After waking up every hour or so since midnight, I finally tossed my comforter to embrace the day in all its fullness. I had a plan. To make lunch for Ram for today and tomorrow. To review Tamizh with Hari for 15 mins. To unload and load the dishwasher. To make dhalia and sambar for dinner. To go on a quick 15-min morning walk. All before my work hour began at 8:30 A.M. A very doable plan. Except that I conveniently failed to factor one critical variable in the equation.
“Mommy, mommy, I am here”, chirped little Ram dressed in his hooded sweater, having woken up earlier than expected. He too had a plan. To read. To eat breakfast. To play. With who? Why, with amma of course!
The sight of steaming hot pasta in the colander must have tickled his hunger pangs. He quickly grabbed the lunch box meant for the next day and was eager to gobble the macaroni. “Are you sure you want to have pasta for breakfast Ram?” I asked in vain with the ultimate motive to save it for the next day as I intended to “I like pasta. I am hungry and I want to eat it now. Can you read Mallipoo Sundari and Lai Lai elephant now.” Sigh! Reading to kids during breakfast is a non-negotiable part of our routine. As much as it does not foster good eating habits, it’s something I look forward to. It’s my way of hitting the pause button during the morning rush hour for some togetherness. Normally that’s fine, but today Hari had an early start to his day, so it was the time budgeted for reviewing Tamizh with him. “Hari, let’s do Tamizh in the evening, ok kanna?” Double sigh!
Fast forward 20 mins, breakfast done, child happy, mamma happy. Or so I thought. Just when I patted myself for not losing it so far, Ram came upto me with his basketball in hand – “Can you play with me for sometime?” Nooooo! screamed the voice in my head. “Illa da kanna, it’s amma’s turn to work in the kitchen”, saying so I moved to take my pots and pans for dhalia and sambar, the frustration of not having anything on my To Do list slowly building up.
After dodging Ram for the next 10 mins, I warned him that he has only five minutes to play after which he had to get ready for school. He came up to me and said, “But amma you didn’t play with me. I wanted to play with you in the morning.” Darn, those bambi eyes, that endearing smile..!
Playing with me for those few minutes meant the world to him this morning. How many years is he going to want me so intensely? And yet letting go of my needs to accommodate his does not come easily or naturally at all times. I muster every ounce of maturity and heave a big sigh again! Except this time, it is not accompanied with frustration but with lightness that comes from simply letting go. So for the next few minutes, we tag team to focus on HIS plan. The plan to just be with each other!
Sometimes the best laid plans are the ones that lead to other plans.