This week is the calm before the storm. Emails regarding extra curricular activities are trickling in, and I spent a good portion of this evening entering the schedules in our calendar. By the end of it, I was left with an acute case of dry mouth and cold feet. But hey, once we throw our hat over the fence, what choice do we have other than getting it, isn’t it? So, I am not sure how we are going to do it, do it we will and learn from this experience. I am telling myself that we will work hard and party hard this year. With that consolation, how about I pivot to this week’s little moments.
– There was a small voice that attempted to coax me into not going to school on the first day. Hari is anyway going in school bus, he is going to be chatting with his friends, the parking is going to be so chaotic, so on and so forth – the mind was conjuring up all sorts of excuses. I am glad I did not heed to it. It was a delight seeing the school teeming with life. Familiar faces and new members blending in to build a community.
– Hari and Ram playing with a friend’s five-month old puppy, Ocean. It was endearing to see Hari fall in love with her. He simply couldn’t hold himself from petting her, playing with her, feeding her and snuggling with her. From Ocean’s demeanor, it seemed like she considered Ram to be another puppy and she kept climbing on him, which Ram didn’t mind at all. For the first time, I felt like I understood why a pet can mean the world to his or her caretaker.
– “Mama Abby wears nail paint., can you paint my nails too?” asked Ram one evening. The day will come when he will declare with disdain that eww, nail polish is for girls only, and will stay away from it, but today it is a fantasy that I will happily indulge him in.
– Hari savoring the tofu-broccoli dish at the Chinese restaurant made me happy. For the longest time, Hari’s food choices were very limited. These days he is tolerating higher spice level, and is taking delight in new food choices.
Hari will be entering fourth grade tomorrow, which means that this is his fifth year in elementary school and in another two years, he will be off to middle school. No matter what math I do, the numbers tell the same story – that he is one year closer to flying off the nest. That now is the time to hold on, so that when the time comes, we can let go with grace and savor the beauty in that phase.
Enkay brought my attention to this article a couple of days back. It’s about developing a mindset that will boldly embrace one’s weaknesses, that will see failure as a path to growth, and it fosters the belief that we all start from zero, and that nothing is rocket science to a mind that is willing to learn. The article resonated and is a school of thought I truly subscribe to.
So Hari, as you start your school year tomorrow, know that we are our own person with unique strengths and weaknesses. While it will be tempting to only do things that you are good at, there is something about facing your weaknesses right in the eye and giving it a run for the money. It’s ok to have weaknesses, it is not ok to let that define your choices. Remember that glory is not in never falling but rising every time you fall. Can’t wait to be part of your learning and growing this year. Love you lovey love. Having you putter around the house this summer meant more than what you can imagine….! Lots of hugs, and best wishes coming your way from appa and amma.
Lost in thoughts I was loading the dishwasher in autopilot mode until Ram came upto me with unadulterated excitement in his voice. “Mama, mama, do you know fox and box rhyme.” “Right Ram fox and box rhyme,” I replied rather nonchalantly until a couple of seconds later it hit me that the concept of rhyming words is brand new for this eager beaver who has just started playing with words. Dragging myself out of my made up world, I extended the conversation. “Yes, FOX and BOX rhyme Ram just like how HOUSE and MOUSE rhyme.”
Since then as we go about our usual business, Ram and I would call out for each other every once in a while and toss a string of rhyming words that catches our fancy. We would nod and grin, and share a connection over this silly gimmick. During our recent trip to the library, we greedily borrowed whatever Dr. Seuss books we could lay our hands on. We read our favorite – Fox in Box – a gazillion times and laughed heartily every single time. Dr. Suess is quite the genius, wreaking havoc with words!. The title of this post is borrowed from the said book. Try saying it aloud with your little one, and I guarantee you that you will break into peals of laughter.
This morning Hari and I were in a mood for some Dr. Seuss fun. I told Hari, “What do you think of this Hari – Horrible Harry howls at hungry Hari. May be you could try out something like this for your journal today.” The mental wheels started whirring fast. A pen in hand and his Dark Knight journal on the table, the child thought and thought and whipped up the below:
- Ten twirling twirlers twirl in the twinkling twilight
- Eight edible eagles eat eighteen eel eggs
- Nine nocturnal nerds nibble on nesting birds and curds
Wading through the world of witty words is wonderful, isn’t it?
Happy moments for this week include:
- Singing Kurai Ondurm Illai with M.S. on Janmashtami. The perfect antidote for a restless mind that was aimlessly wandering around in all directions.
- Catching a glimpse of my little niece disguised as Krishna. All decked up with vangi, udyanam, chutti, bangles, with Krishna-like naughtiness glinting in her eyes.
- Hearing a kid from the rival team come up to Hari and say, “Are you the guy that took seven wickets yesterday? That’s impressive. I am a decent bowler and I can’t do that. Good job!” I think for a few split seconds Hari defied gravity and floated in the air. And yes yes, Hari took six wickets in one game over the weekend, what with a hat trick thrown in the mix…!
- Overhearing kids’ conversation. “What’s the matter anna? why are you sad?” Hari who was very sad from losing a game of chess was delighted that his little brother had noticed. “Anna just wants some TLC from baby kutti. Can you give anna a hug and a kiss to make me feel better?”
- Ram getting ready to go to bed with an eye patch around his forehead, pirate hat covering his head, and a treasure chest in his hand. “You can’t go to bed like that Ram,” says Da to which the child gives a simple but a confident response. “But I really like it!” As if to say what better reason do you need to make an exception? Nice try kiddie, but we are not succumbing to the cuteness.
- Movie night at the library. Armed with dinner from Panera Bread, and blanket to cosy up, Ram, Hari, two of Hari’s friends, and I went to the library to watch E.T. Pure priceless fun…!
How could I have not mentioned the weekly biking that Hari and I did during the summer in my last post? Remember that I bought a bike late spring this year? While my grand plans of biking two to three times per week did not materialize, Hari and I went biking almost every Saturday.
Where do I even begin about what I loved about our weekly biking. Is it the exclusive time that Hari and I shared? or is it the sheer joy of being outdoors, closer to nature, and soaking in the feeling that life is good, even if it lasts only for those precious few minutes? or is it realizing that we are capable of committing to something and seeing it through?
Let me tell you one thing though. Even for something that we enjoyed so much, taking the bikes out did not come naturally. There was always some excuse. There were things to do and places to go. We were tired. Can we do it tomorrow may be? It took effort to shut all these voices down, and loudly proclaim that we will bike atleast as much as we did last time.
As they say, there is no glory like the glory of illusion…! The million dollar question is how far are you willing to go when the illusion turn into a reality.
This is the last week of summer break. A feeling of anxiety permeates me. I can sense it – the scrambling around, the chilly weather, the deadlines, the pesky germs, and the shorter days. They are just around the corner and they will be here sooner than we think.
This summer has been about slowing down. Just work and kids, I promised myself. I was true to my word, but what I realized was stepping down on other commitments does not necessarily translate into stepping up with the kids. I had to consciously make efforts to use the time freed up to do things that I wanted to do rather than crowding it with things that I have to do. Sometimes I succeeded and at other times I failed miserably. This summer, I detoxed, hosted our immediate family, traveled on work, decluttered a bit, stepped up my contribution to the household chores, learnt new recipes, and generally hung out with kids a lot. And did I tell you that we had to deal with a lice outbreak at our house? Trust me, you don’t want to be dealing with one! Suffice to say that I spent two weeks of summer washing and combing. Not fun at all.
Hari read, read, and read like there was no tomorrow. He played a lot of baseball, cricket and chess. He also managed to squeeze half hour of video games and watched some sports every day. He got into the rhythm of writing in his daily journal. He had play dates one and off and went to part time camps. He enjoyed the leisure and I loved having him around the house.
Ram adjusted remarkably well between his old daycare and preschool. He shed some of his terrible three behavior, and we saw his personality bloom this summer. A little on the shy side, he put himself out there making friendships with kids he has not met before. He got more comfortable with playground structures and dreaded water a little less. And of course, he continued to delight us by just being him.
Da had an eventful summer switching his job. He has been working long hours. All of us are adjusting to the new routine and miss him very very much.
So that’s the summer news at our end. Stay calm and march on, that’s going to be my mantra for the next few days.
First things first, my profuse apologies to Enkay for being so very unfashionably late to the party. And Thank you for passing this award and tagging me. Feel truly truly honored.
Here are the rules of the game:
- Thank and link to the amazing person who nominated you.
- List the rules and display the award.
- Share seven facts about yourself.
- Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
- Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.
Ok, here we go with seven facts about myself.
- I started wearing prescription glasses this Spring. Not at all times, but while driving, and for situations that require me to see long distance clearly. It took me a very long time to embrace the new me. Inspite of the reluctance, I felt like a little child who was touched by magic. One minute, I was not able to read the menu at Chipotle and the next minute, I wore my glasses, and tada, the words jumped out razor sharp. It was so magical…!
- I am slowly beginning to overcome my fear of dogs. If a decade back I ran at the sight of a dog, today I dare to stand without squirming and even make weak attempts to pet the four-legged beings.
- I hate hate dentist appointments. They make me feel so inadequate and insecure.
- Swear words are big turns offs for me. Language is so rich, why piggy back on a few distasteful ones to vent your frustrations. Why not use the whole gamut to clearly articulate your emotions?
- I can’t for the life of me remember details/specifics – names, characters, and dates. There are only three years that I remember after I got married – the year that I got married, and the year that Hari and Ram were born.
- One of my favorite movies is Patch Adams. The whole world is mourning Robin Williams’ passing away. His movies were such real gems – inspiring, uplifting, and so very full of humor yet with a shade of sadness.
I am tagging Shuba, Mia, Anamika, and Just Someone. I am also tagging my readers. If you are reading this, will you indulge me with seven facts about yourself? Would love to get to know you all better…!