Dearest Momo aka Nurvi
Why a letter? I don’t know, maybe because that’s what I do. I write. Because I am sappy and not good with spoken words. Because I am hoping one day, you’ll read this. Along with the newspaper dated April 19th 2022 that I’ll have asked your mother to keep because I think they’ll be obsolete like the art of letter writing. Because I want what I feel for you to be documented, become immortal in this wide sea called the internet where nothing is ever lost. If something has to stay forever, why shouldn’t it be my wild love for you? And because I’m hoping that decades later when you read it, you re-read it and it becomes your aide-mémoire telling you that love comes in many forms and you’re loved and cherished in all of them.
I haven’t had the privilege to change your diapers, to listen to your epic farts (I imagine they are epic because farts shouldn’t be anything less) and then sing to you in exchange, to put you to sleep. Actually, I have only been able to sing to you once. Hoping to impress the 6mo old tiny critic with my one talent, I almost choked nervous mid-song when you stopped your ‘off-beat throwing hands in the air’ dance and looked at me intently for three seconds. Your wonder absorbing eyes hovered then stopped to look into mine, just long enough to make me believe in myself. With your approval, I slept so well that night.
Now I get to see your jigs on a screen. Your mother and aunt Sweeta are kind enough to share with me every silly and smart thing you do. That doesn’t take away the fact that I really, really wish I was there watching you do all that, be there in front of you when you do that little adorable come-hither flick of the wrist. I tell myself videos are good, because I can watch you do all that over and over then. But you’re growing up too fast and too soon and while I am grateful for the documentation, I’m not enjoying that I’m missing the live event.
I know I won’t get to spend as much time with you as I’d like. One can blame distance and life for that. And while on some days I do exclaim loudly “Send Momo to me!”, you really are in the best possible hands. Though you are her first, your mother is like a pro at this. She loves you like minions love bananas (and more), will do anything for you and everyone else who is fortunate enough to be loved by her. You’re so lucky to have her as your fierce guardian. Your father is sharp as a tack and with this undefeatable combination of sense and reason, you’re a boss baby already.
You laugh easy and are amazed by everything you see and life is mostly burps and farts. Nobody is telling you who to be like. The world has not yet told you who you are or who you could or should be. You just are. I look at you, trying to see which of your parents you look like, and you – a tiny person who has had but one trip around the sun – you do something that is unlike anyone and so YOU. You made sure I see that you (like any child) are a mysterious mix of not only inherited or individual traits but a lot more magical stuff that we are yet to find out about, all of which will come together to make you, you. It is these pauses that you inspire, and the check-ins your very being makes me perform which amaze me. “How to Adult Well” – by a baby. A baby you are, but innocence and sense of wonder aside, you are a revelation.
I’m aware that it is in fact, impossible and pointless to predict what is to come. I know that it is impossible for us to protect you from all the things that we think you may need protection from. I also know that we’re all gonna wanna do that, and in trying to do that we might forget all this and press our own definitions on to you.
Nurvi, only you can decide how you’re going to move through this world, and on your first birthday, as your guardian and student, I promise you this – I’ll remember and respect that, always. This letter will be my aide-memoire too.
I’ve called this a letter to you, but I feel in talking to a one-year-old through a letter I am really talking to myself. But I really do wish that you read this someday. Chances are I’ll write more of these. Maybe I will create a library of sort for you. A little random gyan, things that some important adults in my life told me, things that I wish someone, anyone had told me when I was growing up. If you don’t understand this, don’t worry. Just know that your aunt is a little loopy, a self-proclaimed poet, and sometimes she thinks she’s talking to others but she’s really talking to herself. But she tries. For you, she’ll always try. So come and meet me when you have your first “what do I do?” in life. I’ll help. Or my letters will.
Burps and farts all the way!
I love you ❤