Girl Child Day
She kicks in your stomach during the routine ultrasound.
When she’s born you see her first dimple (and nothing much more as your eyes get teary..)
She keeps you up all night crying, till you can’t wait till she grows older and you can sleep peacefully.
She runs in an open park, her open hair bouncing, cheeks glowing with exercise as she holds up a half crumpled flower clutched in her small fist for you to see.
She falls off the cycle and scrapes her knee on her first try without the learner wheels. You run to check, and she smiles up at you, bravely, trying not to cry.
On her 10th Birthday, when her little brother sulks because he didn’t get the first bite of birthday cake, you see her sneak him an extra return home gift.
On sports day, she comes home with her skirt covered with dust and grass-stains, grumbling about how girls weren’t allowed to play football. Later that evening, you hear the thunk thunk of a ball against the wall and you can’t help but smile.
A little later, she discovers the joys of the telephone. There are now lots of “Goodeveningaunty, pleasemayispeakto….”
Then one day you enter her room and see her in tears. All sorts of possibilities enter your head, but as you sit down next to her on the bed, you see the crumpled note in her hand, and realise ‘heartbreak’.
You see the pressure of studying, of co-curricular activities, of peer pressure, of life (as it revolves around her) change her, shape her into a plethora of different people.
She struggles through too many options and tough decisions. She pushes you away when she needs you the most. Some of her choices seem wrong, some seem so correct, and yet you let her choose, and make her mistakes, and learn.
And then comes one day, when you realise, as she leaves for college in the morning, that your little girl has grown up. You see the person she has become, and are proud. You see the wings she’s grown, and watch as she flies. Even when she flies far, she knows there’s a place she can come back to… a place that’s home.