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Gy, you know I love you. I try to show it every single day.

But for the days that I don’t or seem to be showing it less, I’ve written this out so you’ll know that I don’t ever stop loving you for who you are. Being you is so immeasurably satisfying and I want you to believe that always.

There are days when I feel exhausted, like, weary-to-the-bone exhausted. I may be snapping at you irritably, trying to offload whatever misplaced anger or annoyance I may be feeling. You’ve probably seen the worst of me and I’m hoping, the best of me, as well.

But this post isn’t about me. It’s about you. The crazy, sweet, loving, eye-rolling, God-why-did-you-give-me-this-mom tween whom I simultaneously want to crush with bear hugs and  pepper with kisses.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Your instinct to help someone else in need, I’ve always admired that about you. Remember offering to tie A’s shoes when he came over to spend a day with us? Oh and recall how you came and told me that he’d lost a tennis ball during play and gently pacifying me by saying, ‘He apologised already. Don’t be hard on him. It’s just a ball.’

You love mehendi, don’t you? The act of getting it applied, admiring the rich colour as it spreads across the skin, the way the patterns appear, they all thrill you. How I adore that about you.

I’ve never been one to go ga-ga over shoes. For me, comfort trumps everything else. Yet, look at you! Those pink shoes would look grotesque on me but they look like they’re tailor made for you! Such style and snazzy pairing of socks, did you get these genes from my sister? Surely not from me, I can assure you.

Nail polish! We’ve covered this one already in another post, haven’t we? Ah, the joy of watching your face light up at the simplest of things. Please, please don’t lose that. It will hold you in good stead as you grow older. Trust me on this one. Oh and pink suits you! Much like green, red, maroon and shudder orange too!

This thing you have for dressing up and ransacking my wardrobe for every dupatta possible to carry out your fantasies, I love it. Okay, I may sternly tell you to return it once done and I may be a little testy about the fact that you dance around when I’ve asked you to clean your room, but it tickles me. It makes me feel all glad that the child in you is alive and well, even as you grow into a tween with a solid mind, temper and attitude of her own.

I don’t have to say this one at all, do I? Your love for books surpasses mine and that’s saying something! How you read, oh my goodness! It stuns me. You can read anywhere! I wrote this about you a while ago and it is still true!

She can read anywhere, this daughter of mine: in a moving car even as it bounces along over speed breakers; on the bed, surrounded by a blanket fort and pillows piled high; in a cozy bay window with a view of the temple on the hill; on the living room floor with her back propped up against the French windows; in the comfortable embrace of a couch as it gently holds her lithe form, with one foot or maybe both flung carelessly over the arm rest; in a revolving chair that would make my head spin but seems to have no effect on her whatsoever.

Her reading is so deep, so intense that she hears nothing and nobody when she is entrenched between the pages of a book. If she has nothing to do and nobody to talk to, she will still be happy as long as she has a book in her hands.

So you see, there isn’t just one thing I love about you. It’s a whole lot of them. And this list isn’t done, not by half. If I were to start listing everything though, this would turn into a book. Hey, that’s an idea!

Gy, being yourself is the best thing you can do for yourself. It allows you to make decisions, be crazy, be happy, be everything you ever want to be. The one thing I would suggest though, is to stay open: To experiences, to advice from elders and to kindness and empathy.

[bctt tweet=”Be You. Be everything glorious, wonderful and true. Be unique. Be the red apple in a sea of green. ” username=”shyvish”]


The idea for this post came from Parul’s lovely and short piece:

U for Uniqueness

*Featured image: Shutterstock

After the Playground
Categories: LearningParenting

Shailaja V

Hi there! I'm Shailaja Vishwanath, a blogger with 12 years of blogging experience and a parent to a teen. I work as a digital marketing and social media consultant. From positive parenting tips to useful productivity hacks, social media advice to blogging advice, you'll find them all right here. Welcome to my blog.


Lalita · April 25, 2017 at 2:59 am

My daughter once asked me, ‘why cant I have your last name, why Papa’s?’. In that moment, I knew my pride in her was worth every teeny weeny bit. I always tell her ‘dont be me, be you, you are so much better!’

    Shailaja · April 25, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    Awww isn’t that sweet?! So precious. May that never change 🙂

Aparna · April 25, 2017 at 7:05 am

She is so going to love reading this one

Rachna · April 25, 2017 at 10:00 am

So very sweet! I hope Gy reads it some day. She will treasure it a lot for sure. Lots of love to her.
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    Shailaja · April 25, 2017 at 6:53 pm

    I hope she likes it too 🙂 Thanks, Rachna 🙂

Azwan · April 25, 2017 at 1:56 pm

The post is sweet, emotional and meaningful.

Azwan recently posted…Cara Simpan Duit Yang Kreatif dan Seronok Untuk Dicuba!My Profile

    Shailaja · April 30, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Thank you for stopping by and reading, Azwan 🙂

Parul · April 25, 2017 at 9:03 pm

First things first, this is such a lovely warm post. Daughters need to know and read through what their Mums hold in their hearts. Love and more love.

Second, I wasn’t very sure of my post today. I thought it’s a repeat and reiteration and wasn’t 100% positive about publishing. Then in the heat and pressure of the challenge, went ahead. Now, I’m glad I did. Hugs!
Parul recently posted…U for Uniqueness #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

    Shailaja · April 30, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Never be uncertain of your writing, Parul 🙂 It’s the first rule of writing. Nobody everywhere will love the work you do but you must love it. For it is then that we keep doing what we love. Thank you for the inspiration for this post and for your kind words for Gy 🙂

Geetiks · April 27, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Such beautiful pictures and such a beautiful narration!You’re a gem, Shailaja!
I loved the way you have collected the pictures and written a post here. Kind of gave me, mommy goals! (Though, I’m not a mommy, yet)!
God bless you and Gy!

    Shailaja · April 30, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Thank you, Geetika. Coming from a non-parent that may be the best compliment I have received. Thank you again! 🙂

Shilpa Gupte · April 29, 2017 at 12:35 pm

These posts that you write for Gy are like a treasure she will cherish all her life! Loved reading this warm and cosy post, Shy! <3
Do give your gudiya a tight hug from me! <3
Shilpa Gupte recently posted…Back to blogging.My Profile

    Shailaja · April 30, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    Thank you, Shilpa 🙂 I hope she likes them too 🙂

Sanchie @ Living my Imperfect Life · May 1, 2017 at 5:11 pm

This is such a lovely and heartfelt piece. I do hope Gy has read this! Also, I had to smile at the reading bit — I was like that as a kid. It earned me the nickname ‘Bookworm’ by a teacher as I’d be reading constantly on the school bus amidst all the noise and cacophony around me. 🙂
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Vishal Bheeroo · May 24, 2017 at 1:28 pm

You are such an amazingly doting Mom, Shailaja. An endearing post filled with warmth and selfless love. Children can teach us so many things be it compassion, smile and being self. Super love.
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    Shailaja · May 24, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    Aww thank you so much, Vishal. Kids are always around to help us learn, evolve and grow. Ever grateful for that 🙂

Nicky Kentisbeer · June 22, 2017 at 5:26 pm

What a lovely post Shailaja and thank you for sharing your gorgeous daughter with us here at #tweensteensbeyond. So many reasons to love her – it’s always great to have these posts here and for you to look back on when the going gets tough. She is some reader!!!! What a delight
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Jo - Mother of Teenagers · June 23, 2017 at 1:39 am

This is so beautiful. A lovely tribute to your daughter. As a fellow shoe lover I have to say she has great taste! Snazzy shoes indeed. It is so easy to forget what it is we love about our tweens and teens on a day to day basis and standing back and reflecting on their qualities is fabulous. Thanks for sharing this with us. #TweensTeensBeyond
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