Last evening after her bubble bath shenanigan was over, I suddenly heard Tara talking to her friends (the bath squeezies) in hush-hush voices. I peeped through the gap between the door and the hinge, in order to not interrupt my lil monster’s “me time”. She was carefully picking each of them up, squeezing the water out, washing them again, and placing them on the ledge. And with each step she was thanking them for a “fun time in the bubble bath”. And leaving them with a promise that, “we will play again tomorrow, ok.”
I watched her place each one of them on the ledge with such fond affection. My heart swelled with pride, and my eyes moistened with gratitude. My 2 yr old daughter was thanking her friends, and following the procedure her Mama takes ever night to “tuck all of them in bed for the night-night”. She did not miss any step. And she talked to them through the process, just like Mama does.
Someone recently asked me what I enjoy most about parenthood. It is this. This legacy that I will leave with Tara. The legacy that my father left for me. To appreciate, be thankful, take out the time, and put things where they belong so you can use them again. Her actions are my reward. Her compassion is my badge of honor.
To see your child practice what you practice is scary, but rewarding at the same time. The winter break was a fabulous time for Tara and me to align on our wavelengths. We spent so much time together to know each other’s modus operandi, our incentives, and rewards. She is not the child who will do what is told. But she will do as it is done by Agam and me. All we have to do is the right thing. Always.
On a side note, bubble baths are a great way to foster the idea of “me time” with kids. They enjoy their “me zone” where there is no supervision. Tara enjoys herself for 5-8minutes, and then calls one of us to play with her. It teaches her that she can be on her own, and yet, when she needs us, we are there for her. A lesson she needs to learn for life. And one of my favorite legacies of my father.
I am a little hurt today. I watched Obama’s Farewell speech last night and my mind is stuck in the moment when he is with Malia and it’s just the two of them. And he is looking out to the vast crowds, and showing her that perhaps she will one day be there, with them, or leading them. I miss that proximity to my father.