Don’t grow up too fast 1

Less than twenty months ago you were only a one-cell organism that started dividing furiously to become a tiny little human being. Mom and I watched you all through as you developed those little limbs, a head, and a heart. We felt you every day and wondered what you would be like. Some days you responded to our touch with a little kick as if it were your own little Morse code to let us know that you are well. Merely nine months from the first day, you met us as a fully formed human being with no resemblance to the simple cell that you were just a few months ago. When I held you I could not believe that a little dot had become this.

You will be a year old soon and you have grown so much. You crawl, you smile, you lift things and you can even eat by yourself. You have likes and dislikes and you have started understanding what is correct and what is not. More than anything else, you have addicted me to your laughter. If only someone were to watch me do things I do to make you laugh while you were not around, they would have no hesitation in committing me to an institution – but what I do looks so sane when one hears your soulful laughter for the silliest of things we do.

Watching you grow has been amazing. We cheered every new thing you did and every milestone you crossed – your first smile, your first sounds; the way you wiggled your butt in an attempt to crawl, and your first attempt to stand. We watched you with pride, clapped, took pictures and called your grandparents to report every new moment. You have grown fast and I know that you will grow with incredible speed over the next years. I cheer that, but I also know that what I have now is incredibly beautiful and it makes me sad that it will go away all too soon.

I have begged and pleaded with you every now and then to stay just the way you are. You did not pay any heed to my pleas, but thankfully you bettered yourself with every passing week. I can’t wait for you to start speaking and yet I cannot bear that thought that I will never hear you babble like a soulful little bird again. I so look forward to holding your hand and walking with you; but I would miss the days when you would crawl with so much joy to every piece of garbage found in any corner of the house.

I know you are in a hurry to grow and it is only correct that you do so. I wish at least that time would go slow so that this wonderful moment is prolonged; but you have done just the opposite you mischievous child. You smile at me, play games and everything you do is so beautiful that the clock slips hours and days fly by. How is it possible that you have messed up every clock in the house without ever touching them?

I ask you this question every now and then. Sometimes you give me beautiful responses that could make the merriest koel jealous, and there are other days when you look at me and just move on to the next toy. And I would sit there thinking that today will be a memory soon but I will remember it as a wonderfully happy day when I held you and kissed you again and again, smiled at your smiles and laughed with you. I know that today will never come again, but I would be happy that I was there.

With much love


About Vivek Srinivasan

I work with the Program on Liberation Technology at Stanford University. Before this, I worked with the Right to Food Campaign and other rights based campaigns in India. To learn more, click here.

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