On my walk this morning, I saw a four year old girl and her mother. They were holding hands and were probably walking to school. The little girl was singing a nursery rhyme and the mom was singing along with gusto, totally oblivious to her surroundings.
I smiled, as I remember having done the same thing with both my kids. When the kids are younger, there is a lot of give and take in conversation, shared secrets, goofy smiles and tender hands that cling to yours. The universe then is a small place, for your child and you. Lots of time to spend, to read aloud, to bake, to colour and to carry out all those stress-free fun activities.
Image courtesy – Clipartfest
But during those years, every mom is desperate for some time out to do what she likes. However, it is only when you realize that the clingy four year old is now a strappy teenager that you want to relive those days again.
As the children grow and become independent, motherhood becomes more of an observation process. By this, I don’t mean that we are not involved. It only means that the children come to us only when they need something.
Displays of love are met with embarrassed smiles or just a quick hug. The pi-chart that is their world shows a fat slice for friends and other activities.
As mom observers, we often wonder and sigh at this sudden passage of time. The love only gets stronger and deeper, but cannot seek expression in an impromptu nursery rhyme or colouring sheet anymore.
This love is expressed through an ocassional hug, helping with chores, rebellion, coffee sessions and conversations in the kitchen.
This is an old post…it is now six years since my Dad passed away. Felt like re-posting.
It is six years since my Dad passed away. He was there one moment, and gone the next. Initial shock gave way to denial, and then a gradual acceptance; because this is the only truth, that whatever our journeys are, whatever our desires and goals, we all have to go some day.
Time, as they say, is the best healer. We learn to move on by getting sucked back into the vortex of our lives.
But memories of my Dad tug at me from time to time. In bits and pieces, as audio files when I hear his voice, sometimes as movies, as I playback some incident from my childhood, sometimes in newspaper articles, sometimes in the words of another writer, I see my Dad.
My Dad, who used to hold my sister’s and my hands in each of his, as he dropped us at the bus stand, whistling to a small colorful bird that use to sit atop the electrical cables across the road. My Dad would call out, and the bird would answer in return. This was an important part of our morning routine.
My Dad, who taught us how to file a piece of paper by folding it just right, who insisted that we learn to type at an early age, who sketched my grand mom and aunt, sitting where he was, who meticulously copied quotations that he liked from magazines and newspapers into his spiral-bound notebooks, who took us on long walks and listened to our non-stop chattering patiently.
My Dad, a man of few words, with his fantastic sense of humour and lop-sided smile, a loving son who ensured that his mom’s supply of lozenges was always well-stocked, who spent time with his home-ridden sister to show how much he cared for her, who helped my mom around the house and whose punctuality put clocks to shame!
My Dad, who held a candle near the sewing machine, one whole night, when there was a power cut, as my mother sewed a dress for my school concert, with the monsoon winds howling under the door and rain lashing away at the windows.
My Dad, who taught us to love literature and music, who taught us to articulate ourselves clearly when we spoke or wrote.
My Dad, who taught us by example that it is not from money or material things, but from love and family that happiness is created and sustained.
My Dad, who respected every choice I ever made, and was always there to hug me, when things did not go as planned, who made coffee for me as I studied late into the night.
My Dad in his black blazer, going to work; trying his hand at cooking after retirement, humming under his breath, cleaning ‘this & that’ and chiding us gently, “A place for everything and everything in its place”.
My Dad, who I now see in myself, in my need to write, who I see in my son, as he uses his pencil to sketch, who I see in my sister’s walk and in my mom’s talk, as she has unconsciously picked up some of his mannerisms over the years.
His memories are beautifully woven into the fabric of our lives, forming patterns that connect us to him, in what we do, in how we walk and in how we try to live up to our fullest potential, because that was the only dream he had for each of us.