Monday Musings…

Here we go again…

I’ve been babysitting Junior all by my lonesome since Friday, so Monday morning comes as sweet release 😉 Oh I love my son, but love can be exhausting n’est pas 😛 So I was joyful as he clambered onto the school bus this morning and from the looks of it, so was he 😉 We’ve actually had a fun, relaxed weekend – a bit of the Mall and lots of time playing outside with his friends 😀 

Over the weekend, my FB page has been inundated with posts celebrating Mothers on the occasion of Mother’s Day yesterday. I’ll be honest – I had no clue it was Mother’s Day until I saw the posts! I love and respect Mothers as much as the next person, but I don’t keep tabs on ‘Days’. I’ve said this before on countless occasions and I say it again today…I have a love-hate relationship with my Mom. We are completely unlike each other in thought, attitude and manner. I try my best to understand her and I know she does the same for me, but that doesn’t seem to stop us from being at loggerheads over the silliest of things! It’s hard as children, to be non-judgmental where parents are concerned, even when we know better, and are wiser and even when we become mothers ourselves…or maybe that’s just me and the rest of you have it all sorted. My Mom spent a huge chunk of my life, dedicating herself to my brother’s care…he was totally dependent on her and it was a choice both my parents made. While they were busy with him, I was already a rebellious teen, studying Medicine, spreading my wings and thinking myself ‘independent’. I was wrong of course especially about the ‘Independence’, but try telling an adolescent that! They were in Singapore while I finished my basic degree and when they returned it was for my marriage! So for almost all of my adolescence, I lived with my Gran. She was my rock.

Like most people I know, I’ve made a conscious effort for a while now to spare my parents any worries that I might have. It just didn’t seem fair given all that they were going through and because I had acquired the Hubby to pester and rile at 😉 So it’s strangely difficult for me, now that Mom suddenly wants to share every little detail in her Life after decades of relative silence. I find sharing difficult coz it’s become such a habit not to and frankly because I still don’t want to burden her with my troubles. Her life isn’t much improved from what it used to be. She of course insists that her Life is just the way she wants it and I cannot for the life of me understand how that could possibly be! I can see a hundred ways in which I can help and improve her Life, all of which she perceives as ‘condescending’ and ‘interfering’. Sound familiar? Yet every conversation we have of late sounds to me like a litany of troubles and complaints, while she maintains it’s ‘just’ a daily report of her Life and I should listen without reacting. Huh? Really? I realise I’m being silly and juvenile…but when it comes to our parents, aren’t we all? Isn’t that the one ‘no holds barred’ relationship where we’re allowed to be exactly who we are? 

Since I’ve moved to Bangalore, it’s become a norm for us to speak every morning. She’s usually the one calling, after Junior and Hubby have left, to catch up on stuff. Frankly, there isn’t much to catch up on when you speak every day but I know that most of her meaningful conversations are now telephonic and that the sound of my voice makes her happy. The sound of hers makes me happy too – it reassures me of her well-being and promises continuity if only for one more day. How important that assurance! I’ve just returned from talking to her – she chided me about not calling yesterday and immediately I felt my ‘hackles rise’. But instead of turning on my inherent smart aleck, I just apologised and had done with it! See? I try and sometimes I even succeed 😉 There are times I wonder whether things would have been different if we had been a ‘normal’ household like any other but then I look around me and I think not! There’s a lot of scary ‘normal’ out there and all said and done, I guess my Life is exactly how I want it! I guess I’m more like my Mom than I care to admit 😛

So here’s a shout-out to Mom’s everywhere – Congratulations on doing the Best you can and Celebrate Yourself every day 😀

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Because – YOU’RE TOTALLY WORTH IT 😀 ❤

Happy Monday People!

P.S. I’ve decided to share images from The Happy Page instead of Monkton (at least until he makes more!). I’m just sharing them and  take no credit except for my good taste in choosing them 😉

Monkton Mondays!

I’m nursing Junior through the Flu at the moment and can’t write much, but we’ve had such a wonderful time these past few weeks, what with Holidays and visits from loved ones, that our Cup Overfloweth! Junior’s nose is also overflowing but that’s another story 😉

So I just wanted to share this film from Mr. Monkton, in which we learn how The Pig of Happiness invented himself and how leaky Happiness can be! I’m hoping some of ours is seeping out from our world and into yours – wherever you are 🙂

Happy Monday Peoples 😀

Monkton Mondays!

Another week, another Monday! I realize I haven’t posted in a while, again, but I’m past making up excuses for myself or for anyone else…it’s just the way Life gets sometimes – there are days, weeks, even months – when I stay away from the Blogosphere for no reason other than ‘no reason’. You know? I just couldn’t be bothered and there’s no deep secret as to why…it’s just because…

Other times, I can’t stay away and will abandon everything to sit and write, as if writing is the only thing that will keep me alive. Over time I’ve realized that I like to share the happy times but not the sad, and yet when I put ‘Happy’ down on the page, it often sounds mundane and boring because so much of Happiness is about context right? Can you tell I’m rambling? I am! It’s just been one of those Monday mornings when I got up with great intentions but lost steam even as the clock approached noon! Perhaps it’s because I was reading Louise Penny’s How the Light Gets In (the concluding book in her Inspector Gamache series), and was lost in the forgotten village of Three Pines that always seems to me like it  exists somewhere on the edge of Time. A good mystery can do that me, and these days I find it so much easier to live in fiction than deal in reality.

For those of you who read the last post – there’s an update – have ‘sort of’ made up with my Mom – although not before another blowout that happened – you guessed it – last Monday. Now we’re talking to each other – carefully, delicately, probably calculatingly – weighing every word, trying to predict every reaction and just being very ‘polite’ to each other in that awful way, if you know what I mean. Denying that anything serious ever happened also helps of course! Denial is the cure for all things – at least in the short-term, until they come and bite you in the you-know-where! And they do! So until the next crisis – All’s Well. If neither of us is jumping with joy – we can always blame it on our arthritic knees – what say? 😉

And so as usual, after another rambling post about nothing in particular, I reach the end and wonder yet again how to tie in my words with a Monkton picture. And as always, Mr. Monkton rises to the occasion. The man is beginning to frighten me with how perceptive he is! Is it even legal for men to be so smart and sensitive? 😛 Since I’m feeling all pensive and rambly today, ‘A Deep Thought on Life’ seemed just the thing. This one seemed to fit my mood best…I’m sure you can see why!

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Do you see now? Ever so often I’m off dancing to someone else’s drum!! How can I help it when their music seems much more appealing than mine? Even if just for a little while? And sometimes, dancing to someone else’s drum is the only way to unbreak your own 🙂

Happy Monday People! Dance to music of your drums if you will, but don’t be afraid of switching from your Samba to my Tango, if that’s what gets your feet tapping 😉

A Letter to my Son…

My Darling C,

You’re 5 today! A mini-milestone on this happy journey of Life. Five is a good age – for you and for me 😉 you’re old enough to take those first wobbly steps towards independence and young enough to still let me hold your hand! And how I adore that walking hand-in-hand! It makes me feel loved and useful and special in a way nothing else can! And we are name-buddies too! We are both named for Happiness and to me that’s the most miraculous thing – a sign that ‘this was meant to be!’ 🙂 I’ll tell you more about why someday.

You’re not going to understand most of this letter until much later, when you’re older and hopefully wiser, but I’m really writing it now, for me. I won’t fill it with any advice other than to say, “Play hard, Laugh often and Mind your manners!” If you can do that now, you’ll have an easier time of it when you’re older and the going gets tough, as it inevitably will. Laughter will always help even if you’re just pretending! It’s a cleanser and healer and often you’ll feel better even when you don’t want to 😛 Besides we have a tradition of laughter in our family…our guffaws are legendary!! Don’t let me down now 😉

So often during these 5 years, I’ve wanted to time-freeze you! Keep you from growing up and cling tenaciously to your innocence for a while longer. Oh! I know, it’s a fool’s dream…but tell that to my Mommy heart 😉 I remember wanting to stay the ‘same’ myself too! I didn’t want to turn into a mother who cannot see, think or live beyond her children. It may work for some, but not for me. I was so afraid of losing my ‘self’ that I was blinded to the possibility that you would just ‘enhance’ that ‘self’ – give it layers and depth and meaning without disturbing its core essence. And for that I thank you and bow to the wisdom of this ancient Universe that has made it so 🙂 Yes! you’ve altered my life irrevocably but I’m still ‘me’ – just a better version 😉 Oh I know you’re going to think I’m a loon speaking gibberish and you’re right but someday you will understand – both the gibberish and the immense importance of indulging your loony side 😉

Raising you has been a life-altering experience! After B, you’re the only one in this whole entire universe who holds the key to my heart. I wish you could have known him…the two of you would have been inseparable, although I think you already are! Ever so often i see him shining through your eyes and i know then i am doubly blessed to have loved you both! You make me laugh and cry and tear my hair out in frustration 😉 You brought the joy of play back into my life at the bleakest of times and I’ve never looked back since. Your smile is more effective than any nuclear missile – use it wisely 😉 As for your tantrums – well since you’ve learnt them from me, how can I possibly complain? 😛

I’m so very proud of you and of the fact that I am your Mom. I’m enjoying every moment of our journey together and I can only hope you are too! You are many things to me my darling – my joy, my hope, my love, my faith, my gratitude, my teacher, but most of all you are my blessing from the Universe and I want you to know that I love you with all my heart – always and forever.

For Caivu's 5th Birthday1

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY DARLING & GOD BLESS!!

❤❤❤❤❤ Love forever after, Mamma.❤❤❤❤❤ 

Art Therapy

For most of my life, I’ve shunned museums. Shocked?! Not more than me, I can assure you! Even as I type, I’m amazed at how ludicrous it seems, how absurd, considering how much I have grown to love them in recent years 🙂 I guess it was a combination of several things that made me feel museums were boring places, the first being a lack of exposure to good ones! Goa isn’t exactly the Museum capital of the world and although I did travel often in Southeast Asia during my teens, Art wasn’t exactly my priority then! Also, my family wasn’t exactly encouraging, which is surprising considering how creative they are! My Grandma was an award-winning seamstress in her day, my aunt is a poet and we have several talented musicians, actors and painters too; but growing up, there was never a conscious effort made to introduce us kids to the Arts. All the stress was on getting an academic education and the Arts were looked upon as definitely inferior to Science. Sad but true 😦 So I grew up with a limited understanding of Art and artists (I’m referring to paintings here), and although I knew of the Mona Lisa, I thought it was a huge fuss to make over some silly smile! I blame it now on the shoddy prints I saw 😛 I grew up in a computer-less world people, a simpler time 🙂

Even with my limited exposure to Art though, I was both fascinated & curious about its existence & creators, probably coz I sucked at all forms of it myself and because most artists I read about seemed to lead such weirdly wonderful lives far removed from my own sane, secure reality! So even though I was a klutz (still am) and delicacy was beyond me, I could recognize and appreciate it in my fellow humans and was in awe of them 🙂 My friend M could draw fabulous pictures of almost anything and I would watch in wonder as she made something beautiful out of a void. She drew me this Pixie/Elf in my autograph book (remember those?), that brings me joy to this day! Thanks M 🙂

Recent events have meant that I’m making a concerted and conscious effort to look around my world and find beauty, joy, anything really, that lightens the heart and brings a smile to my face. Not so very difficult when you know where to look and sometimes even when you don’t! I remember very clearly standing in the Picasso Museum in Barcelona (my kind of city!), gazing at this particular painting (the one below)… awestruck at the beautiful asymmetry and bold lines. I fell in love instantly & quite unexpectedly with Picasso, I might add 🙂 If I were a painter, I would want to paint like him…with abandon & verve. 

Same trip, a few days later & I’m at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. In front of me is a simple canvas of almond blossoms on a blue sky, so real, I can inhale their scent, feel their soft petals against my skin. Magical! Then I learnt that Van Gogh painted this on the birth of his nephew Vincent, and chose almond blossoms to represent the coming of spring, and that made it all the more special. It’s my absolute favorite Van Gogh 🙂 That blue sky, painted way back in 1890 (imagine that!) is to die for!

The next day I’m at the Rijkmuseum and standing with my jaw dropping to the floor, awestruck at the massive canvas that is The Night Watch. I stare at the play of light & shadows, the detail, the scale, the way the characters seem alive – like they’re about to walk out of the canvas and into the room, and again, I’m in love 🙂 I find it hard to tear myself away.

A week later in Brussels, I discover Klimt and I’m head over heels again! The sheer brilliance of his work (he used gold leaf in his work) and his sensuality won me over. My kind of guy this!

Then there are other paintings that have touched my heart over the years…not the Masters, but artists whose work I’ve admired and occasionally bought. One such is Mariann Johansen-Ellis, of Dutch origin whose original prints from copper etchings caught my eye. I met her at an exhibition in Singapore and she was as charming as her work. I have two prints by her hanging in Ishaan’s room 🙂

Another time I went to an exhibition by a Ukranian artist who painted the most adorable figures 🙂 How can the sight of that maiden on the beach not make you smile?

This is by no means an exhaustive list. It’s not even the tip of a giant iceberg. I haven’t even spoken about other forms of Art like sculpture and music and architecture! But it’ll have to do for now, coz it’s Ishaan’s bed-time! I’ll save the Indian paintings that I love for another post, coz there are oh so many!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this spot of Art Therapy 🙂 I know I’ve enjoyed reliving happy memories. In fact I’ve enjoyed it so much that I think I’ll be posting more posts like this one regularly 🙂 But then that’s what Art does, doesn’t it? It shows you that no matter how hard and long the winter in your neck of the woods, spring and almond blossoms are never far away 🙂 And ever so often…we need to remember and stop to inhale the wonder!

I’m sure you have your favorite paintings. Feel free to share 🙂

Inhale, People 🙂

P. S. By a strange & sad co-incidence, Hubby has just informed me that M. F. Hussian, arguably India’s most famous painter has passed away in London at the ripe old age of 96. Certainly the end of an era. He was pretty controversial, especially towards the latter part of his life, and always seemed to be in the news for the wrong reasons, but he was an awesome painter! I loved his horses (his hallmark).



Freedom & a Dragonfly Symphony!

Today is the day! Liberation Day! Today, after 2 months, I’m FREE 🙂

Ishaan’s started school!! He’s Happy & I’m Ecstatic, as well you may imagine! I love my son, no really, I do! But, and I know you’re with me on this readers, two months at home entertaining a toddler, while coping with my Dad’s illness, was no picnic in the park! In fact, I venture to say, a more trying and effective form of torture has not been invented! Don’t quote me on this though 😉 😛 Don’t get all serious people, just trying to reclaim my sense of humor, that’s been MIA these last couple of weeks.

After what seemed liked a lifetime (I know, I know, it was only two months!), the morning stretched in front of me, long, promising, delicious 🙂 And to think I might have had to wait for another day! Yup! Imagine that! Sacrilege! There was a Goa ‘Bandh’ today (more on that in my next post), which basically meant no public transport and a general shutdown of private enterprise including schools. Government offices were running but probably on skeletal staff. Ishaan’s school however assured me that they were open and that it was business as usual for them, and since school is only a 10-minute drive away, we decided to give it a go. It was pouring this morning (like it has been these last few days), and as I cuddled Ishaan, I must confess to feeling both relief at having my mornings back and guilt at that relief 😛 This double-edged sword of a ‘Mommy-heart’ is just so…whatever!

Ishaan was happy to be back in school! He’s been asking to go ever so often during the holidays that I dared to hope, he meant it! Turns out he did 🙂 He kicked off his shoes, and marched fearlessly into class only to slip on a damp patch of floor & land on his tush! That was enough to start the waterworks, especially since Hubby was around! But he calmed down soon enough and was swept away in his teacher’s embrace as she cooed happily in his ear! God Bless all Teachers 🙂 So with Ishaan happy at school, I spent a lazy morning tackling stuff around the house. Things that I had let slide over time. One large garbage bag of thrash and one angry outburst from Dad later, it was time for a break.

Out in the garden, the rains had taken a break too. As I walked around, I noticed a new Water Lily bloom 🙂 A vision of beauty on a slender stalk that grows in muddy water…Nature is full of miracles. The sight of that flower was such Joy 🙂 It made me feel like everything was going to turn out fine. 

My Zen fix for the day!

I took a lot of shots experimenting with my white balance settings and as I made my way back to the house, I found myself serendipitously in the midst of what can only be described as a symphony of dragonflies 🙂 They whizzed and darted around the garden to some mysterious rhythm, inaudible to us mere mortals, stopping occasionally mid-air, occasionally on a leaf or a flower, those translucent wings beating a million times a minute!! Such grace, such precision, such beauty, such freedom! In that moment I wanted to be a dragonfly. I wanted what they had. An escape to Freedom and the joy of dance! I noticed soon that some were in a mating frenzy! Perhaps that explained all the energy and joie-de-vivre 😛

This took me by surprise! Didn't intend to catch them 'in flagrante'!

It’s been so long since I’ve had a moment like this, I’d almost forgotten what it felt like. The joy of it, the peace of it, the serenity of it. I did take some shots but mostly I just sat quietly and watched, and let them heal me in the way only Nature and her wonders can 🙂

A thing of beauty 🙂

It’s been a wonderful start to my week and I wish the same for you 🙂

Here’s to Dragonflies, Symphonies and the joyful Freedom they bring!

Happy Monday, People 🙂

Mommy Moments…

I’ve had my share in the time that I’ve been away from the Blog, as you may well imagine! ‘Mommy Moments’…mostly happy, sometimes tinged with sadness, often uplifting and always memorable. Full-circle moments that encapsulate everything it means to be a ‘Mom’. Is it just me, or do they tend to be tearful…happy-sad tears, eloquent in a way that words aren’t ? Maybe it’s just me.

Ishaan had his first Annual Day at school. He goes to a Montessori and their ways are rather different from mainstream pre-schools here in Goa, refreshingly so in my opinion 🙂 They actually allow for individual growth and development (Yay!!), and although I had a problem initially with the homework, once I realized they were not insistent on perfection or even completion, but focused instead on figuring out the child’s areas & level of interest, I relaxed, and have now learned to enjoy the ride. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that Ishaan now adores school and asks to go everyday 🙂 He surprises me this boy of mine. he does the most unexpected things. I ask him about his friends and classmates in school and all I get are vague looks and strange mumbles. I know a couple of children that he hangs out in class with from his teacher and I just assumed he doesn’t know the others. he is the smallest in his class and he doesn’t speak too fluently yet! Silly me! Well, after they had their end-of-term class photograph taken, he pointed out each child excitedly and told me their names! I was pretty impressed and not a little surprised, simply because he had never spoken of them before! And right away I see, he’s deep. He does things when he’s good and ready and not a moment before! Well, that can be a good thing I suppose, and yet not so good when I’m trying to get him to do stuff. As I see the tell-tale stubbornness of the ‘Ram’ emerge, I foresee a colorful time ahead for all of us 😉

Also he’s finally begun to do stuff from school at home – on a whim when we least expect it! I remember the first time he began to sing ‘How Much is that Doggie in the Window’, complete with “Bow-wows’ 🙂 (Remember that song?) – it took me a while to decipher what he was saying, but the tune was unmistakable! Who can forget that universal song of childhood?! And I thought to myself, ‘So, the boy can sing!’, and just like that, happy tears 🙂

And then the day, when out-of-the-blue, he counted numbers up to 20! We had been counting to 10 with him and then he just looked shyly at me and said “Eeleben, twelbe, thir-tin, six-tin, seben-tin, eigh-tin, nine-tin, twenty!” reaching a crescendo on 20, before looking up expectantly into our rather stunned faces! Needless to say, we were all of us, suitably impressed with my little Einstein 😉 Much hugging and kissing and noisy clapping ensued which must have gone to his tiny little head, coz it’s become a bedtime ritual of sorts, with him chanting numbers in his harum-scarum way to the imaginary music in his head, while we march upstairs to bed! My son the clown 🙂 and another ‘Mommy Moment’ 🙂 But I digress!

Back to the Annual Day then, where the kids gave an hour-long performance that showcased the things they had learnt during the school year. It was all very well organized I thought, except that it was open-air and extremely hot, but what’s a little heat & sweat for the children eh?! The week before, parents received emails and printouts of clear instructions on arrival, drop-off and pick-up times. I had been requested by a teacher to help in the award ceremony and was glad to help. They had picked four professions they were show-casing in the Concert – doctors, writers, economists & teachers and they wanted a parent from each field. Hubby of course missed his son’s first stage appearance. He was off holidaying on a business trip in Portugal so I took Mom who as you can imagine was only too happy to come!

We got to school and found seats on the steps of the open-air amphitheatre. The concert began with the lighting of the lamp, as do most events here on the sub-continent. I liked that they didn’t have any fancy guests, but the parent of their first student do the honors 🙂 The children put up a wonderful show. They displayed various skills they’d learnt, which when you think about it are still the basic R’s – Reading, wRiting & a‘Rithmetic! They made a book and read out of it, converted currencies (!!), did yoga, sang songs, separated foods into their nutrient food-groups and recited poetry. Ishaan was part of the Zoologist group! My son the explorer 😉 They put on a familiar tableau – Lifecycle of the Butterfly. There were about six kids, and the two youngest, (Ishaan was one), were given the job of getting on to stage (preferably without stumbling), picking up two large arrows and sitting on their mats with the arrows pointing the right way! It had been a long wait…and as I watched Ishaan finally cue up by the stage, I had to battle conflicting emotions. I was ‘Anxious Mom’, ‘Proud Mom’, ‘Happy Mom’, ‘Concerned Mom’ all rolled into one – a nouvelle feeling for me! One part of me was hoping he wouldn’t see me in case that upset him or made him so happy, he forgot his tiny part; while the other, stifled the urge to go up and squeeze the Life out of him! Aah…the travails of Mommyhood 😛 He did see me! He gave me that trademark shy smile that he has, when he’s trying to be a ‘big’ boy, but stayed in his place. Already I was a bundle of nerves with a lump in my throat, and he hadn’t even taken a step! An older boy helped him on to stage and led him to his place and I am very proud to say, he picked up his arrow and settled on his mat like a little angel throughout the performance which lasted about 5 minutes 🙂 Note to self: Get magic spell for making toddlers sit still from miracle-working teachers in school. When the tableau concluded with an older girl unfurling her silk cocoon to reveal a butterfly, my boy continued to sit in his place, until his teacher led him off gently, as the other children left, waving flags! Moral of the story: A man and his arrow are not easily parted 😉

The Man & his arrow!

He came back out a little later with all the children for the award ceremony. We four gave every child a medal – no firsts or seconds, no bests – just equals. I loved it 🙂 The ceremony concluded with the National Anthem, which is one of Ishaan’s favorite songs, along with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and De Ghumake, the Anthem for the recently concluded Cricket World Cup. He sings it ever so often at home, as an effective distraction, usually when he wants to shut out my yelling, which is pretty often 😛 He did not however sing a word of it that day on that stage! I wouldn’t be honest if I said I wasn’t just a teeny-weeny bit disappointed, not because he didn’t sing, but because I thought he loved it so much he wouldn’t be able to resist! Moral of the story: Mothers don’t know everything. They just like to think they do 😛

Medals & the Anthem!

It was a wonderful, happy morning for all concerned 🙂 And in typical Mom fashion, the show had hardly ended before I was off day-dreaming about next year, when Ishaan would hopefully play a more active role! Living in & for the future…that’s Me 😉 In the car, on the way home, Ishaan has already moved on to his favorite thing in the whole, entire world – Cricket! As he chatters on about Sachin (his favorite), and Sehwag & Dhoni & Harbhajan (all members of the Indian team that won the World Cup)  and I pretend to pay attention (Yes, I do pretend! Quite often in fact and I feel no guilt so sue me :P), my mind wanders to how quickly he’s growing up! Conflicted Mom’ takes over…I want to freeze time so he stays like this forever – innocent, trusting, protected and happy. No, no! I want him to grow up, so I’m done with the raising and start to enjoy the just being (like that will ever happen!), be a star in whatever he chooses to do and still stay innocent, trusting, protected and happy. I want only the light, never the shadows. Aah…I want the world for my boy. Can you blame me?! I know, I know! I’m delusional! It’s alright. Comes with ‘Mommy’ territory 😉 

Loud shouts of “Muuuuuuuuuuumy!” in my ear interrupt my reverie…he’s catching on. He knows when I’m not paying attention…”Muuuuuuuuuuuumy!”…”What?! I’m right here!”….He always keeps me grounded this boy, never lets me stray too far away from the business of being a Mom 😉 He’s smart like that and rock solid. My anchor 🙂 Howz that for a Moment, eh? 😀

That’s it for this post…but more Mommy Moments to come. A big one…the Birthday!

Have a Fun Sunday, People 🙂

Epiphany

This morning I had a moment. You know – the kind of moment that arrives without warning, usually offering a calm oasis in the midst of chaos. The kind of moment that comes sometimes from recognizing the truth but mostly from just accepting it. Yup…an epiphany.

I had a rather thorny start to my day. Granny had a fall on her way to the loo early this morning at 4 am. I was completely unaware of the fact until I came down all bleary-eyed in the morning. Thankfully, nothing’s broken, just some nasty bruising. At her age (she’ll turn 85 in April) though, I’ll take bruises over a fracture anytime! Unfortunately in characteristic fashion, I had been rather short with her. It’s just like me that. My concern always seems to manifest masquerade as irritation, especially with those I love. I don’t why that is, except to blame it on some genetic character flaw beyond my control or maybe it’s a defensive mechanism to mask my fear of losing my loved ones. Whatever the reasons, suffice it to say, when it’s time for Ishaan to leave for school, I am not in a good place.

He is outside as always, playing cricket with our driver and Pushpa, utterly oblivious to all of Mom’s flaws for the moment 🙂 Oh that it would stay like that forever! Hubby calls out. It’s time to leave and there’s a flurry of Goodbyes to Pushpa, Grandpa and Grandma. It’s a familiar scene, repeated every Monday through Friday before he leaves. Just before he climbs into the car, I hug him and hold him close, tousle his hair and tickle him while he lays his head on my shoulder, in the crook of my neck (a perfect fit :)). He erupts with laughter and climbs onto Hubby in the car. The sun is shining and my boy is happy. His eye’s are sparkling and his tiny nose is all scrounged up, crinkled with joy 🙂 Suddenly I am in awe of this perfect moment when nothing else matters but the happiness that radiates from my son in great big tidal waves 🙂 I know, I know, it’s crazy…we’ve done this a million times before, but today, although I’m laughing with him and squishing my nose against the car window making funny faces, inside I’m still. Something is different.

Magic smile!

There’s a strange duality to the moment. I’m suddenly aware of its fragility. Of the power of laughter & the healing that comes with happiness. Somewhere deep within, a load feels lighter. There are a million good things in this World and a million bad, but there’s not too many things that can’t be made better by the sound of your child’s laughter 🙂 But the moment is also symbolic of the power my son has over me. Of how my happiness is now forever linked with his and my eyes get teary – whether from joy or sadness is hard to say. Probably both. It’s scary but I feel cleansed.

I stand still and watch the road after the car is long gone. He’s growing up so quickly…too quickly. And that’s when it struck me. It’s always like this between parents and children isn’t it. Children moving away, parents left behind, happy, concerned, and proud. Did I think it would be any different for me? This is how it’ll always be…him leaving, me watching him go…happy, concerned, fingers crossed, like mothers everywhere.

I take a deep breath and walk back inside.

19

The number of years I’ve been married.

My reflex was to end that statement with a happy smiley like so 🙂 (you know how fond I am of my smileys!), but for a fraction of second I hesitated and the urge diminished (please note I said diminished NOT disappeared! This is for you Hubby before you go flying off the handle :P). Not coz I haven’t for the most part, had a good, solid marriage nor that I haven’t enjoyed being married to Hubby most of the time…just my penchant for honesty (you know, that awkward, often inconvenient and sometimes suicidal need to be nothing but forthright? You do know what I’m talking about right?!). So a Happy smiley would have been a half-truth, no that’s stretching it, a ¾ truth then 😛 (Hey! Am being honest remember?) Can’t blame the smiley people though…some things just cannot be contained in one tiny face, marriage for one, parenting for another! Both so similar (as I’m finding out), requiring infinite patience, loads of hard work, a healthy dose compromise and an underlying desire to make it work. Both with rich rewards when successful and awful pain when not. Each unique and impossible to explain or understand wholly, unless experienced. So when they create a smiley that says all that…I’ll happily use it everywhere it fits 😉

The beginning...

And now that that’s out of the way, on to the Mush!! (Aaaw…you didn’t think I was All honesty did you ;-)) Nineteen years is a long time for most things especially a marriage…and I must say I’m enjoying the ride 🙂 Here’s why…It’s NEVER been boring…it’s been good, bad, ugly, happy, sad, tense, peaceful, stressful, joyous, romantic, sweet, bitter, loads of fun, exciting, adventurous, wondrous and an education of sorts. I’ve known Hubby for 21 years and after all these years I’m filled with a quiet confidence and serenity that comes from knowing that I made the right choice. I know now with more certainty than I knew then – He’s the right man for me 😀 He puts up with my tantrums (and they are god-awful I can tell you!), endures my endless ribbing, takes care of all the important, mundane stuff (that I totally suck at), leaving me free to wander off on my flights of fancy, has supported me through action and inaction, has given me some fabulous surprises, and most importantly believes in me when I’m hard-pressed to believe in myself!! How’s that for some serious Mush 🙂 Through the years he’s taken care of me and nursed me through some terrible lows. A great man to have around in a crisis, he’s the epitome of cool, when my nerves are in tatters. And lest I forget, the reason I fell head over heels for this rather deceptively reserved, extremely talented and exceptionally intelligent man is his killer smile 🙂 The smile that can still make my knees turn to jelly, not that I’ll ever let on 😉 Well, maybe just this once! I’m smiling now, but my eyes are tearing up…so lets just leave it at that, shall we? (The dangers of Mush!)

19!

Our marriage has had it’s ups and downs like every other, but we’ve always found our way together and I’ve grown to rely on his judgment (he won’t believe this but I do!), trust his decisions and seek courage in his strength. He’s worked long and hard to get where he is today (I envy his focus and dedication and wish some of it would rub off on self…Alas, if wishes were horses…) and he has done it with dignity & integrity and I am oh so very, very proud 🙂 And so after 19 years of togetherness, all I want to say is “I love you, Darling. Always have and always will. Oh and just so you know, Diamonds always help!” Kidding! I’m just kidding!! Geez!!!

Happy Anniversary Darling! Welcome to a new decade of togetherness 🙂