I am a mom of a 15 year old. I have a high school freshman at home. They all mean the same thing, don’t they? That I am his mom and he is my cherished one. In that sense even when time is fleeting at lightning speed, being a parent is timeless, isn’t it? Whether they are 1,10, 20, or 70 years old, you love them with all your heart, with every fiber in your being, and you want nothing but the best for them. And as the years roll by, you get to see how the seed you have planted is growing nice and strong in ways that you would not have imagined.
Last weekend, I was having a full blown meltdown. I was inadequately prepared for judging a debate tournament and I was taking it way too seriously. Hari gave me some tricks of the trade, and asked to hold my hands, like how I hold his hands when he is getting ready for a big day, to set intentions. It is a practice in our house. It’s a moment we take to collect ourselves, take stock of the big picture, set intentions, and calm our nerves. “You will enjoy the experience. You will do well, and even if you don’t, it’s ok. It will be a learning experience,” he said closing his eyes, holding my hands firmly. I should have been the one holding his hands, calming him down, preparing him for his tournament. HE was the ONE debating. But there we were, our roles clearly reversed. I felt embarrassed at my own immaturity but I also felt a wave of gratitude wash over me. This child of mine knows how to be there for someone in their time of need.
As I was getting ready for my India trip last month, he came up to me and said, “Amma, I feel like I am setting you out in the world all by yourself. I feel so protective of you,” I hugged him tight and reassured him that all will be well and he should not be worrying about me. Remember, I am the mom? But inwardly, I was soaking in the unadulterated tender, love and care showered on me.
Every Friday evening, Da and Hari are off for cricket practice. The practice starts late and ends late. By the time they return, I have drifted away to dreamland. And every single time, he would come pounding up to me to the attic and would narrate stories from his practice. He could rest, have something to eat or just go to bed. Instead, he would come up to me eager to catch up. I am deeply grateful that he is eager to share his life with me without me asking for it. Reassuring and comforting, when the thought of him leaving for college in a few years strike me.
As he grows up, the dynamics of our relationship is changing. He is becoming a close friend, my well wisher. Someone with whom I can be me. We have our insider jokes, we laugh at our imperfections, and we binge watch and discuss Dwight and Jim (from Office). We roll our eyes and we gang up. He gets me. I get him.
Hari works hard. He has a good heart. He knows to be there for you. He is easy going. He is perceptive. He is ours. And we are lucky to be his parents.
Happy b’day Hari. Thank you for being YOU. So proud of the person you are becoming. Love you to the moon and back.