I am peering at my laptop screen, my eyebrows furrowed in concentration, trying to comprehend what I am reading.
My phone is on silent mode, but from the corner of my eye I can see the screen lighting up – it’s a call from my daughter.
She is out shopping with my niece for a formal event at school.
I pick up the call. She says, “Amma, I’ve sent you some pictures of formal footwear. I have marked the ones I really like, I am unable to make up my mind. Please see if they are ok.”
I quickly open my messages to check. The black pumps that my daughter seems to like look elegant, but I am worried about the height of the heel.
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My daughter has never worn heels before. I call her and ask her if she’d tried them on and if they were comfortable. She replies in the affirmative and says, “I have to get used to them, Amma.”
Motherly love and practical concerns about posture and back pain run through my head, but I realize that I have to let go.
In a few hours, she comes home, bubbly from all that shopping. She puts on her pumps and walks up and down the living room.
She suddenly looks so tall. She walks – awkwardly at first, and then finds her rhythm. There is the odd, shaky step where she fumbles for balance, but she manages. Up and down she goes, getting more confident with each step.
As I watch her, I walk down memory lane to the time when she was a baby. I was at work one afternoon, when my father-in-law called to tell me that my daughter had taken her first steps, his voice suffused with excitement.
I remember rushing back home from work that evening, eager to see this little miracle for myself. But, it was another two days before my daughter attempted to walk again.
And then, over the next few days, she would constantly attempt to get from one place to another – wobbling and stumbling frequently. I stood and watched, clapping and encouraging her each time she made it from one sofa to another, or from the living room to the study.
I come back to the present. Nothing seems to have changed. Time seems to stand still. And just as I did then, I let go now, so that my daughter can walk into the world confidently.