One of your aunts asked me this hypothetical question just days after you were born. She asked me if you wanted to marry a girl who was physically disabled, would I let you? There was a story behind that question, but that is no longer important. But the question is and so is the answer.
First I asked her why ask such an absurd thing? My son is hardly few days old, why would I be thinking of his marriage? But she pressed me to think and answer the question. I thought and thought. And replied that if you are happy with this person and are willing to be there for her, I would stand by your decision to marry her. I would surely talk to you about the various situations that could arise and if you are still confident, I wouldn’t say no.
But your aunt was not convinced, she felt that I don’t know what I am talking about and that’s why this reply. I left it at that, thinking maybe there is something more, that I may not understand.
After you turned two, I thought of the question that your aunt had asked me. I realised what she was trying to make me understand. We look after our children so much, taking care that they don’t have any difficulty in the world. So would I want you, my son to live his life with this partner perceived to be difficult to live with. I asked her if that was what she meant when she asked me this. She replied in the positive. I told her that now I understand the perspective of the question but my answer still remains the same. My son can fall in love, marry and have/not have kids with anyone he loves. For me it is not going to change. If he loves a differentially abled person, and wanted to spend his life with her then I would be proud of my son. Because he has been able to look beyond a person’s physical being and love her for the person she is. I would be happy that I have brought him up in a good way.
Vi, I want you to be happy. Just because I took care of you or do what all parents do, doesn’t make me the owner of your life. So that one is clear, you can marry any girl or boy (I don’t know what your choice will be) you love, no caste, religion, state, country, nothing is a problem to amma.
So Vi, your life is yours to live and love. I hope I will be able to teach all the valuable lessons of life that will help you make the right decisions. And yes, I will be there to guide you if you need my help. Amma will be there for you always. I love you a lot but hopefully not so much that it starts to suffocate you 😉
A picture of you and a friend you made at the base of the Eiffel Tower.
I hope as you grow up, I can keep telling you that “I love you” the way I tell you now. And I hope when the time comes, you can also tell the one you love with the same ease.