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Today is the eighth day of January. It somehow seems fitting that I write my first post of 2015 on this blog on this day, because Gy is eight-and-a-half now. It is equally necessary that I put down my promises for the year together with the exceptions that each of them will carry. A mother’s word is powerful and holds immense value, so I’m hoping these will serve as good reminders as the years go by.

My readers must already know by now that I wrote a Wish List for my daughter at the end of 2014.

As parents, most of you will acknowledge that this whole idea of bringing up a person is no cakewalk. It comes with its share of belly laughs and exhausting nights. You are simultaneously exuberant and depleted at the end of  a day in an amusement park. Watching a child sleep is at once immensely satisfying and fear-inducing that the slightest noise will wake them up!

This is all fine when they are those tiny beings that you can easily shape, the ones who nod along sagely when you suggest something and believe that you are the absolute truth. Hey, I enjoyed that phase! Honest!

But, time has a nasty way of catching up with you. One day that innocent ball of cuteness will stare at you, hand on her hip and say, ‘I don’t like it when you scold me;’ OR ‘I wish I was always staying with my grandparents’ AND the kicker, ‘I wish you were not my mom.’

Yes, that hurts. More than the moment when you rip the band-aid from a fully healed wound. In fact, that pain subsides after a few minutes. This one doesn’t. Regret and guilt start gnawing away at you in tiny, bite-sized doses and you wonder what on earth you did to merit those soul-crushing moments.

Okay, I exaggerate. Not soul-crushing! But, it is saddening, nonetheless.

However, there is something I must share with Gy as well as other kids who may be reading this post. (Ha, I kid you!) These are things I can unequivocally promise you which will each come with their points of exception.

So, Gy, in case you didn’t know these already, here they are:


Promise 1: 
I will always be here to stand up for you, fight for you and protect you
 like a tigress whose cubs have been threatened.
EXCEPTION:
If you are in the wrong, I will unabashedly tell you so, without flinching.
Promise 2: 
I will always encourage you to learn, explore and go beyond the written word.
EXCEPTION:
 I will expect you to respect other people’s points of view,
even if they are diametrically opposite to yours.
 
Promise 3: 
I expect you to listen to your parents, your grandparents, your teachers,
your peers and your subordinates.
EXCEPTION:
If you choose not to listen because you do not agree with something,
do it kindly and not out of defiance.
Promise 4: 
I will always hug you when you are sad, upset, hurt and in the need for comfort.
EXCEPTION:
The only time I will not hug you is when I am angry, because I believe that touch is powerful
and I would hate for the hug to be meaningless or worse, transfer that anger to you.
Promise 5:
I will never love anyone else as much as I love you with all your quirks of hearty laughter,
dimpled smiles, ridiculous frowns, snarky defiance, muddy pants, carpet spills,
bone-crushing hugs and breathless kisses.
EXCEPTION:
For this rule, THERE IS NO EXCEPTION.
~~~

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26 Comments

Sreeja Praveen · January 9, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Wow…. This is such a fantastic way to start the year. I find this extremely positive. You're so firm with what you say, and the way you've said this makes it totally possible for her to feel its depth. I'm sure Gy will understand it and love you for all this and much more !!!

iwrotethose.com · January 9, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Awww.. Such a cute post. And all promises that you can keep too. Stay blessed, Shailaja
p. S. THE exceptions are part of positive parenting 🙂

Aparna · January 9, 2015 at 3:24 pm

May I say I love the exceptions even more than the promises ;). D sometimes hits me with “You're the best mom I could have had!” and I'm left wondering what the catch might be :P.

Uma C · January 9, 2015 at 4:09 pm

Such a lovely post! Exceptions form the foundation of good parenting rule book, I say. And, our kids will appreciate our strong stand eventually and thank us (hopefully) one day 🙂

Anamika Agnihotri · January 9, 2015 at 4:46 pm

Indeed a lovely post. I have got a new perspective about positive parenting where there have to be certain exceptions as well but this does not mean that we love our kids any less.
I blog at http://www.iknownothingaboutit.wordpress.com about my motherhood stories. I will be glad to meet you there.

tulika singh · January 9, 2015 at 6:55 pm

Aww.. that's a lovely one Shailaja, the promises so heartfelt and the exceptions even more so. It really IS heartbreaking when the 'Mum I hate you' comes even though you know they don't mean it.

Laurel Regan · January 9, 2015 at 10:41 pm

This is so beautiful! Your lovely daughter is so fortunate to have you as her mother. 🙂

elly stornebrink · January 10, 2015 at 5:29 am

Such a touching post Shailaja! ONLY a mother could write such a post! I love those promises AND with the exceptions, especially the last one! 😉 And I also love #4 exception and #5 exception (“snarky defiance”). 😉 As Laura says, Gy is lucky to have you as her Mom. 🙂 <3

Ananya Tales · January 10, 2015 at 7:01 am

A post straight from your heart..loved readin it !
Wishing A very Happy New year to u and ur family 🙂

Cathy Graham · January 10, 2015 at 1:55 pm

Moving and thought provoking as your posts always are. Love the promises and the exceptions. Gy is lucky to have you as her mom.

Nabanita · January 10, 2015 at 3:03 pm

You made me emotional with this Shailaja… You really did and I don't what else to write in praise of this..

Natalie DeYoung · January 11, 2015 at 12:18 am

I used to say that to my mom–and often. Now, she is one of the most important people in my life, and I my love for her is so large. I know you know this, but don't let those moments of sassiness and rebellion get you down, even if they hurt. Children grow out of it.
And just so you know, I can tell you are a good mother just by reading this post. It is evident how much you care about your children. 🙂

searchingforsubstance · January 11, 2015 at 8:13 am

aww!! i liked all the promises plus all the exceptions, and especially how the last one has no exception. sweet. =)

Daniel Nest · January 11, 2015 at 12:55 pm

This is very sweet!

Side note. If my future child ever says “I wish you were not my mom” to me, I'll cleverly retort with “Well I'll have you know I'm actually your father, so oh my God are you calling me too feminine? Why?! Why would you do this to me?!”

Then I'd burst into uncontrollable weeping and run away to dramatic music.

I…I don't deal with emotions that well.

Shailaja V · January 11, 2015 at 1:05 pm

I certainly hope so, Sreeja. Thank you so much for commenting 🙂

Vinitha Dileep · January 11, 2015 at 8:26 pm

Lovely post, Shailaja. Loved the promises and even more the exceptions. 🙂

Kathy Combs · January 12, 2015 at 12:03 am

That about says it all. Kids can scream at you how much they hate you…and it hurts bad, but they don't mean it because in reality they love you more than anyone unless you have really done something that would deserve that emotion.

Keirthana · January 12, 2015 at 5:46 am

Gy has one great mom, you both are lucky to have each other.

proactiveindian.com · January 15, 2015 at 6:01 am

Beautiful promises, each with a really meaningful exception!
You seem to be poised to break your Yell-Free record. All the best!!

Shailaja V · March 17, 2015 at 5:37 am

Very true, Sid. I would like to think so too 🙂

Shailaja V · March 17, 2015 at 5:39 am

Yes you may and yes, kids do that so well 😉

Shailaja V · March 17, 2015 at 5:51 am

Thank you so much, Uma 🙂

Cherie · May 31, 2018 at 3:11 pm

I love these promises. Very beautiful.

Rachael Stray · May 31, 2018 at 4:45 pm

This is so beautiful!

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