I promise to hold you, but never
hold on to you.
When you look at me with your big eyes, searching for a hug, a kiss, comfort, and security, my heart melts with joy. I am there in an instant, knowing that today you turn to me for everything. I yearn to hold you, protect you, and nurture you. And while it makes me whole to meet your needs, I must constantly remind myself that I am really only your guide for a short time. You are on your own journey, a bud that will blossom into its own brilliant flower.
I know there will come a time when you will no longer look to me for all your needs, when you must search for your own answers, when you will want to wander around the world and collect your own treasures. I know there will come a time when I have to let go and admit that you are old enough to make your own decisions and determine your own actions.
I promise you that I will let go and give you the freedom to grow and become your own person. And whenever you want my advice, my embrace, and my smile, I will be there for you. I will always answer your call, and I will always be there as an anchor when you need me. And while I know at times it will be hard for me to hold back, I will respect your freedom and give you wings to fly freely with confidence, joy, and security.
I promise to show you how values can be the basis for genuine success.
An important lesson that our parents taught us when we were young was to develop a sense of values that could drive everything else we did in our lives. These values were not dictated or told to us, but rather, like all children, we watched how our parents treated others and themselves.
As we grew older, my father encouraged Gotham and me to begin a process of actually defining our values. This exercise made our value system a conscious part of our everyday thinking and activities. As we grew up, our values drove our academic, professional, and personal decisions and relationships.
Every morning as part of our meditation, we would think about the most valuable experiences that we wanted to have during the day. These experiences could include friendship, love, peace, harmony, laughter, creativity, intuition, discovery, and more. When we were silent and truly listened to our hearts, we always found that our most valued experiences were ones that made us feel good, happy, secure, and loved.
As parents, we hope we can instill values in our children that will give them confidence and inspire them to treat others with love and respect. The simple exercise described above is a powerful way to help children listen to what makes them feel good and then seek out and share those feelings with others in their world.
I promise to remind you that there are many perspectives to any situation.
When Sumant was two-and-a-half years old, he went for his first expedition with his father. It was a big trip for his dad -- the first time he was going to spend several hours completely alone with his baby. He decided to take Sumant to the zoo.
Sumant was so excited when they reached the park. His father bought him a balloon and sat him upon his shoulders, and they went from one animal to the other. They reviewed all the appropriate animal sounds. They pointed out the brilliant colors on the parrots and the lovely feathers on the peacocks. Sumant's father then gave him a wonderful treat; they took a ride on an elephant around the park. It was one of the most special afternoons his father had ever spent.
When they arrived home, Sumant's mother came running out to the car. She grabbed Sumant, giving him hugs and kisses and asking if he had fun. Sumant was licking a lollipop, and he showed his mother the stuffed monkey that his father had bought him. His father beamed with pride, knowing that he had treated his son to an ultimate day of fun and learning. He was excited to hear Sumant's tales of the day.
"Tell Mama all that you saw," his father coaxed.
Sumant beamed with pride and responded, "Rocks, Mama. So many rocks."