What my son would probably never see is the Type A woman craving perfection in everything.

Of course, she still insists that his standing lines are straight and his curves are nice and rounded, but the over-zealous madness is long gone. As much as she hates to admit it, she would readily settle for some scraggly lines too. 

What my son would probably never see is the career-focused woman, the one who used to skip family functions – marriages, birthdays and all big and small things in between – because her job came first. She still misses many events today, but not for the same reasons, and definitely not for the lack of trying.

What my son would probably never see is the resilient woman, the one who was stronger and tougher than many, and hardly ever shed a tear in public. She is up a few notches on the toughness quotient today, but she cries easily now too.

What my son would probably never see is the organized woman, the one who never missed a deadline or forgot to respond to an email or a message. Things get lost in the shuffle now, scattered among the many moving parts of a busy family. She tries hard to keep up, but she knows she has to let some of it go.

What my son would probably never see is the goal oriented woman, the one who at the end of the day would have her to do lists crossed off beyond recognition. Of course, she tries hard to tick off her lists today too, but making Lego houses and whipping up play-doh cakes takes precedence on most days.

What my son would probably never see is the woman who measured success in terms of CGPAs and performance reviews and salary hikes. She’ll still insist her son studies hard because there is no substitute for hard work, but she won’t bat an eyelid if he ditches his books in favor of a musical instrument, social work, or education. 

What my son would probably never see is the woman who was a people pleaser, who did a thousand things grudgingly because she didn’t want to disappoint. Today, she speaks her mind. Family first, then work. 

What my son would probably never see is the woman who was non-confrontational, who did not like picking fights, even to stand up for something she believed. Now that’s different. Say something unpalatable about her son, and you’ll never know someone more fierce or terrifying.

What my son would probably never see is the woman who comfortably fit into her size 2 clothes and still never felt skinny or beautiful enough. Now, catching her reflection in the mirror – which is so very rare – she doesn’t flinch even once.

What my son would probably never see is the woman I no longer am. She is gone and not missed much. 

What my son does see is a woman that I’m proud to have become a woman I’d be friends with – a bit more empathetic, a bit more understanding, a bit more patient, and a bit more loving. A woman who looks proudly at her graying hair and her curves and smiles because she is beautiful.