He is dressed in formals. Sky blue shirt, dark blue trousers, grey polka dot tie, and a navy blue blazer. His hair is nicely combed. What a relief after seeing it unkempt for weeks! He is happily chomping away his masala dosai for breakfast. Masala dosai has become his special breakfast, one that is reserved for days that he feels like having an extra ounce of TLC. On his b’day, when he has MCAS, and today because he is going out of town for debate tournament. We hold hands, set intentions. Normally, I spew some maternal advice, reminding him to stay in the present and give it his all. But today there is no need for that. He has said it all, “ I will give my best, I will not get upset if it does not go my way, I will just go with the flow and learn from the experience” I breathe deep in an attempt to take the moment in, hug him tight, give him loud kisses and wish him well. He is gone for the next couple of days with a roll on in tow.
As I get dressed for my day, I notice that he has left his formal shirt and trousers for the next day. I panic and text him. “You forgot to pack your formals for tomorrow, I am coming to drop them.” In a minute, I hear my phone ring. “Mom, I don’t need it. I left it on purpose.” “Why what will you wear tomorrow?” “Just the same ones, that’s what everyone does?” What? Really? Is the strategy to repulse the judges with stinky shirts? I think to myself but just tell him, “Ok, we need to talk about this for next time but have a good time.” He did not forget, he left it on purpose. The child knows what he is doing. I feel reassured, I trust a little bit more and let go.
On our way back from an errand, Ram spies a Subway store and says, “I wish anna was here. We could have had Subway” I want to tell him I miss Hari too but instead I suggest, “We can still have dinner from Subway,” and that lights him up. Dinner done, the three of us are assembled for our weekend TV night. “Amma, I don’t want to watch SugarRush. I don’t want to do anything we do as a family without anna. So let’s watch Green Eggs and Ham.”
Da today randomly comments, “I miss Hari.” “Me too,” says Ram. Ditto, I say to myself.
He went away last weekend, and it was fine. Somehow this weekend we miss him more. May be because our days are not as busy. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like we are pining and sulking for him. We are carrying on with our routine, and happily so. But somehow it feels incomplete. A sense of inadequacy. A search for someone.
He will be here shortly, and we will scream in excitement, and hug tightly. One normal giving way to a new normal, one out of town debate tournament at a time.