Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Of Buckets and Lessons- 2018 reminiscences

Here I am, sitting on the upper deck of sun-soaked cruiser, floating amongst the ancient ruins along the majestic Nile. As we watch yet another sunset, I realize that we are about to close out one more year.  And step into a new one …. a full circle of ending and beginning…. The resilience of life.

Our year has had its moments. It’s pleasure to watch the girls grow and come into their own. Anya had to live through a painful surgery this summer; which, as a mother, I pray is the last hardship of her life. Baby P, no longer the baby who fit into the crook of my arm, is still my baby forever. Then us- A and I. We both started to see the gray in our hair and crow’s feet around the eyes, albeit with the help of glasses. Without those damned glasses, I bet we wouldn’t look a mite different than the winter morning we got married on, 18 years ago!

In his typical spur of the moment style, A booked us a trip to Egypt this December. Amongst the excitement of finally making it to exotic Africa & knocking one out from my bucket list of destinations to visit, I learnt a few lessons:

  1. Giving it time. A and I have grown accustomed to a comfortable silence. In a world with no pressing demands on life, we can sit around with a cup of chai and no conversation, without feeling awkward. We can throw out random comments at each other, and understand where that came from. We can almost finish each other’s thoughts, given the right place and time. Considering that we were strangers entering matrimony almost two decades ago, and how low our relationship quotient had fallen once – this level of friendship is enlightening. Don’t get me wrong. We still have our differences, some of them seem almost insurmountable. Despite that, there’s a companionship that I had always longed for.  He remembers places from my bucket list, he is trying to knock them off. He pays no heed to budgets or financials when he plans our vacations…but, he tries. I just need to give him another decade or two to come around :-). Letting time take its course will be my life lesson in 2018.

  2. Living the moment. I’ve grown cynical with time. My mind wanders off to what SHOULD be, rather than what IS. Planning this trip was filled more with anxiety than excitement. My brain churned around the lists of what to bring, and where to find places to feed the kids. On this trip, baby P brought me back to earth, to the wonders of exploration and mindful meanderings. She had collected all the books on Egypt from her library. Read every mythology she could lay her hands on. And in all my fretting, I didn’t know!! I loved traipsing the museums and temples of Egypt with her, reacquainting myself with history and culture through her babbling and wide-eyed wonder. She was exceptional with her memory. Once she knew what we were looking at, she connected the stories together and built me the bigger picture. Even when I missed a couple of excursions because of a stomach bug, she stored it all in her dad’s camera and her memory for me to look at. Becoming a 10-year old again is my goal this year.
  3. Motherhood is hard. Letting go is tougher than it looks. My daughters are young, pretty and old enough to attract unwanted attention. Nowhere is this more evident in a patriarchal society of a third world country. As a mom, that’s a hard pill to swallow.  I wanted to wrap them up in a cocoon or smack the fellows around us. Good thing the girls are still oblivious to oblique comments we encountered! Keeping them safe whike letting them grow up at their pace is all I want to do. Giving them this freedom to experience life  - is the hardest thing about being a mother. Trying to not be such a mother hen and giving them space will be my task for 2018.

Sunset on River Nile, Dec 2017
I am not the one for making resolutions or writing down goals. Just because sometimes, I feel like achievement is over-rated. The fact that you tried, and tried again; then changed strategies…. that you didn’t just break and not mend…. that is more important. Being whole, staying positive and persevering on. That is my new year wish for myself and everyone of you.

Wish you all a very Happy New year. Bright beginnings. Contentment. Happy Endings.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sunset: is sunrise turned upside down!

Perspectives & Perceptions

A bunch of grown ups in costumes being silly. Men in frilly green tutus, flowered headbands, girls with green and pink wigs & silver tutus jumping up and down, cheering and singing nonsense. Such a cacophony. So irreverent.....

Surrounded by another bunch of people. Little people. In wheelchairs. With big ugly scars. Bald heads. Pinned down by tubes, catheters and IV lines. A double stroller with twin siblings - one gurgling and bright-eyed, the other listless and whimpering. A group of adults surrounding a tiny person who looks up at me and gives me a broad grin. I turn to tell the mom how cute he is; but stop when I see her stifle a sob & a chaplain come forward to comfort her. The father's eyes tell me more than what I want to know. I spot the grandma who shared that she has to lie to her grand daughter when she steps out for lunch - because that 4yr old cannot eat anything....a crowd of self-absorbed loneliness,.....

I turn away to see a bunch of green costumed adults distribute little gift bags to their audience. Eyes light up, attempts are made to smile, speak or hug. Excitement mounts- noiseless, but palpable. Eyes mist up. Realization strikes- "slime day" to this audience is not about making the gluey fun stuff that elementary schoolers are crazy about these days. It's about the gooey green stuff that is blocking the body and snuffing out breaths of a lot of this audience. 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

My Happiness Project

What do you like to do?” someone asked me recently.

It took me a while to comprehend, and a lot longer to put in perspective.

It seems like it’s been a lifetime that I have done anything that “I” liked.  I cook food that the kids would eat without a fuss and we go to restaurants that they like. Most times, I sit in front of the TV, and watch whatever the family’s watching. More often than not, I just walk away with my book and hide until they are done with TV. We go on vacations that A thinks of….which isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy them. But it isn’t quite the same as doing “what I like”.  After all, I am a firm believer in the saying, “Do what you love or Love what you do”. I think I don’t mind taking the back seat.  So I don't know what bothered me when I couldn’t think of an that simple, direct question; 

Early on in our marriage, I remember dragging A to a PhilHarmonic concert. Around the same time, he took me to a Zakir Hussain concert. The experiences were ….interesting, to say the least. He yawned the whole time, and slouched, sighed and annoyed the heck out of me. I tried going to the movies with him – a few of those popular Bollywood ones – he laughed till he cried and fell off his chair, clapped his hands and had an insanely entertaining time. I sat and fidgeted and wondered why I had to endure that 3h torture when I could have done something more productive (like reading a book!) Over time, we both gave up; never having found a middle ground for our likes.