed after Samaira’s birth, somewhat. But I cannot articulate exactly in what way. I could try. I now know what it means to love someone more than myself. Samaira made me love love more than I knew I could. She has made me realize what it means to put someone else - their happiness, their interests - before my own. I have always been high on love and I have always loved with all of my self. But loving Samaira, while exhilarating, is a little hurtful – more than all the previous times put together. It is hurtful because her joys are my joys, her victories are my victories, and her pain is my pain. I feel more vulnerable because she is someone who can touch me like no one has ever been able to. Ever. While that defines love in general, there is something inimitable about a parent-child love. There is a greater sense of responsibility and attachment. There is a heightened need to ensure nothing ever goes wrong. There is fierce desire to do whatever it takes to remove the hurdles, or better yet, prevent them from occurring altogether. Knowing very well that all of what I want to prevent is inevitable.
When I look around me, I see other parents, going through very similar emotions. There is a sort of universal feel to this sentiment, this love. When a child gets hurt, it is the parents who suffer, just as much if not more. When a child is in pain, it is the parents who agonize. When a child is not well, it is the parents who struggle. And when a child succeeds, parents enjoy it as their victory. I now have a greater ability to relate to and empathize with other parents. Even though I may not understand everything parents do, I don’t judge. People do what they think is best for their kids, in the best way possible. The sentiment that drives us all is love. A whole lot of it.
When Siddharth and I greeted down syndrome in our lives, we did not know what we were up against. There was a lot of fear, pain, anger, angst, uncertainty, unknowns, and just a bunch of unexpectedness. It has been almost 8.5 months since Samaira’s birth. While those feelings still prevail to some extent, there is a greater sense of acceptance in me. No thanks to me. This acceptance has been driven primarily by Samaira. It is her eyes, her touch, her smile, her voice, her emotions, her presence, her ponytail, her baby-toes, her tiny fingers, her pretty much everything that has driven me to absolute acceptance. I have come to see Samaira for who she is. On a per-hour basis, down syndrome does not occupy my mind. On a per-day basis, it still does. I remember writing some time back about not understanding the feeling of won’t-change-a-thing, because I would have wanted to change her chromosome count if I could. Today, I understand that feeling. I wouldn’t change a thing in Samaira. The reason I say that is because she really is amazing the way she is. Every ounce of her. Changing her chromosome means changing her genes, her protein structure, her cell composition in a way that she will change to be a different person. Really, a different person. And I truly love the person she is. I don’t want that person to change. And for that, I wouldn’t-change-a-thing in her.
That said, I know it is not a perfect world. I know everything I wish for won’t come true. I know the best I can do is prepare my baby to live in this world, to fight for what is right, to accept, to live, to love. And all I can hope for is a chance for my baby, opportunities for her, people in her lives who value & accept her for who she is. Samaira is a lucky girl. Her birth made us realize how blessed we are to have absolutely wonderful people in our lives. We have learnt that our friends, family and relatives are our biggest strength. We have seen them love Samaira for who she is, every minute of the way. And for that, I am thankful. I have come to realize that the most important role I will ever play is that of a mom, and I am thankful I got a chance to be one.
With so much goodness and love around me, I want to focus on what is truly important. Health. Heart. Honesty. Happy. My People – people I love.