As Tara became more interactive, learning day by day and soaking up the environment around her, I opened up my promises and decided to focus on them again. I wanted to remind myself of the commitments I had made to her when she was born, and I was inspired to write even more promises. A few weeks after I opened the promises, I also discovered that I was pregnant again! Hardly a coincidence, my passion for the project was driven by the love for Tara and my new baby, Leela, who was growing inside of me.
I have realized through this process that the bond between a parent and child is one of the most important bonds between two beings. Parenting today comes in many guises with unique challenges, from single parents to those managing divorce or separation, to parents from different cultures, adoptive parents, those who are older or younger than the norm, and those who are managing full-time jobs or daily pressures. But no matter where we fall on the parenting spectrum, we are all bonded by the role we play in shaping the innocent minds of tomorrow. As parents, we have the ability to create new global citizens who have the power to change the world. In a world that is often colored by fear and violence, this role becomes all the more important. If we all make promises to teach our children love, respect, honor, and acceptance, then we are playing our parts in creating a safer, more secure, and more nurturing world for them to live in.
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.