The child who gave us the gift of parenting turned 8 years old on Thanksgiving day. An apt occasion to celebrate one of the most beautiful and cherished gifts of our lives.
Here’s to the child that listens to board books in rapt attention even as he revels in the pranks of Calvin and Hobbes and dreams of teleporting just like Harry did. To the child that dodges hugs and kisses but would plead to snuggle up before bedtime. To the child that acts all macho showing off his “muscles” but would drown in a pool of tears should I as much say an unkind word.
To the child that shows me my place when I fall from grace – “Amma, it’s not ok to use angry voice even when you are upset. May be you should calm yourself down.” To the child that knows his place – “Ram, I am your anna, so you cannot boss me. You have to listen to me, ok?” To the child that is compassionate – “Amma, my friends think that their younger brothers and sisters are annoying. I don’t have the heart to call Ram annoying. He is so cute.” To the child that weaves magic with his words – “Amma have I told you, you are my circle of love. You make me feel safe” To the child who knows to smooth talk – “Amma I don’t want to give you trouble, but if you don’t mind can you search for my Pokemon card when you are cleaning the house.” To the child who has figured it out – “Amma I don’t think Tooth Fairies are real. I think it’s you or appa slipping dollar notes under my pillow. I also think Santa is not real, the gift from Santa had your handwriting on it.”
To the child that is very articulate – “Mama, when I do things that I have to do, my brain is thinking about things that I want to do so I am not able to focus on things that I have to do.” To the child that is very Zen – “Hari, what would you do when your friend insists on trading back your Pokemon cards.” “I just let go mama.” To the child with faith – “Mama, do you believe in God? I think God exists.”
Raising Hari has often left us wondering who is molding who in this relationship and has taught me that maturity has nothing to do with age. To our darling Hari, wishing you a heart full of happiness and love, a mind full of faith and belief, and a brain full of thoughts and ideas, and more. Go Hari! Happy eighth birthday to you.
Halloween this year was bittersweet.
Bitter because we saw the older child’s enthusiasm for this much cherished event tad diminishing. “I will just wear my pirate jacket amma, that should be good.” This is a child who tends to plan his costume a month in advance. Coming to think of it, perhaps it’s attributable to the lack of shopping in the real world, which is pretty much confined to CVS and Market Basket, thanks to the online retail wonder called Amazon. After much prodding, he took out last year’s Ninja costume, but from that moment on there was no stopping.
Sweet because the younger one was uber excited getting dressed up. “Butterfly amma” “Look look alligator” “Amma Thomas, Percy, James”. The child had enthusiasm written all over his face as he marched in the town parade dressed in Winnie the Pooh costume. He ventured out for trick or treating with appa and a couple of annas, thrilled to bits. I am not exaggerating when I say that he went to bed holding the pumpkin pail in his hand.
And as for visits to our house, the power cut only added to the spookiness and was a nice halloween touch to our neighborhood!
With two little warm bodies curled up on my side, I woke up with a startle early yesterday morning to a room that was shining bright with all the lights turned on. What’s going on? And why is Da puttering in the kitchen so early in the morning? It only took a fraction of a second for the annoyance to turn into jubilation. After two days of darkness, the power supply was finally back. And Da, being the dutiful and responsible family man he is, was transferring the cartons of milk from the icebox to the refrigerator.
My state was spared the worst of Hurricane Sandy. Not much of devastation as some of the other places. But there were fallen trees and damaged properties. Our neighborhood was victim of one such fallen tree which caused the power supply to cease abruptly for two whole days. Thanks to a cooking range that is fueled by gas, and unseasonably warm weather, our household didn’t feel the pinch that we would have otherwise felt. I also think growing up in India where power cuts is a common occurrence has made us resilient to these temporary setbacks. Not that we were not looking forward to getting back electricity, just that we didn’t moan and groan as if it was the end of the world.
Hari was ecstatic. Two days of off from school. Three nights of sleepover with appa and amma. No keyboard practice. Now what more could a seven year old ask for? This child who sprints a marathon at the very mention of the word shower, sorely missed taking a nice hot shower. “Taking bath from a bucket is not as much fun amma.” Ram was unperturbed for the most part carrying on with business as usual. He missed the “big lights” when playing with the puzzles the most. Da, who is a happy man with a laptop in front of him, missed the internet the most. As for me, the battery powered toothbrush that was running out of juice, was what I itched the most. That and the dishwasher and the microwave… So as the power turned on, we all eagerly went back to the little comforts we are so used to and we take for granted with a new found appreciation.
As we went through the storm, we received calls from friends and family wanting to know about our well being. And somehow the fact that we were being thought of so fondly felt like a safety net. That we mattered. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to them. The calls and mails meant more than what they think.
All in all we have had an eventful week, a week that will help us see things in perspective and be thankful for the normal boring routine. To those readers who weathered the storm, I hope things are limping back to routine for you and that you and your family are keeping safe. To those who were unaffected, hope all is well at your end as well.