Adolescence is a tough time while growing up. I didn’t know what was happening to me or around me. I am sure bringing up a teenager is a tough job too. I remember, I always used to argue with you guys as to why am I not allowed to go for a night stay at a friend’s house or go for a solo trip. A 16-year-old didn’t understand that the world is not filled with good people. That there are some people who don’t wish you well. As a 16-year-old, I didn’t understand that you were protecting me and were trying to teach me how to trust wisely.
You just didn’t want the negativity of the world to affect me. As a parent of a daughter, it’s not easy to bring up a girl in this scary world. It is difficult to let your daughter find her confidence and simultaneously not worry about the experiences she would have to face while finding it.
As parents, it is tough to strike that balance. You didn’t let me grow up with zero rules, because you knew better that I wasn’t ready for some experiences. You let me loose like a kite, slowly, steadily but surely. I might have never been the topper kid of class. But I gave my best and each failure has taught me something. I remember, I opted for the science stream, which didn’t turn out to be my forte. I used to struggle in my exams and score low. That used to give me a lot of anxiety and was a constant source of worry for you.
It is difficult to let your daughter find her confidence and simultaneously not worry about the experiences she would have to face while finding it.
It was stressful for me, despite working hard, to not be able to score enough marks. It clearly wasn’t my cup of tea. It was a very tough time to deal with, but you kept encouraging me and realised that a stream I am not good at will not decide my future. I had a different path to follow and worrying about marks was of no use at all.
I remember I was in class 5th when my school organized an excursion trip to Jaipur. I came home running, telling tales about how excited we kids were for the trip. You both joined my excitement, albeit the conflict in your mind. I went on the trip and it was one of the best experiences I had as a kid.
You as kids did not have the facilities that I have. I wasn’t born in a silver spoon but both of you made sure I was well cared for. I respect all the things that you have given me. I am grateful for the opportunities that have come my way because of being your daughter. I know sometimes it does bother you as to how I will manage to look after myself when I am away from home. How will I take care of clothes, my belongings and my health?
I just want to say, trust me and trust your parenting.
But maa and paa, I will be able to do all of the things on my own. It won’t be easy but I know I always have your support. I know it bothers you that I might have a boyfriend or someday will have one. Considering the taboo in our society, having a boyfriend is still looked down upon or it is a source of gossip for some people, if not most. But don’t worry, attraction is a very regular part of life. Falling for someone is normal. I have learned to value myself and that will stay with me forever.
You are concerned about the company I keep, what kind of people I socialise with and so many more concerns. I just want to say, trust me and trust your parenting. I will do nothing wrong, I am a grown-up and I have learnt my lessons, and even if I make some mistakes along the way, your parenting won’t be at fault. It is just a part of life, making mistakes and learning from them. Growing from whatever one goes through.
Your grown-up daughter.
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