I remember mentioning in one of my posts that I have a daughter but that was hardly a formal introduction. My daughter’s name is Nizalia, although she has a number of nicknames (most of them devised by me) the most common one is Nizu.
You can imagine what it must be like, being the single mother of a thriving, jumping, tantrum-throwing toddler. Those are some of the many titles a toddler carries as they make their way through toddler-hood: the most destructive phase in the life of a person which they themselves forget but no parent can.
A toddler is a ticking time bomb instilled within a tiny person. They have chubby cheeks, the best laugh you will ever hear and their articulation of things is brutally honest and last but not least they give the warmest hugs. But do not let that fool you because whilst all the giggles, they can reign down hell on you, if triggered.
TODDLER (n) : Emotionally unstable pint-sized dictator with the uncanny ability to know exactly how far to push you towards utter insanity before reverting back to a lovable creature.
The above mentioned sentences aptly define the toddler experience for parents. All I have to say is stay strong ladies, we are all in this together.
If she wills it upon you, Nizu can be quiet the trouble maker. She will say she loves you one minute and god forbid, if you try to outsmart her by taking advantage of the moment and stuffing her face with some more bananas, well that is it for you. She will throw at you, what ever is in her hand, slap you barehanded and even attempt to bite your thighs or poke you in the eye. You would be surprised at how loud she is capable of shouting. The waterworks are inevitable; by this time in their child’s life, all parents grow somewhat numb to the tears. Once at the peak of a tyrannical tantrum, there is no stopping them. You just have to stay where you are so they can see you from a distance but its likely, they do not want to be touched at a point like this so you just freeze and wait for them to calm down.
It is harder if an episode like this happens in public. They will not refrain from lying down and screaming on the floor of your regular grocery store and embarrass you. Which is why it is best to make the trip after taking all safety measures: they should be fed, changed and well slept.
The terrible-twos had me begging on all fours for some peace. I was looking forward to the time that I would get to myself while the little monster was in school; to be able to make myself a nice meal and a warm cup of tea along with some silence without having to worry for just a few moments. Instead, everything but relief was what I felt on her first day of school.
I had been preparing Nizu for school since she had spoken her first word. Now that I was finally filling out the admission forms and buying school supplies, I could not shake off unwelcome fears. Sending your kid off to school is a milestone but I wish somebody had told me about the emotional repercussions of it.
What kept bothering me was that I would be required to leave my child for hours on a stretch beyond the confines of her first home, under the supervision of people that I barely knew.
Lets be honest, the world is not exactly a safe place to live in. I am aware that no parent can give their child the perfect life and I am okay with that but I seriously fear for my daughter’s generation. I was alarmed to send her out into the world because it has become the breeding ground of uncontrollable evil.
Dawn published a story about a six year old girl, who was found in a drain in Karachi. She was left to die after someone raped her and slit her throat.
I came across an article about 17 year old Pearl Moen on my Facebook news feed today. In 2015, Pearl Moen stabbed a stranger 21 times , leaving her to die in an Austin park. Police found out that after killing her victim, Pearl Moen wrote about it in her diary. The post read: “I stabbed an innocent woman to death earlier today- technically yesterday since it is 1 am. It was absolutely fantastic. Murder gives me a high like any other. the whole thing was unreal. I am so proud of myself. I stabbed her like 20 times, maybe more. I wasn’t counting.”
This image is from a protest held in India following the brutal gang rape and death of medical student Jyoti Singh on a New Delhi bus in 2012.
3 year old Aylan Kurdi’s body was found washed up on the shores of Europe on 2 September 2015. Aylan and his brother met the same fate. Both had reportedly hailed from the northern Syrian town of Kobani, the site of fierce fighting between Islamic State insurgents and Kurdish forces earlier this year.
Army Public School, Peshawar in the aftermath of an attack by seven gunmen from the Tehreek-i-Taliban on 17 December, 2014. The militants opened fire on school staff and children, killing 141 people. 132 of them were children aged between 8 to 18 years.
With growing terrorism and war around the world, people have become susceptible and insecure, building walls around themselves. Instead of finding comfort with one another, people have become fearful of each other.
The world is changing unpredictably and not for the better. I believe that our world has fallen prey to a great calamity. Our kind has let itself fall into the depths of a darkness that they themselves summoned. The most apparent consequence of our callousness is climate change.
This world is what I am sending my innocent child out to. A world I do not comprehend my self. I clasped Nizu’s hand tightly in mine as I walked her to school on her first day, where she will find her place as an individual. She said goodbye and ran off without looking back.
Holding back tears, I drove back home, feeling powerless. It is not easy to bring a child to this world, I nearly died in the process of giving birth to her. The agonising physical pain one eventually forgets, but the real test of becoming a mother is having to sacrifice all that you hold dear to your heart for one small human. Each day since the birth of my child I have fought a battle with myself and the world.
I can say this with certainty that there is no greater love in this world than the one a mother feels for her child. It gives her extraordinary courage along with the ability to break through mountains and roar louder than lions. But this love makes her weak too. It never lets her forget that she will not always be able to save her child from the shadows that lurk in every corner. So she stands, guarding every moment and never letting her eyes and mind sleep to the possibility of peril. She drains herself and still goes on.
With a prayer in my heart, I drank my tea in the silence I had long anticipated.
If it was up to me, I would keep you in the blanket of my arms forever. Far away from the cruelty of our kind. I cannot do that because I am bound in the shackles of this time and space.
It’s a big bad world out there, never missing chances to bruise you where it can. It will teach you things for the better. Never shy away because you will heal and you will stand back up again.
With moments of love and joy, there will be anger and sorrow. Life will show you glory but don’t break if you are defeated too.
Understand my dear child, that one against the other, moments are illusions of life. Night and day is inevitable but the light of your heart is forever.
I pray that you meet the best people and defeat the worst. I pray that you always triumph over anyone who seeks to break you.
Remember your mother’s words my love. You are the brightest light in the world and I hope your light blinds all those who mean for darkness to befall you.
Above the light of your own being is the light of God, never failing to shield you and creating a way for you, your creator and your guardian. I know you cannot see God and there will be moments when you doubt the existence of God. Even when it is the hardest to have faith, I ask you to put your trust in God, who watches and listens to all. I assure you that God has been your mother’s protector and will be yours. The best gift a mother can give to her child is to ask the creator to be the guardian of her child, every step of the way.
I hope you find the strength to aspire towards the best of everything. You deserve nothing short of perfection and I hope you never settle for anything less.
I hope you remain under the shadow of kindness, given to you by the best humans because you are the kindest yourself.
Fly high, but remember to be humble when you walk on earth. I hope God keeps you standing tall. Never let your heart be filled with arrogance. Be at one with all creation; birds, trees, air and animals because they have souls like you do.
You will meet people with many forms of pride. You will come across wretched souls who have nothing in their lives but the pride they feel upon making others think they are better than them for what they own or what they might look like. There are many in this world who take pride in putting others down; they do this because they have ugly souls. My dear child I pray that you see people for who they really are and you choose to turn away from wretched souls because they will bring you nothing but distress. I hope you recognize ill-will and never let your heart be polluted by the insecurities of others.
The most important thing in life is how you choose to make others feel about themselves because that is one of the few things you have power over. All else is worth nothing.
My love, you are all that you will ever need to accomplish everything you desire for yourself. When you decide to depend on hard work and an iron will, all energies in the world will stand up for you. The fruit of hard work is sweeter than all others.
Remember to be patient and grateful at all times.
I pray that you sail through all the storms and celebrations of life with valor and grace, holding the flag of glory.
Everyone makes mistakes. They teach you to fight harder and conquer with even more might than before.
Know when to talk but there will be times when silence will be best. It is not upon your shoulders to fix everyone. Know when to walk away and do not look back on that which you decided to walk away from.
Words are both weapons and your best armor. Choose them wisely!
Thank you for being the best gift life has given me.