Young mom Phophi Phakathi writes a letter from the heart to the daughter who grew in her heart
My dearest baby girl, from the first day I met you, you put a smile on my face. I knew right from the beginning that I was blessed. I had fallen in love with one person and received two, who loved me back just as much. I have watched you grow into such a bright and beautiful young girl.
The respect and love you have for me is immense – I don’t think anyone in my shoes would have felt any differently. You make it so easy to love and adore you; and oh-so-hard not to miss when you are not around.
To be honest, I had some real fears about becoming an instant mom when I married your dad. Luckily for me, you were too young to see my parenting mistakes... I remember your dad having to teach me how to discipline you because, truth be told, I had no idea how to handle you when you were being naughty. Of course you took advantage of the fact that I didn’t know how to discipline you! Being the clever little girl that you are, when Daddy would say “no,” you would come try your luck with me, knowing full well that I couldn’t say no to you! I eventually realised that I would have to stand up to that cute little face and know when to put my foot down. When I look back I see that it was really about fearing that you would dislike me if I disciplined you. You know, there are lessons for me on every part of our journey. So when I learnt that I do it because I love you, because I want you to know better and to know the difference between right and wrong, I was able to step up and do better for you. It took a really long time, but I eventually learnt how to be your mom and parent you as I should. Fortunately for me, our mother/daughter bond was so strong you didn’t even notice the change. Spho, I truly believe that you prepared me to be an even better mom to your sister. When she arrived, I hardly felt like I was a new arrival to these motherhood streets. I remember the day I went to the hospital to give birth. You gave me a little note that you had written to your new baby sister, welcoming her into the world and our family. While we all fell in love with your little sister when she was born, it was clear that her addition to the our family just rocked your world! You took on the role of big sister so well. I doubt there is a big sister who is more caring, not to mention extremely overprotective! Mudodzwa is so blessed to have you as an older sister. I look at you two play together and I feel so proud, so blessed.
My parents and siblings warmed up to you so naturally, I think your contagious giggle and your tight hugs were enough to immediately wrap them around your little finger. I pray every day for you, for our family, that our relationship will never change, that as we both get older it will only get stronger.
My prayer is for you to grow up to be a beautiful, successful, God-fearing young lady. Your dad and I also pray for you girls together – for our beautiful blended family to keep loving each other they way that we do. I will always love you; I can’t imagine my life without you, my princess.
Lots of love, Mama
Phophi Phakathi with her blended family – Sydney, Siphokazi and baby Mudodzwa.