Little Miss 6: Missy, what are ‘footprints’?
As I began contemplating how to explain the meaning of such a deep word, she shot me with another (trust me, this one just blew me away!)
Little Miss 6: Do I need to follow your footprints?
I just went blank. Meanwhile, her little inquisitive eyes kept wandering for an answer.
Little Miss 6: Mommy, what happened? Where’s my answer?
Me: Well.. the thing is…
I could feel my voice choking down. My footprints?
‘The-almost-guilty-mom’ in me deciphered:
My daughter’s question initiated that much-awaited self-retrospection in me. What are my achievements? Am I wise enough to influence her life? How can she idolize someone who is still learning from her errors? Whom should she follow, ‘the-never-content-professional’ or ‘the-ever-evolving-mother’? Her mom falters many times, is indecisive beyond limits, sometimes judgmental and at times, is scared of being judged! A cloud of dilemmas with a fear of the unknown, afraid of the anticipations and caged in her resolutions yet seeking to command life! How can she follow her mom, who is not perfect!
‘The assumed-to-be-perfect-mom’ enlightened:
“Do you think we were perfect? We also had our part of ‘hits and misses’ too. The irony is, we could never share our faulty tales with you. We succumbed to the paradox of maintaining a wall between your generation and ours. When we were growing up as parents, we were drilled in with the concept of reflecting a perfect ‘fatherly’ or ‘motherly’ figure to our children, whom they must follow. I wish I could be as transparent and friendly with you, as you are with your daughter. My child, you don’t have to be perfect; you just have to be YOU to be her mom.”
And the ‘ME’ in ME was back for my little girl:
ME: So, ‘ footprints’ is something like my recipe for baking your favorite cookies.
Little Miss 6: (her eyes dazzled) Missy, I love chocolate ones!
ME: I know honey! As you grow up and learn to do things on your own, you might want to change or add something more to my recipe. By then, you might start liking blueberries more or would like to add a hint of cinnamon to make them taste better. ‘Footprints’ are the way I did things but I might not be the best. To follow or to make it yummier to suit your taste, is something you have to decide!
Little Miss 6: Missy, I can’t wait to bake cookies with you. I will always bake WITH YOU!
And, my little girl unknowingly pulled me out of that big dilemma!