I am bone tired as I type this post, but didn’t want this milestone to slip by without recording it here.
The hoopla does get to you. I kept telling myself, isn’t he just going from fifth grade to sixth? What’s the big deal? But after the Moving On Ceremony, the numerous activities and parties packed within the past two days, and finally, as I saw Hari painstakingly work on his good bye cards to his favorite teachers, it’s hard not to feel a tug at the heartstrings.
We are so thankful that the child had a positive experience in elementary school, that his foundational years were spent in a nurturing environment that allowed him to grow and thrive. My heartfelt gratitude to all the teachers, each of whom have made such a lasting impact on him.
Hari, take that sparkle with you child as one phase comes to an end and another exciting one is about to begin..! We are so proud that you are ours.
Loved this google advertisement on Father’s Day. Appa, you would love it too and I am posting this for you. This advertisement reminded me of the compromises that you have made, personally and professionally, so we could have a well balanced and stable childhood. I admire your attention to details, your compassion, and the orderliness with which you undertake even the smallest of tasks. You inspire me to give my best in all my endeavors.
Hari and Ram made a cool video for Da on the occasion of Father’s Day. The video is not in a shareable format, but I am including a word cloud that Hari had in the video. Ram made a lovely personalized gift from school.
Between the two of us, Da is the one that wakes up at midnight to take care of our sick kids. He is the one holding down the fort, without resentment, while I pursue my interests outside of work. He is the one that cuts slack when I take the moral high ground. He is the one that pushes them outside their comfort zone and pampers them with toys and treats. Happy Father’s Day Da. I am blessed and lucky to share the parenting journey with you. You inspire me to be a better parent. Every. Single. Day.
Since this morning there were telltale signs of excitement and nervousness. Hari wrote extra Sriramajayams in his prayer book. He stuck to his little brother like a velcro, giving him tight hugs as we dropped him at preschool. He even tolerated my tardiness and willingly wore the smilie wrist band that I offered to him as a comfort item.
As we hurriedly headed to the the school entrance, he leaned on me, signaling for a hug. I had to pinch myself to make sure that I was not dreaming – is this my 11-year old asking for a hug? publicly? at the school entrance where his friends could see him in the act? Awww… my baby! A wave of affection swept over me as I hugged him and reminded him to stay safe, healthy and have fun. I reassured him that he would be ok without us around, all will be well, it’s just three days, and that he would have the time of his life. I suggested some ways to cope should he feel homesick. He was ready. I was ready. There it was the much anticipated trip of the year – Nature’s Classroom, a three-day, two-night camp for fifth graders.
I lingered for a while my eyes fixated on this little child of ours. He deftly managed his roll on, effortlessly carried his backpack, and seemed fully in control of himself. I think I got a glimpse of what it is to see your child spread his wings and soar high.
The day left me with a heart full of pang.
Ram had his KG orientation. He met his future teachers and was thrilled to be in the same classroom that his anna went to. He looked so tiny in that big school. He was at ease, taking pride in knowing the directions to the playground and parking lot, walking me through the corridors, and eagerly following his teachers. Such innocence…!
Just feels like yesterday that we went for Hari’s orientation but six years have flown by in the blink of an eye. Hard to believe the child who is up to my shoulder height and threatens to lift me, was once this itsy bitsy person that was a mommy magnet.
I finished correcting the final answer papers of Sunday school kids. Next weekend will be the last class for the academic year after which I have to gracefully let them go. Seems unfair, just when we are getting to know each other, the year has drawn to a close.
It’s true what they say, the days are long but the years are short. Super short. So very thankful for every moment of it..!
As I was hastily loading the dishwasher this evening, Hari called out for me extending his hands. For a second, I was puzzled. What is this kid up to? Why this unusual unsolicited expression of affection? And then it dawned on me.
Of late we have been following the habit of setting intentions to anchor ourselves to our true selves and to keep us grounded in the big picture. Sometimes we do this on sunday nights to get us into work week mode. At other times, we do it before exams and games. We hold each other’s’ hands, take a deep breath, close our eyes, and articulate our intentions. Like today, Hari said, “I want to strike out the hitters from the other team. Whether we win or we lose, I want to keep the right attitude and give it my all. And I want to have fun.” While how much of it translates into action is moot point, the heart of the matter is it is our way of practicing mindfulness and our attempt to look at things in perspective.
On a related note, Hari was at his personal best in his game this evening – he pitched all 6 innings- 79 pitches, at least 6 strikeouts, and gave away 2 runs. He couldn’t stop smiling. Tomorrow we will give him lessons on humility and about how success and failures are part of the game, but today he is soaring and that’s ok. Go Hari!
If you were born and brought up in a tamil brahmin household, then chances are you have seen your thatha, patti, appa, amma or other kith and kin dutifully write Sriramajayam daily in their best handwriting in a book exclusively dedicated for this purpose. I know I have seen both my paternal grandpas and my appa follow this practice. And when I got married, I was pleased to see that my father-in-law practiced this daily habit as well.
I don’t know when it rubbed on me, but I too have a prayer notebook in which I pen the name of the deity that I heart – Ganesha. I am not as dutiful, I don’t write everyday, not necessarily in my best handwriting, but I do resort to it especially when I have the need to tangibly express my faith. There is so much peace in surrendering, in letting go, in accepting that you do not control everything, and that it’s going to be ok. My prayer book is the thing I resort to when I am in need of a security blanket.
Hari has seen me write in that book for the past 10 years. It has his 5 year old handwriting in it. The practice has intrigued him, and now Ram is curious too. Why do you write that? What will you do with the book after you have completed? How many times have you written? So on and so forth.
This May when it was my fil’s b’day we were debating about how we wanted to celebrate the day? The popular vote was for appa’s favorite snack – onion pakoda. Noooooooo! Right suggestion to the wrong person. I dislike deep frying from the depths of my heart, so I vetoed it in a heartbeat and came up with an alternative, expecting it to be shot down – “Hey guys, thatha used to write Sriramajayam in a notebook everyday, may be you should write today by way of thinking of thatha.”
Ram wrote Ram five times on the back of an envelope and Hari took a new ruled notebook and proudly called it Hari’s Prayer Book and wrote his first set of Sriramajayam. Since that day he has been dutifully writing everyday. It has been more than a month and he is going strong. All on his own accord. When I asked him why he chose to keep up with it, he said “I don’t know. I just want to write” And that’s as good a reason as anything else.
…to one of the charming and sweetest couples that I have ever known – my appa and amma. So thankful from the bottom of my heart that the world conspired and brought them together for life. Tender, love and care, are the words that come to mind when I think of them. Always supportive of each other, their differences bind them together. They raised us well, providing a happy childhood and a nurturing environment. Right from the start, we have known they are strong team players, not the one to let the other down. They are each other’s life coach, counseling each other and lifting each other. What better gift could one ask for, isn’t it?
Appa and amma – fondly thinking of you and wishing a very happy 40th and many many more lifetimes of togetherness. Because you are so perfect for each other. Wishing you a heart full of happiness, mind full of peace, and pinkest of health.
Presenting a picture of my 18-year amma and 28-year old appa, taken in their wedding year. Now you know why I call them a charming couple, don’t you?