Kids Corner


A Mother's Prayer





My son, Sidak Singh, is a joyful boy who claps his hands and smiles in anticipation of the grocery store, swim lessons or picking up his older sister at preschool. He has beautiful latte skin, chestnut eyes and short but growing hair.

In a year, his hair will be long enough to tie into a topknot or joorra. We will neatly secure his joorra on the crown of his head and cover it with a mini-turban or patka. As he grows older, we will mark Sidak's coming of age with a turban-tying ceremony signifying his passage into adulthood. His turban will become a part of him, and as a member of the Sikh community, this crown will shape him not only in spirit, but also in perspective. If I do my job right, Sidak will know the honor of revering this life with an open mind and heart.

In a post 9/11 world, Sidak's turban is not a crown. It signals terrorism. On the playground, Sidak runs the risk of becoming not a boy but the son of a 'towel-head', a terrorist, and a threat.

For this I pray that when you meet my son and share a mutual kindness, you attribute this affirming exchange to his turban and heritage.

I pray that when the image of my son lingers, you see a boy who loves sprinting across the playground, a boy who slurps vanilla ice cream off an old-fashioned cone, and giggles with his sister at night before they lay to sleep.

I pray that when he isn't chosen for the soccer team or to act in the production of "The Wizard of Oz," it's because he needs to become a better goalie or actor.

I pray that when my son looks into your son's eyes, they imagine themselves in a forest where red leafed trees emerge from hot chocolate mud; where wizards build worlds between friends.

I pray that when Sidak has to face the moment where he has to defend who he is, or is tasked with the responsibility of defending your child, they stand their ground, dig into who they are, and find their heart-racing courage together.


[Courtesy: KQED Radio]

November 6, 2011

Conversation about this article

1: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), November 06, 2011, 7:29 AM.

Here is the hand that rocked the cradle of little Sidak, and held him close to her heart and comforted him through light and dark. How soon he will be a big leggy boy, remote and roughly shy, not wanting the surfeit of caresses any more. But, mother, you are 'dhan' to have the visions of how you would like him to grow in the Guru's lap. What better than the prayer granted to us by Guru Arjan at GGS:496.40 - "pootaa maataa ki aasees, nimakh na bisara-o tumh ka-o har har sadaa bhajahu jagdees'. You are 'dhan' - "dhan jannee jin jaa-i-aa dhan pitaa pardhan" - GGS:32.120: "Blessed is the mother who gave birth; blessed and respected is the father." Meeta ji, you have the blessings and love of the family for little Sidak to grow into a proud and strapping Sardar.

2: I.J. Singh (New York, U.S.A.), November 06, 2011, 7:35 AM.

Meeta ji: A wonderful basket of wishes for you and Sidak both. Thank you for sharing.

3: M. Kaur (New York, U.S.A.), November 06, 2011, 10:40 PM.

A beautiful and moving portrait of a mother's emotions marking her child's journey through life. Your confidence in Sikhi is paralleled by your faith in the goodness of human nature. I would like for you and all such mothers out there to feel the hope and gratitude of an entire community blessing you for a job well done.

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