My Angel…


This morning I took a walk around the Charles River with my little Angel riding her bike beside me. She has thought me so much within this one year. Lessons about love, tenacity, perseverance, faith, humility, simplicity, laughter, being silly…

At a point she rides way ahead, stops and beckons to me ‘ mummy, come on, you can walk faster, you can make it’… I am tempted to tell her that she is on a bicycle and it is easy for her to say. It however suddenly hits me, what this little gesture signifies. I just graduated with a Masters from the Harvard Kennedy School and I seriously can say that this would not have been possible without my little angel.  As a single parent, the significance is on several levels. I constantly seek to make myself better and to strive to be a good role model for my little one. It is important for her to understand what the limitations in the world are and the importance of education to help overcome these limitations. She should understand that we do the best we can, not because we are the best at it, but because we try. I remember the many times we didn’t have enough to eat or the times when I was too tired to cook or help her do her home work. She soon started making her own breakfast and running off to catch the bus, because I was just too exhausted to get up. Some days, on her way out, she would pull out the garbage too, just to make sure it went in case I didn’t wake up in time. At school, she would call me and wake me up in time for my class. We studied math together and I was as helpless as she was if not worse. She is way better in math than I am, thankfully so! We both felt it very funny that mummy couldn’t figure out the simple equations before her. We eventually figured it out and I felt very proud to finally help her through hers (I’m not sure I would have generated the strength needed to keep pushing myself to learn if it wasn’t to see the pride in my daughter’s eyes). I could tell her respect for me climbed higher as she saw me go through the struggle.

It is also important that as a woman, she understands that she can do whatever she sets out to achieve. She will need this thought and drive in her life. Most importantly, I hope I have done two things. Firstly, broken the glass ceiling for her. In her world, Harvard University is a possibility and I look forward to the day when the pictures will have her holding the certificate. I told her this and her response was ‘mum, are you forcing me to attend Harvard?’ my response to that was ‘ I just want you to know that you can’. Her response ‘ I know that mum, it is not a big deal.’ For that phrase ‘it is not a big deal’ I would do all this over again!
Secondly, I hope I have taken my baton sufficiently close to my finish line in this race of life and when the time comes, I can hand over to my daughter her baton to continue her race from HER starting point and move on to finish her race also and repeat the precedent for her children. That she will not have to pick up after me and waste her time finishing my race whiles the rest of the world and her colleagues move on without her, far ahead, diminishing any chance for her to catch up. This is my prayer. It will kill me if I did this to her and how could she forgive me? I am sure she eventually will, because I am her mother and she loves me, but…
This has as much been her journey and I hope it has helped to give her the tools she needs to navigate her own life! This is my legacy to her…

I remember a message Dr. Otabil gave at the end of year, a couple of years back. He spoke about the race of life,  comparing it to a 100 meter race where we hand over the baton to the next runner; our children, the next generation. As a society, I wonder if we ever think about LEGACY and what it means? Otabil’s words drew a powerful imagery in my mind… In this race called life, past generations of other countries have and continue to make sure they run to the end and often go further. They are careful to document processes and experiences that enable the coming generation the opportunity to learn from their failures and successes; eliminating the need for a reinvention of the wheel!
A businessperson will take the time to train their kids or workers to succeed them. Parents make Wills and take out life Insurance to secure the future for their kids.  Going on to give their kids the best in education that they can afford. Governments lay down lasting structures. Older Political leaders nurture the younger people in their parties and make room for them too to have the opportunity to exercise leadership and learn so that they can take the baton smoothly for a continuation of sound policies with an understanding of the system to continue to make good choices for the people. It is actually to the credit of some of these countries to celebrate youth in politics and in many instances, the older generation will step aside to serve the honorable position of guards of the system so the younger people who have the energy and understanding of changing global dynamics can do the running around. How old is President Obama? I bet most of our Presidents can call him ‘son?’ Generations realize that it is not about them or today (boy, the picture is so much bigger!) It is about our future and our kids.

In most of our countries, we still have our elders fearful and apprehensive of the success of younger people. It is in the nature of man to want to get better progressively. It stands to reason that our kids must do and be much better than we are. What kind of a people are we if we try to prevent this? Do we not realize that this is an indictment on us? Somehow, I can understand when people drop their batons due to mitigating circumstances… but how about those who can, but simply don’t. Where is our pride to want to matter in the race? We need to realize that the race goes way beyond today and that no one person or generation can win it by itself. It takes eternity and unfortunately, we are already light years behind. I just wonder how far back our kids will have to go.

I love my children. My greatest burden and opportunity is how far forward I can bring the baton, so they don’t have to suffer the humiliation that I have suffered. This ultimately is the test of the love I profess

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3 thoughts on “My Angel…

  1. Children are a blessing unto us. Giving them the right training and keeping an eye on their development is one sure way we can produce the responsible leaders of the next generation. Keep it up Juliet

  2. Nice piece…u must be a proud mom! Knowing it’s not easy juggling between education and the responsibilities that come with motherhood. Congratulations!

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