It is now officially an annual ritual—my open/public letter to my son on his birthday. I wrote the first one when he turned 4. I followed it up with one when he turned 5. On March 29, my medium guy (noting his objection to the word small), turned 6. Here is my letter to my young man.
So you are a year older and a bit wiser. Maybe a little too much for our convenience but we will let that pass. You are starting to ask too many questions. Some of them quite complicated and a few of them uncomfortably so. Give us some time and we will catch up. Until then, let the dictionaries and encyclopedias be your friend.
I love that you are hooked on math and science. Attaboy! I say. As much as your mother wanted you to be a creative type completely unlike the two of us, your DNA refuses to cooperate. The older you grow, the more obvious it gets that you are going to get into math and science. Like everyone else in the family.
Now that we understand that part, would you be so kind as to consider thinking about building the next great thing. I am not looking for a $19 billion buyout. Something in the millions would be fine too. If you agree, I am willing to start saving towards your rent in San Francisco. You will most likely need it.
Last year, we had talked about girls. Yes, girls. You now have your doppelgänger who happens to be a girl. We are thrilled about it. Not so much about you following her instructions to a T and getting into trouble, but all the other parts including your newfound appreciation (as you clearly put it, not love) for pink and peach.
The perspective is all good. Just one note of caution. As much as you like your friend, never, never ever call her your most favorite girl in the world. Not in front of your mom.
Rule No 0: The mother is always the favorite girl, lady, woman in the world. Never changes. Until you get married and then, the “if … then” clause kicks in.
We have kept technology away from you as much as possible. Sometimes we wish there could be a balance but not as yet. This birthday, we got you a Chromebook so you have all the right tools at the right time. It is a great device to learn cool things. And the occasional Angry Birds.
Your continued love for music is fantastic. I love the fact that we can listen to good Karnatik music together. While you continue to love Balamurali Krishna’s singing, your newfound admiration for Abhishek Raghuram (and his Viribhoni) is admirable. As is your liking for the Sikkil Gurucharan and Anil Srinivasan combo. I hope to get you to meet one or all of them someday. Remember, these guys put in a lot of effort to get where they are. It is not just talent. So, there is no point in expecting music to come to you naturally. You have to put in the effort. Yes, I am talking about your complaints over repeated practice. Gotta do it. No way around it.
I love, love the fact that you run to hug me when I drop you off at school. In front of your BFF, no less. I know this is a fleeting experience that will soon disappear. Until then, I will cherish every one of those tight hugs.
The Medium Guy
Your mother and I so desperately wish to freeze things in time. As much as we would love for you to eat your food yourself without taking the entire day, we oh so desperately miss the little guy who was knee high and wobbling around in his diapers, and babbling incessantly. We miss that little one so much and as you grow older, even more so.
We love it when you speak in Tamil. But it is starting to get rarer and rarer. Please, please speak the language a little more like you used to. For our sake. It feels like honey in our ears when we hear it. No hyperbole whatsoever.
I am thrilled that you are not scared of lizards in the garden. I am not gung-ho about you wanting to go and touch them. But not being scared is nice. If only your mother saw our side of things.
Finally, to me, the greatest part of my day is when I put you to bed and watch you go to sleep. Nothing, absolutely nothing feels purer and awesomer than that. In that moment, the Universe just feels right.
Happy birthday, my would-be paleontologist who also happens to be a would-be geologist.
P.S: Too early to be asking questions about the reproductive system from your encyclopedia. End of conversation. Finito.
Rangaprabhu Parthasarathy is a tech enthusiast and blogs on various topics from parenting to shopping: rangaprabhu.com.