When I was seven my father worked for a large multinational company in Karachi and every summer we would head out once school ended and crashed with him in the annexe he rented.
This is my clearest memory of Karachi, standing on Clifton beach, my short hair blowing wild. It got caught in my eyes.
My mother was really afraid of the open sea, but we begged her to move closer and closer.
She held our hands so tightly, the waves would come and crash at our feet, but I remember I felt safe.
It never occurred to me that my mother was small and powerless in front of the sea, I pulled her in deeper, and never for a moment stopped to think what would happen to my tiny frame if our hands disconnected.
I remember the force with which she held on to my hand – they were soft and strong, and I knew the sea couldn’t hurt me.
Today, my husband and I decided to dip our feet in the Indian Ocean at Bentota in Sri Lanka, thousands of miles away from Clifton beach in Karachi.
We held on to our children and stood in front of the open water. The kids would scream and shout as the water lapped around their feet.
My children are wild and fearless, they inched closer and closer, wanting to go in deeper.
I felt so proud of the knowledge that we, as parents, had inspired this fearlessness.
It’s not naïveté that makes them believe their parents can save them from a merciless wave; it’s a solid record of good performance.
I love travelling. It inspires me; it unlocks so many memories and feelings, so many things you think you have forgotten, but only need a small reminder- the receding sand from between your toes, the salty ocean air, children screaming with delight – to remind you of a cherished memory.
All the things parenthood takes from you, all the sacrifice it requires, it is all paled and faded in comparison to what it gives.
The absolute trust of another human being in your capability.
This trust, this belief and fan-following can help us move mountains.
Here’s to the beauty of little children who remind us that we are extraordinary, when the rest of the world has convinced us otherwise.