Humor, Ram Leela

Ram Leela

 Ram is into paper crafts. At one point, he was obsessed with making paper planes and rockets. He has made at least 100 rockets, filling a Trader’s Joe grocery bag. The said bag with overflowing rockets has been such an eyesore, so I tried my luck at disposing it off last night.

Me: Ram, you have had the paper rockets for a long time. Are you ready to put them in the recycling bin?

In all seriousness, the child replied.

Ram: No mama, I am going to sell them. I am just waiting for the right time.

What can I say, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure!

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In Ram’s school, one of the projects that they worked on was drawing self-portraits. One representing how they see themselves now and another representing how they think they will be when they are an adult. Promptly, Ram drew both. One like how he is now, with half trousers, and a soccer ball or something to that effect. The other adult one showed him with beard, glasses, and fully dressed but with what looked like an incomplete head. I told  him, “Ram you have forgotten to draw your hair, do you want to complete the picture?” to which the child replied non-nonchalantly, “I think when I grow up I will be bald. I think I will have no hair.” 

Some imagination..! Have you ever heard of voluntary baldness? 

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Experiences, Food, Gratitude, Hari Katha, Little Moments, Ram Leela, Uncategorized

LMT

Sharing the little moments from my week. 
cherry blossom

  • This week was THAT week in spring – gloomy skies, foggy, misty mornings with cherry blossoms, daffodils, and greenery all around.  Beautiful, just beautiful! I have been sneaking in walks, 5 mins here, 5 mins there, to take in all the sights and sounds, and soak in this breathtaking beauty. 
  • Hari and four other kids worked on a group project for Culture Day in Sunday school. It was a delight to watch the kids plan, prepare, collaborate and present their work. They did such a fine job!
  • Spring=Baseball in our household. Hari is part of three teams this spring and he is so pumped up about it. It’s a scheduling nightmare for us but honestly when you see the light shine in his eyes as he speaks about baseball, you just want to do the best you can to give him as much game time as possible. Who knows how long the passion will last but as long as it lasts, it must be nurtured.
  • Kerala style plum cake, have you had them? Oh I so love it and I relish every bite of it..! Better still, Hari has become part of the plum cake fan club. Nothing to beat the shared joy of looking forward to something. 
  • Now that Ram is reading on his own, he has developed a reading routine. I read a book to him and in return he reads a book to me.  Being part of this child’s reading journey has been a sheer joy!
  • Taking Ram to Take Your Child to Work Day and spending the day with him at my workplace doing arts and crafts. 

Alright tudlu for now, the weekend is just around the corner. What little moments are you celebrating this week?

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Introspection, Little Moments, Ram Leela, Uncategorized

Poignant Moment

After finishing Ram’s bed time story, I tuck him in and settle down by his feet leaning against the wall for some downtime. I  am browsing on Facebook catching up with what’s going on in my friends’ circle. I am reading the article where references are being made to how Joe Biden could have become the president. Joe Biden says he couldn’t contest at that time because he had lost part of his soul, referring to the death of his son. The article makes me sad and heavy. Just then, Ram, who I thought was fast asleep, starts talking eagerly with an unrelated concern, “Amma why do fish let their eggs float. When the baby fish come out, what if the first thing they see is a shark and they think the shark is their mommy.”

It was a very poignant moment, one in which the heaviness of my heart found relief in the sweet innocence of my 6-year old.  

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Experiences, Gratitude, Little Moments, Ram Leela

Important Person

akhil-imp

After days of yearning and preparing for it, it was finally here! Ram was thrilled to bits. It was his special day, the day he gets to be “the important person” in his class. In this project, every child from the class gets a turn being the star on a certain week and shares a “suitcase” containing selected things that are important to him. The goal is to learn more about the child, his family, and his culture.

Ram has been counting down to this day ever since the announcement came in January. He worked diligently on it, the hardest part being goading his mom to roll up her sleeves and help him out. So what did he take to school?

  • Four of his important objects were – his jumbo pokemon card that he has been dreaming of taking to his class and showing off to his friends,  his baseball trophy that was special not only because it was his first trophy but also because his dad was the coach for his team, his collection of ironing beads that he had spent hours making with his brother and dad, and a foam peacock that he had built out of a kit that his athai bought for him. “We can tell it’s India’s national bird amma”
  • 10 Apples Up on Top, which he read by himself to his friends in class.
  • A collage of pictures from his last India trip along with photographs of him doing his favorite things – dressed as a superman at the park, plonking himself on the bench in the library, “I love my mom and dad” henna on his hands, pretending to ride an auto with his cousin on the back, rolling chappathi, slicing tofu, playing with snow and so on. To my surprise, he explained, “There are cars in India but there are more scooters. They can be bumpy”
  • A questionnaire that had details around where we live, his b’day, what are some ways in which he is like others, what are ways in which he is not like others, what does he like doing inside the house, and what does he like doing outside the house.
  • A form asking him to say how to say Hello in our native language. After explaining how to say vanakkam, we practiced it with folded hands, bowing to each other. The kids followed our demo, hands folded and saying vanakkam as they giggled endearingly.

Ram was reluctant to take anything or talk about anything that was related to Indian culture when we were brainstorming about this project at home. It made him feel like he was not like everyone else. But in class he surprised us by sharing stories of Ganesha, mooshika, and Krishna. I was pleasantly surprised and mildly shocked and worried that they may be taken out of context. But that was just my adult mind overthinking, the children just listened, with their open and curious mind.

Ram generally doesn’t like being in the spotlight. He doesn’t like it when attention is lavished on him. He prefers intrinsic fulfillment over extrinsic recognition. Today, I saw that side of him that reveled in being in the limelight. Glowing like a bright star, with confidence and enthusiasm.

The icing on the cake today was that his special day coincided with Dr. Seuss’ b’day. Happy B’day Dr. Seuss. Thank you for showing us how much fun can be had playing with words, for stretching our imagination and daring us to think all the things we can think and for nudging us to go conquer mountains.  Why worry, we have shoes in our feet and brain in our heads..!

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Gratitude, Hari Katha, Little Moments, Ram Leela, Us

Little Moments

I am watching the Oscars as I type this post. Are they making a statement or what – on immigration, racism, public schools, Trump tweets and what not. I like that!

Here are my little moments from this weekend.

  • As I was puttering around in the kitchen on Sat. evening, Da called from the local park,  “Did you see the rainbow outside?  it’s so beautiful”  I am not sure what I cherished more – the rainbow or the call.
  • Reading Pashu by Devatdutt Pattnaik with Ram.  As if the tales aren’t enough to keep us hooked, the illustrations are so captivating. Once we finish the book, Ram and I plan to take a stab at the drawings. And just for the record, I am not artist, can’t draw a straight line with a ruler but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to draw when the mood strikes, which by the way is far and between.
  • Trying out dishes that I grew up eating but never really cooked on my own, and cooking them for my mother-in-law’s first death anniversary. Wearing the sarees that I inherited from her and reflecting on our times together.
  • Swelling with pride at the 2-minute video in Tamil that Hari created, starring him and his brother for World Language Day at middle school. It is a very ordinary skit (with language errors) but one that was done with extraordinary efforts – coming up with the storyline, using google translation to get the tamil translation, coaxing his brother to participate, teaching him to speak in tamil, putting together costume, coming up with creative ways to tape themselves, and more. 

Have a good week folks! 

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Experiences, Gratitude, Milestones, Ram Leela, Reading

Drum rolls please!

yRam: Mom, why are you using baby soap for me?

Me: Who said that this is baby soap?

Ram: See, it says on the bottle.

Me: I did not read that Ram. But are you able to read what’s written on the bottle? You can read now?

Ram: Yes amma. I can read three or four letters. But not difficult complicated words. I read by myself when you are not around.

Me: Can you please read to me this evening, that would make me soooo happy!

I love this age and stage when learning is curiosity and not necessity driven. When there are no have to, just want to in a child’s vocabulary. When learning happens naturally and effortless. Ram has been picture walking for the longest time and I have wondered if picture walking had become a crutch that was holding him back from reading words. Even if it were, I think it’s still a good thing because he got to experience the book the way he wanted to. He read the 10 Apples up on top from the first to the last page last night. A smile slipping through the corner of his mouth and a sense of pride glinting in his eyes. Yay Ram, yay to a lifetime of reading…! May your love for the written word last forever.

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Ram Leela, Uncategorized, Wishes

Happy 6th

Facebook popped a “memory” from five years back on my timeline today, a precious one at that. Curly haired, chubby faced, little Ram wearing a white onesie that says, “My First B’day.” That tender skin, that uninhibited love, that physical bonding, those curious eyes,  those days of holding him close to my chest – his heartbeat playing a tango with mine, and all those treasured little big moments. Our sweet little peanut, how the years have flown and what a difference five years can make!

Today, as he was sheepishly holding his Elmo birthday balloon, I was singing a little song in my head, borrowing words from Dr. Seuss’ books  and adding my  twist to it – “You have words in your mouth, shoes in your feet, brains in your head. You can go in any direction you choose. Go spread your wings, fight your battles, and conquer your mountains. You are strong, you are capable, don’t you ever forget that!”

To the child who has a mind of his own, who will think two steps ahead, who  will go to the root of the problem, who will open up an instruction sheet and follow it to the T, who knows to enjoy his company but can’t tolerate a harsh word, a cold glance or negativity of any kind, who will feed you a spoon of melted ice cream from his share because he knows that you like it so, who will make you learn about Pokemon and Chima, who will ask that you draw a heart on his palm and write “I love my mom” with henna – we love you to the moon and back. Happy happy birthday our little one. Take that sparkle with you wherever you go, and stay curious!

akhil-henna

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