What do you do when you are not proficient in a language but are charged with the task of preparing your child for a writing competition? Google translator to rescue!
Hari is preparing for a mandatory tamil writing competition. While I don’t think it’s fair to make a child participate in something that he is not ready for, it’s a decision that is outside my control and rests with someone who belongs to a different school of thought. You tell yourself it is what it is, and roll up your sleeves to see how you can make the best out of the situation.
The topic for the tamil competition is who would you pick as your role model. And of course, the child has to pick someone who would truly stretch our non-existent tamil writing skills – none other than the legendary boxer Muhammed Ali. Turns out, with Google Translator, you can accomplish a lot more than you would expect. We have just begun but are feeling good about the progress made considering the novice we are in the language. We will have it run it by a willing soul that is good at tamil. But atleast we don’t feel as stranded, and it is turning out to be an excellent bonding experience with the child. Long live Google and its products.
One of those rare days when Hari had a day off at school but Ram didn’t. Hari chose to do something special for his little brother today. He volunteered to read for Ram and his buddies in his preschool during lunch time. As Hari read aloud, with lots of energy, modulating his voice as he switched between Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby, eliciting giggles from his young listeners, my heart puffed with pride. It was a nice gesture on Hari’s part. He was nervous, he didn’t know what to expect, but he went there purely out of love for his little brother. The cherry on the cake being, Ram’s teacher was once Hari’s teacher. She too was proud as she introduced Hari as one of her older students. All in all, 20 mins of our day well spent!
Last year my colleague’s husband passed away unexpectedly and when she talked to me she told, “Thank God we have each other”, she was referring to her and her two adult children and how they were in this together. I listened and I thought I understood what she meant. Not really, not until my mil passed away. The grief was so much lighter for Da and his sister when they were together under the same roof during the funeral and after. The reality was manifold harsher after they parted ways. But thanks to technology, they are still in this together, exchanging stories, lifting each other when their spirits are down. So yes, thank god, we have each other.
When the mind is running hither and thither,
When it’s telling the same story again and again,
When it’s tempting me to check Whatsapp and FaceBook every other minute,
When it’s pushing me for all the tasty treats,
When it acts with a sense of entitlement,
It’s about time I focus on the NOW. This moment. This breath. This task
The Eat Clean workshop is done. One of the things that I would like to continue is to have green smoothie for lunch once a week. Easier said than done for a reluctant green smoothie consumer like yours truly. For starters, the notion of drinking something green repels me. Secondly, not a big fan of eating raw spinach or kale. Why bother then? I love how the 16 oz of lunch makes me feel – full but light, sated and not craving. Even better, the next meal is so much more tastier because of the clean palate this one leaves you with. Not to forget all the nourishment that your body gets in the process!
If you ask me, it’s worth getting used to. Want to give it a shot? Here’s a recipe I followed last week that I quite liked – baby spinach (one can never get enough iron), celery stick (like the clean aftertaste), avocado slices (good fat for that feeling of fullness), berries (what with all those antioxidants), green apple (added mainly for volume) salt (flavor), aamchur powder (for that zing), ginger and turmeric (anti inflammatory). Blend them all together with water.
So finally I dropped the Kindergarten registration form for Ram in the school this afternoon. Phew..! Da, who is a stickler for paperwork is right. “Think about all that time that you spend thinking about how you want to do it and feeling guilty about not doing it. It will take you less time to actually fill it.” I know, I know but knowing is not the same doing, is it?
I was puttering in the kitchen, Ram was on the rocking horse and Hari was packing his snack, and we were generally chitchatting.
Ram: Amma, I really like that chocolate Z Bar that we got at Whole Foods.
Me: Oh good!
Ram: Can you get it for me every week?
Me: But we don’t go to Whole Foods every week.
Hari: I have seen it in TJs amma.
Me: Oh in that case, I am not getting it every week because it has too much sugar in it.
Ram: Then I will keep begging and begging and begging until you buy it for me.
Saying so the child started his relentless begging routine. With an impish grin, Hari walked over to Ram, and lovingly told him, “I have taught you well Ram, you make anna proud…!”
And that’s the story of how one sibling passed the baton on to the other. Grrrrr…!!!!
It’s 6:17 in the evening now. Hari and Da have gone for baseball practice. I am thankful that Da was able to come home early this evening to take Hari. It would have been a double whammy having to drive with a neck sprain and a sleepy child in tow. Ram was very upset this evening, taking out his frustration on Hari. He wasn’t too happy with how sternly I told him that he cannot talk to his brother or for that matter anybody rudely. He threw himself on the couch and within minutes went to sleep. Poor child, the day after day light savings is the hardest, it’s only an hour difference, still it takes a while to acclimatize. Dinner – dhalia upma with peanuts, sweet potato sambar and mixed salad – is ready. So is the prep work for tomorrow’s meals. Cooking from scratch, eating clean is a lot of hard work. Very resource intensive, in terms of, dollars, time and energy you spend. It’s important but that cannot be the only thing I do. So have to find a better balance! Ram’s Kindergarten registration forms are waiting to be filled. God knows, how much I have been procrastinating. Not really good with paperwork as you can see. Hari’s fifth grade activities are going in full swing. The child is apparently “interning”, he is helping out a KG teacher with reading and writing in her class. He has a fan following in the KG classroom. He tells me that a kid hugs him for so long and never lets him go. Made my heart thump with joy. He didn’t get into major league in town baseball, was heartbreaking to see him very upset. It’s ok disappointments and rejections are so much part of life. It will teach him a lesson or two.
I simply had to write something even it’s the wandering incoherent thoughts in my head.