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.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY DARLING & GOD BLESS!!
❤❤❤❤❤ Love forever after, Mamma.❤❤❤❤❤
A Letter to Mom & Dad…
Dearest Mom & Dad,
Today, you complete 46 years of marriage 🙂 To me, that’s as close to eternity as I’m likely to get! 46 years of living and loving, of compromise and sacrifice, of joy and tragedy, of holding on and letting go…there’s not much you haven’t weathered and I’ve watched you for 44 of those…observing and trying to learn. It’s been a privilege, although some times…torture! Well, it’s like that sometimes between parents and children isn’t it? It certainly is with me.
You are phenomenal people, in the way parents are to their children – mysterious, confounding, inspirational, loving… confounding – did I mention that?! There are times when I find your logic elusive or infantile, when I find your reluctance to ask for and accept help frustrating, when I wish I could shake you physically into being more engaged with Life…but none of that changes the simple fact that I love you both to pieces and would do anything…but anything for you. I know I get overbearing and crazy at times, and haven’t always been an easy daughter, but it stems from love and the need to make Life easier for you. It’s hard for me to watch you struggle when I feel there’s an easier alternative. I guess I just have to try harder to respect your independence & your decisions even though they may not make sense to me at the time. After all, you have lived longer and have more experience than I have! I promise to try harder to understand you and not step on your toes so often! I hope you’ll do the same 😉
Somewhere in me, lives the desire, to be compassionate & forgiving like you, Mom and wise & generous like you, Dad, and I constantly feel the need to do you proud through my words and actions. You’ve set the bar high and I wonder whether I’ll ever measure up. Oh I know you love me regardless, I know! Still, if I can live up to your impeccable standards, and be half as good a parent to Ishaan as you are to me, I would consider myself blessed and worthy of being your daughter. And today, of all days, I want to Thank you for being the BEST parents for me, coz without you…I wouldn’t even be here!
So here’s to you both…May Life always Keep you together – Safe, Strong & Happy 🙂
Love always, P.
Parenting Dad…Happy Father’s Day to Us!
I didn’t realize yesterday was Father’s Day until Facebook let me know! Honestly, what did we do before Facebook? 😛 Not that it made much of a difference once I did know. Have never been one for celebrating ‘Days’. For one it can get expensive 😛 Before you label me an ingrate however, let me assure you that I love my Dad dearly, probably more so now than ever, as the time we have together becomes more finite.
I’ve always been Daddy’s girl 🙂 Mom tells stories of how he doted on me as a child, doing everything he could, even carrying me long distances even when I was 5!! That fact assumes true significance when you know that I was always a ‘healthy’ child 😉 My favorite story is the one in which I’m hurt by broken milk bottles and Dad is telling everyone off 😉 Hearing Mom & Grandma describe it, I imagine the blood gushing from my hands (although the exact details are hazy!), and a river of red all over the kitchen floor where it happened; Mom & Gran having hysterics; and Dad gathering me up in his arms, yelling at them while trying to comfort me and run downstairs to the doctor all at the same time. I like to imagine myself as cool as a cucumber amidst all this chaos! Yeah, yeah…I like to feel important now and again folks, even if it was more than…well, however many decades ago 😉
But I have memories of my own too 🙂 I remember very clearly running up the stairs just after I had got my 10th Grade results. Here in India, 10th Grade is a big deal. It’s the last year of school, after which there’s a public examination (in every State), and one enters college. I had done really well and was among the top 50 students in Goa! I remember feeling nervously proud running up those stairs…wanting desperately to make Dad proud and afraid that I might have still managed to fail him somehow. You know the feeling! I needn’t have worried, as I flung open the terrace door and blurted out my news, the look on his face was everything I’d dreamt of and more 🙂 I remember him hugging me (probably coz we’re not at all a touchy, feely family!) and saying “Well Done!” or ‘Congratulations” or some such. It’s not important what he said. Sometimes I think it’s not even important how he felt. I think the most important feeling that day was how making him proud made me feel! Validated, worthy, proud and loved 🙂 It’s a feeling I’ll cherish forever, one that warms my heart to this day 🙂
Needless to say, I don’t remember Dad ever ticking me off or denying me anything I wanted throughout my childhood within reason. It’s a wonder I didn’t grow up thinking I was the center of the universe coz I certainly was the center of his! Or did I 😉 You guys can be the judges of that! There was one occasion though that I remember as clearly as if it were yesterday, when I threw a tantrum (I was very big on tantrums! They may be best described as flamboyant if you get my meaning! Much to my Mom’s satisfaction, Ishaan is now paying me back with my own coin so to speak :P), and stamped on his newly polished leather shoes! I got a well-deserved whack for my troubles! Dad was very particular about his appearance. He had a large wardrobe of suits and was always spiffily attired! Debonair is the word that comes to mind 🙂
Over the years I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that no matter what I grew up thinking, my Dad is not God. He has his faults and like in all of us, age does nothing to temper them. I’ve also had to come to terms with how much I am like him! It makes me at once very proud and very scared. I’ve inherited his looks, his love for beautiful things; his interest in photography; his generous spirit of giving; his keen intellect and curious nature; his laughter and love of a good joke; his stubbornness; his ego; his love for debate; his mercurial temper and his love for a good drink and junk food 🙂 He’s given me all this and so much more, it’s hard to know where he ends and I begin. And now, when he’s old and tired and spent, I find the roles reversed. I find myself parenting the man who taught me everything I know. I lend him my hands and shoulders for support. I help him find words, find meaning and often himself. I watched like an anxious parent when he took his first unaided steps after the surgery and I still watch him to this day, ready to catch him if he should fall. I buy him the junk food that he once bought me 🙂 and smooth his brow when he’s worried and confused, willing away his troubles, wanting to bear his burdens as he once bore mine. How did it come to this? Perhaps this is the circle of Life…parents’ father children and eventually children father parents.
So on this Father’s Day, I want to say THANK YOU & I LOVE YOU to the BEST Dad I could have had 🙂 and I know that if I can be even a fraction of what he’s been and continues to be to me, we’re going to be Ok.
Love you Daddy! Always will 🙂
Have been thinking of bridges a lot lately, to the point where I’ve begun to feel like one! Do you know the feeling? If you’re living with or have difficult family ties, then you might. Ever since we moved in with my parents, I’ve felt like one, particularly in regards to Hubby and them. Although as the situation changes, so do the people on either side. Sometimes, it’s my Granny and my Mom on opposite sides or Mom & Dad or Mom and Me, in which case, there’s an abyss in between! I didn’t realize this before, but it’s a hard life for a bridge!
My parents as I’ve mentioned before are conservative and traditional. In Goan society that means, sons-in-law are like Gods, well maybe demigods! To be approached with caution and reverence that is often taken to extreme lengths. He is vigorously fed, endlessly pampered, always obeyed and never put in a spot! Most mother-in-law from my Mom’s generation rarely speak to their sons-in-law at all. I know for a fact that my Granny and my Dad never spoke to one another directly until a few years ago, and even then on rare occasions. Perhaps age has something to do with that! Mom is a ‘bridge’ herself, has been all these 44 years! All this means in my ménage de trios is a lack of direct communication between my parents and Hubby. As a result I function like a transmitter relaying information back and forth, feeling like a bridge that’s spanning the universe, connecting two entities that live on different planets nay galaxies 😛 Disregard that emoticon, I’m serious! So, my Mom asks me everything she needs to ask the Hubby and tells me everything she needs to tell him, which is almost exclusively food-related! “Will he be home for lunch, for dinner? Breakfast is ready! Does he need more tea? Has he eaten the new cake? I’ My Granny joins in (coz the more the merrier, eh?!), “Tell him to eat it while it’s hot!”, breakfast she means. This at the top of her voice, which he can hear perfectly.
Other stuff, the important stuff like what’s happening with his work and the like are NEVER broached with him EVER!! I’m asked these questions instead, to which I give vague, ambiguous answers, not out of a desire to hide but from a lack of knowledge! I know, I know! Some of you may raise a pretty eyebrow in disbelief, but it’s the solemn truth! Perhaps all you dutiful, lovingly involved spouses know exactly what’s up in Hubby’s work-life, I don’t. Never have, never will. It’s not out of negligence just disinterest (which is not as horrid as it sounds, so no hate mail please :P). I know the broad outlines of what’s happening of course and we discuss plans of action and the big picture together, but the minutiae bore me to death and I ignore them! Yes I know God is in the details, but mine is understanding and kind 🙂 besides which Hubby is the demon for detail 😉 To be fair, I do this with everything and everybody including myself! Unless it’s to do with something that I’m passionate about, which at the moment would be writing, books and a few other things, I don’t pay much attention. It works perfectly, coz we’re both the kind of people who work best when left to ourselves, but enjoy discussing progress or failure as the case may be, at regular intervals. Also, Hubby is rarely at home and what with Ishaan and everything else vying for our attention, it’s hard to get time alone or concentrate when we do! We’re very often so tired, we hit the bed already asleep, especially Hubby, for whom a late night is 10 pm 😉 (I’m being kind, sometimes it’s 9 pm :P). So, when Mom asks about his work, you can see how that might be difficult for me! It’s just another one of those little things that remind me how different their marriage is from mine.
When times are good, I still manage to hold my own and am an efficient conductor of this strange orchestra. When we hit a rough patch, is when things tend to slip out of control. I guess what I’m saying is that all this to-ing and fro-ing between individuals and trying to maintain a balance of sorts, wears me out and exhausts me and them. When we’re exhausted we get irritable and that makes everything worse. That’s what made me think appreciatively of bridges. I think they deserve much more credit than we give them – human & inanimate! Where would we be without either? Forever connected yet aloof; leading towards on end and away from the other; watching & recording history and on occasion making an important contribution, playing a vital role; bearing the burden of countless footsteps; they seem to symbolize my state in Life now. Yet I must always have and continue to be one, like we all are, connecting and dividing people by our thought, and actions and sometimes by our very existence.
This is something I wrote over the last couple of days. It’s been a while since a poem came to me.
Connector, divider, spanner of rivers,
A gateway, an entrance, a runway to tears.
A link in a chain, A cog in a wheel,
A path – weighted down by a million clicking heels.
One foot here, another there,
Body suspended, trapped in mid-air.
Bringer of beginnings, journey’s end,
Traveler’s terror, voyager’s friend.
Frozen motion, standing still,
My existence is testament to human will.
Built of timber, from sticks & stones,
From thoughts, from hope, from human bones.
From ideas and spirit, from wishes and sighs,
Comes the ethereal rainbow, in your sky.
In myth and in legend, are my stories told,
My foundations harbor secrets untold.
I’m famous, unknown, symbolic, enshrined,
Spanning centuries, hearts and minds.
Forces of nature, and human assault,
Victory, defeat, bested them all.
None of these yet all I am, or am I just Me?
Entwined, enmeshed, at once aloof,
Like that was meant to be.
Watching, waiting, standing tall
Connecting shores until I fall.
And I’ll leave you with my favorite ‘Bridge’ song. I love this live version by Art 🙂
Weekend coming up, People! Smile 🙂