Holidays, Little Moments, Uncategorized

Little moments

How has your week been? Here, we had a our first week of school and extracurricular activities. That we coped with it without too much grumbling and whining is a major accomplishment. Little moments for the week would be…

  • New batch of fourth graders at Sunday school. And they are a sassy bunch! One child took me by surprise by declaring, “I am going to predict what intel processor you have on your laptop,” then there was another who challenged none other than Newton, “I disagree with Newton’s theories.” Then there was one who said, “I love animals. When I grow up, I want to become animals’ advocate.” Love the colorful personalities and can’t wait to get to know them better.
  • My cousin and his family visiting. When I think of my cousin, I think of the little boy who was adamant about watching Rajini movies. I think of the times we went “jogging” during summer break. I think of how he was the favorite grandchild for my maternal grandparents. It was very nice to get a glimpse of him as a caring husband and a loving dad.
  • Ram got his very own music instrument – a guitar! The child is enrolled in guitar lessons. It was uber cute seeing the child with guitar strapped on his back.  The guitar lessons take place in the same school that Hari learnt piano, which was a parent-child class. Week after week, I get to relive those fond memories with Hari as I take Ram for his classes.
  • Happy Vinayaka Chaturthi, one of my favorite gods. Have always loved pillayar and a have special affection for him. It is a tradition in our household to make pillayar for Vinayaka Chathurthi. We have made pillayars out of fuse beads, legos, and assorted materials. This time the kids played around with dough and made these pot bellied rider of mouse. Hari took the minimalistic approach, Ram did the more detailed oriented.
Little Moments, Uncategorized

Little Moments

  • I was unkowinglingly reckless this weekend, misplacing my house keys (nothing new, I am searching for things ALL the time but generally don’t lose them. This time my desperation grew as it felt and sensed like a loss.) and putting our only hard drive at risk. They were not intentional mistakes; still one has to live with the consequences, isn’t it? I don’t know the status of our hard drive but Hari found the house keys right under the passenger car seat. Oh what relief!
  • Remember I told you about the daily habits we came up with for Ram? One of which was daily morning prayer. The child barely knows any slokams but he goes to the altar with freshly plucked jasmine or roses, discards the wilted ones, does a little bow before moving on to other tasks. My morning cup of joy..!
  • Hari did well in the cricket tournament this past weekend. He took a wicket a match, scored his highest in batting, and did well on fielding. It made me happy that the child had something to feel good about because the team has been on a losing streak.
  • Da, Hari and Ram were away this weekend for the said trip. The house felt empty. But appa, amma and I had our share of little moments shopping, gardening and celebrating Janmashtami. This is my first festival celebrating with them after 17 years.
  • Homemade bakshanamthattai, seedai, rava urudai – enough said!
  • Reading John Mccain’s farewell letter and eulogies. To think of his country and countrymen in his deathbed, and when he is suffering,  that’s something, isn’t it? Gives me the goosebumps every time I think of it. A big salute and thank you to the hero.
  • I am living in two worlds. My own and the other being Adichie’s Ifemelu’s. I am sneaking in a chapter here, a chapter there, 5 mins now, 20 mins later; I am not able to put it down, but I am not able to read it in one prolonged sitting either – life sure comes in the way of reading! What a treat it is to read some fine storytelling!

As I was thinking about my little moments for this week, it occurred to me that all these posts sound the same with little variation, isn’t it?  Do you get tired of it as readers?

Inspiration, Intentions, Introspection, Kids, Life, Uncategorized

Of goals and intentions for the school year

They are growing up fast and furious right under our noses. Ram is in 2nd grade, and Hari is in 8th grade. The highlight of this summer for them was spending time with my parents. The kids have basked in the love of their grandparents for the past few months.

Before the first day of school, we set intentions for the school year. For Ram, the only goal is to build daily habits. The more and more I read about habit forming, the more and more I am convinced that what we do on a daily basis matters. So much more than what we think. That’s the mantra I have been chanting all this summer, especially to the older one. With Ram, setting expectations and getting him on board with the expectations, is the crucial step. Once that is done, with some enforcement from our end, the child is generally good. He is a true Upholder at heart. The big caveat is the“some enforcement” part, which falls on yours truly lap, who is quite the slacker.

For Hari, the child has a lot going on. So the goal is to commit to those things that he is truly interested in. We will also work on basic life survival skills – daily habits, keeping a good attitude, building support system, making choices etc. The child will be in college in five years, and taking responsibility, practicing grit and becoming resilient do not happen one fine day. It has to built, cultivated and nurtured over the years with some tender, love and care.

I too have a goal for the school year. I am not by any stretch of imagination a Helicopter mom, let alone a Tiger mom. Mainly because it’s a lot of hard work and requires you to put your child’s need ahead of yours . For many many moms or all the moms that I know, this comes naturally. Unfortunately, that is not my instinct. I put my own pursuits and needs ahead of my kids. The good news is it works for us. The bad news is I am missing out. So I am setting a goal of being involved and engaged with my children’s learning experience this year. 

Little Moments, Uncategorized

Little Moments

  • Some mornings are filled with more love than other mornings. Ram has been saying “I love you,” and giving unsolicited hugs and kisses since he woke up this morning. Always a treat to have a chirpy and cheerful start to the day.
  • Lugging the recyclable bottles in his backpack, Hari biked to local Trader’s Joe to get a treat for the party at his math class last evening. He has been biking to the center, to the library, being more and more independent and taking responsibility for his tasks. Those little wings are being put to test and the flight is getting stronger by the day.
  • Rediscovering the simple pleasure of reading and getting happily lost in reading quandaries – what reading binge should I treat myself to – Fredrik Backman, Alexander McCall Smith, Chimamandha Adichie? I want to read them all, and I want to read at the same time.
  • Sun, flowers, heat, ice cream, tomatoes, arangetrams – all things that I associate with August. Hanging on to the last few weeks of summer with delight and gratitude.
Experiences, Family, Gratitude, Uncategorized

Another Sunday evening

Writing a blog post. A visit to the temple. Going on bike path. Doing stretches. Sitting down for meditation.  What do all these have in common? Once I indulge in these pursuits, I end up wanting to do more of them. But that first step takes monumental effort.

Summer is coming to an end shortly in this part of the world. The days are already getting shorter, we are thinking about back to school routine, and before we know it we will have to pull our sweaters and Fall jackets out. 

Hari has had a pretty laid back summer. He has been in camp just for one week of camp for the entire vacation. We figured the school year tends to get intensive, so why not let the child chill out when he has the chance. That was his preference too. He has enjoyed the freedom of going to the bike path on his own, and camping at the library. He hasn’t hung out much with his friends but has had social time during cricket and baseball practices. He enjoyed setting up his room, he calls it his “man cave,” decorating it with flags of different football teams, built his own basketball hoop, converted the long forgotten Ikea table into a ping pong table, and has made an arcade game on his reading desk. This summer has been a summer without the FOMO for him. 

Ram has been in camp every week. He tried his hands on wood carving and Scratch. His dad has set up a wood shop for him in the basement. My heart skipped several beats when I saw first graders hitting nail with a hammer at the camp. This should not have surprised me but it was too real! Scratch is a mix of programming and gaming. I am not thrilled about this experience but foray into video games is inevitable. For a while, it will be out of control but if I don’t feed the obsession now, it will lead to deprivation. In other news, he has been biking a lot this summer. And for a child that refuses to put his head under water, he has recently taken interest in swimming.  This summer has been a summer of exploring for this child of mine. 

Regarding myself,  I did not take any extra commitments as I wanted to keep it free for appa, amma and kids. Last summer was extremely crazy and I did not want to miss out on another summer with the kids. This summer has been a summer of “US” for me because the days are long but the years are short! 

Intentions, Introspection, Uncategorized

I care a whole awful lot!

Presidents come and go. What one president does, the other undoes. It’s only natural and common knowledge. Nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is when the undoing is lacking in ideologies, ethics, and is driven by personal agenda, is myopic, thoughtless and destructive in nature. Innocent lives get affected with irreparable loss just by virtue of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. 

The rose tinted glasses with which I viewed the country that I have to come love has shattered to pieces over the past couple of years.  What have we gotten ourselves into? How do we get out of it? What can I do? My head is reeling and I am not able to keep up with what’s going on. I am not able to separate the noise from the issue. I don’t know where to start. I am afraid I am getting desensitized.

This 4th of July, I remind myself of what the Lorax said, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” 


Share Your World

Taking up Cee’s questions after a long break.

If aliens landed on earth tomorrow and offered to take you home with them, would you go? (remember this is SYW, they are friendly aliens) Thanks, no thanks. I am happy where I am and with who I am. I might think twice if my family is willing to come with me.

How tall are you? Are you satisfied with your height? I am about five feet. I have always been the shortest in whatever group I belonged to but that has never bothered me. I am always amused by folks who want to look tall by wearing heels. So the answer is, I am satisfied with my height.

Do you think you could live without your smartphone (or other technology item) for 24 hours?  I might itch for it out of habit but I am not addicted to my smartphone. I can get used to life without smart phone (definitely) or technology (reluctantly). 

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. I had candid conversation with Hari’s former baseball coach, who is his well wisher. She explained to me what Hari is good at in baseball and where he needs to improve. She also told me how players get picked and the odds that Hari needs to beat to make it at higher levels. I truly appreciated the honesty and guidance.