Little One 🙂
I know, I know, you aren’t little anymore 🙂 You are all adult, all woman, all you 🙂 But permit me, just this time..
I cannot begin to describe the myriad of feelings that overtook me when I discovered you were growing inside of me. I’m a doctor, and all, and I know the dynamics of implantation and fertilization of a human embryo…but in med school they don’t tell you anything about the other aspects. They don’t tell you how absolutely confusing..and as time goes on, how absolutely amazing and overwhelming these feelings become! They don’t tell you how protective you become of the little form taking shape inside of you. How absolutely awestruck you are when you see the first ultrasound-and the doctor shows you your baby’s little features. They don’t tell you how you think that every single cell, every tiny chromosome is perfect. 🙂 No, they keep out the best parts.
Of course, there was the acne! Christ I hated it! Seeing as i’ve struggled with it all my life, it shouldn’t have been a biggie..but Oh in pregnancy, it feels like every emotion is amplified..including my hatred for acne.
But you know what? I wouldn’t trade it for the world 🙂 My little girl was coming, and it was worth it 🙂
And my hair! Gosh, my hair became a huge mass of nappiness and curls! I couldn’t get enough of how thick and beautiful it was-and neither could your daddy:) You weren’t even born yet and you already brought us all this wonderful-ness 🙂 I had been the apple of your daddy’s eye, but when we were pregnant for you, he became even more loving, more kind, more considerate. He was and has always been my biggest fan. How much can I say? 🙂
The days turned into weeks…and then into months. We grew bigger and bigger. The first day you kicked was totally mind-blowing! It was a tiny push..I imagine your little fingers curled in fists, reminding me in case id forgotten,that you were real!! As if I could ever forget..lol..
And then you were born. I looked, lovestruck, at the perfection that was you…and all it brought was tears to my eyes. How can this little person belong to me, I thought? What could I have ever done to deserve you? Nothing could compare to the feeling that swelled in my heart when I looked at you. Every push, every painful contraction, every tear..it was all worth it. You looked so much like your daddy…but you looked just like me too. What kind of God made this creature, so beautifully crafted? Every little sound you made, every whisper of your sweet baby breath was precious to me. It was a wonder.
I watched you grow up..like a tiny sapling…you grew..you blossomed before my very eyes. I watched, privileged to be a part of your life, as you developed..with a uniqueness that was entirely yours. Your first day at school..your first scrape, your first pencil drawing..treasured memories, kept deep in my heart. How those beautiful brown eyes lit up when your daddy came back home, because you knew that he would always have a treat for his new favorite little girl(I had lost that position-you were such a charmer!) How you would slip your little hands into mine when we would walk down the aisle in church. How safe and loved that made me feel. How you would, after watching TV, come over to where I sat and make a little bed underneath my skirts and my legs. How hard you made me laugh when you snuck into my room one day, made yourself up, pretty as you please, the way you had seen your mommy do it countless times. Oh, my heart swelled with love. Every time I thought I couldn’t possible love any more, you showed me that my heart could take a little more love. The intensity of my feelings stunned even me and often left me breathless. You were my delight.
The times you got sick, my world seemed like it careened out of control. The time you swallowed a coin I was confused! What to do with you? Lord, that was a distressing time.
The light returned to my world only when your smile returned-that smile that could melt even the toughest of hearts-which always turned me into a puddle. You completely changed my life-in ways I never thought possible. I did not and could never deserve you.
At your tenth birthday, I couldn’t believe how the time had flown by. You had your first period that year. It dawned on me that my little girl was on her way to becoming a little lady. I watched, and partook, of your teenage years. You were struggling with these new developments-your body was changing, as were your emotions. Your gangly frame began to fill out in all the right places. Boys began to matter. Make-up began to become interesting. Oh, and the short skirts. I watched, partly apprehensive and partly in wonderment as you begun to establish yourself..how you began to have opinions, how you realized that indeed I was not perfect and that some of my own opinions were not law..that there was a world outside of me. It was a struggle. To give you up. To watch you grow, and realize that I was not in complete control anymore. I’ve had to watch, almost helplessly as you have made decisions that were guaranteed to bring you pain..but sometimes, this is the only way to learn-from personal experience. But I felt your pain,and cried your tears.
Today, Little One, you turn Eighteen. Legally adult. You are a stunning young lady, just on the threshold of all things great and beautiful. I’ve watched you grow and mature, from unsure, temperamental teen, to elegant, more self assured adult. And my heart is full of thankfulness for you and all you have given to me just by living.
And so, I decided to write you this. As you are at the dawn of the beginning of the rest of your life, I ask you, Little one, to take these along with you wherever you go..:) It is by no means comprehensive, but its what I have, and I have always given you everything.
Never cease to trust God. He is the source of all things good. Believe in Him, always. He will never ever abandon you-even in those times you feel like no one else understands you, He does. He is always there. He will never forsake you. Hold on to Him, and never let go.
Believe in yourself. You are a beautiful lady, inside and out, and you are smart, by any standards. Never let anyone run you down. Remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and God(and your parents) take delight in you. Never sell yourself short. The world is full of people who feel they need to make others feel bad about themselves to feel good. You are so much more than that, my dear. Let the love of God compel you, in everything. Remember how Jesus washed the feet of His disciples? You should always be ready to give of your resources, of your talents,and your friendship. Because giving empowers you to give some more..and givers never lack.
Pick and choose your friends wisely. The company you keep can and will contribute to your character. Do not let yourself be influenced by unruly people….its okay not to go with the crowd. The majority vote isn’t always the right vote. Its okay to have an opinion-even better, a well thought out one..perhaps not on every subject though, as there’s always more to be learnt:)
Let your speech and your general manner always be gracious, my love. A good number of Nigerian girls are so rude and ungracious, and I don’t quite understand why. It is unbecoming of a lady, and you are of different stuff. People deserve to be extended graciousness. You never know how far that little smile you gave to that old lady,or that little bit of information you offered to that young man without him having to go through any humiliation at your hands, would go. Be merciful, always, and be forgiving. Understand the fact that, but for the grace of God, you are nothing, and this should always help you stay grounded. This can only be achieved if you are rooted in God, which goes back to the fact that you need to trust God. Let him be your anchor in this crazy world.
My darling, cultivate kindness in your garden. Never leave the house without the scent of it on you. The world is rife with so much unkindness, that people don’t even really understand the true meaning of the word. Be a beacon that shines in the darkness that pervades this world. Be kind. Even when its difficult, be kind. Be kind to your friends, be kind to your neighbors, be kind to people you don’t even know. And when you are married, be kind to your husband. Be tolerant of other people and their idiosyncrasies-not everyone will be like you, as I’m sure you have already experienced. Nigeria is a country of so many different cultures and peoples. Prejudice never did anyone any good. Tolerate the views of others, including everyone’s respective sexual preferences, but never ever compromise on what you have been brought up to believe is true, and right. Moslems and Christians, we strive to worship God, and to do His will. Tolerate your moslem neighbors as you would your christian. Do not judge-no one is perfect, and every sinner has a future, just as every saint has a past.
Never stop reading- Readers are Leaders. Improve on your knowledge base. Read books that add to you, and busy yourself with things that help improve you. Strive to be useful-to share knowledge, instead of just taking and taking. I didn’t say you should be an over-sabi o! Lol..that can be annoying. But be useful. Add value to those in your life, and those around you, and watch and see how people will seek you out.
Now, about boys, men and sex. You no doubt have a lot of questions, and thoughts on this issue. I’ll try my best to give it a shot. 🙂
Pre-marital sex is a big issue, and even though we have had the birds and bees discussion, I still feel like its important to add a few other things-I don’t want to be like the other mothers who treat the sex talk like its a taboo, when the issues which arise as a result of the failure to talk about it loom and threaten to drown us all.
If and when you get into the position of having to decide whether or not you want to do it, please take note of these little pointers.
Do you want to have sex? Or is it just because your boyfriend wants to?Is it the influence of the media? If everyone thinks its okay, what are their reasons? What’s all the fuss about it?
Sex is overrated. Especially out of marriage. How many people will you have sex with before you are married? Bear in mind that sex is a deeply intimate, deeply personal thing-not something to be taken lightly at all. The ‘after-feelings’-the way you may feel let down afterwards, the way it has of numbing your conscience to how sinful it is, will not be worth it.
Sex is wonderful. But only within the boundaries of marriage. I know this all sounds legalistic to you, but consider the fact that any decisions made based on mere feelings are bound to break down eventually-feelings are too flimsy and too traitorous to base permanent decisions on.
You are a young, beautiful, intelligent lady, who has all your life to have sex(with your husband). Bear in mind that your body and your life are your corporation,where you are CEO,and as such, you should not allow something as lightweight(yes, even though feelings can feel rather heavy..lol) as feelings-which come and go to determine the decisions you make concerning your very expensive, very productive corporation. You call the shots, you determine who stays and who goes. Therefore, anyone who wants to stay and own shares must be held accountable for their actions towards and within your corporation. When we are young, we think we are untouchable..but keep in mind that with every choice comes responsibility. I assure you, for example, that having a child out of wedlock is more difficult than you can ever imagine.
Remember, your love for God is more important than any man, and when you love someone, you don’t intentionally hurt them. You don’t say that, because you know they will forgive you, you push the boundaries of how far they can go, just to see how much they can take. Rather, you do what they ask of you because you love them and don’t want them to be sad. And fornication makes God sad.
Remember also, that there are STD’s to be had-even with the use of protection. If you and boyfriend are oh-so-fired up about having sex , I would advise that both of you take a HIV and Hepatitis B test. If you are both so serious-and yes, these are very serious issues, I want you to be aware of your responsibility towards yourselves, and accordingly, behave like adults. These are real and present dangers, and it wouldn’t do to get anything as permanent as an STD based on something as temporal as feelings. You are a phenomenal lady, and should carry yourself as such. Don’t let anyone bring you down. You are your Father’s daughter-and he holds you in such high regard. Let those standards be the same as the ones you command from the men in your life.
And, my darling one, if you ever fall short, as you will, for that is part of life, remember that God is always able to forgive, and restore you. Mommy will always be your friend and will never ever judge you, because you, my child came from these loins and are a part of me. I love you beyond anything I can ever describe or quantify, and I will never, ever let harm come to you by my actions. There is absolutely nothing you can not speak to me about. Nothing at all. Never forget that.
As you get your driver’s license, you must drive with integrity. Don’t beat the traffic lights-Naija red safety is horrible. Don’t drive on the pedestrian walkways- do not compromise the lives of anyone just because you feel you are in a hurry and need to get someplace. Respect everyone, and do your best to be polite to those you meet. It may seem unnecessary and often times you will meet obnoxious people, who are seemingly undeserving of your graciousness but you are cut of different cloth. Respect Authority,and always do your civic duty to vote,and obey the laws of the land. Preserve your conscience, and your integrity. When these are lost, they are often times very difficult to regain.
Be prudent. Spend wisely. Get into the culture of Saving. It always comes in handy. Take a little portion of your allowance and set it aside. It may seem like its little at first..but little drops make an ocean,right? Keep at it,even when its discouraging. Be consistent- I assure you,it always pays.
Be faithful in all you do. In your relationships, your friendships,and at work. Trust is something that is built over time, with sweat and sometimes tears, even at the work place, and when this is compromised, is often difficult to fix. It becomes like a cracked mirror-never able to be restored back to its original form.
If and when you get your heart broken, and when your expectations are not reached, do not fret, my child. Life is like that sometimes. Dust yourself off and keep moving. As long as there is life, there is hope. You have so much ahead of you, and I cant wait for it to all unfold. I only hope I will be given the chance to experience it all, as your mother, and as your friend. 🙂
But, nothing is impossible with God 🙂 Always maintain a hopeful, positive attitude. Fear God, and hate evil. It may seem like the wicked prosper, but don’t be in a hurry. Your efforts will be rewarded, someday, perhaps not in the way you expect, but it will 🙂 Experience builds our character, and it is my hope that your experiences, as they are wont to do, cause you to be refined, and as you age, become-as wine, more beautiful.
Oh Lord, is that really the time?! Have to run along now, and get ready for work, and make sure that everything’s in place for your little party tonight. Your father has a wonderful gift for you, too, and I can’t wait to watch your eyes light up when he gives it to you 🙂
Happy Birthday, my Beautiful One. I love you something fierce! Your best is yet to come!
Written on 7th November, 2033. 😉