Sometimes, we expect but it doesn’t happen. Sometimes, we least expect but it happens. The second kind is more interesting. We breath, eat and sleep as though we are aware of what happens inside our bodies. But, we are not even close to being aware of what happens within. This is the first enlightenment that the news of pregnancy brought with it. Developmental biology used to be my most favourite subject during my master’s days. I’ve studied every detail of zygote, embryo, blastula and gastrula; yet when it was happening in reality inside my body, I had no clue of it. It – the miracle of nature – seemed mysterious to me for the nth time. It could have happened with any set of genes of the hundreds of the sperm cells. To put it in a funny way, one man is just half zygote away from becoming another.
I cherish it everyday now as my little girl simply cannot be away from me. I am cooking in the morning hours. She begins with cooing which slowly turns to soft whimpers and then all of a sudden to a loud cry which will intensify to a high-pitch scream. The father tries his luck from toys to acting a clown but she wouldn’t even open her eyes to witness his farce until I take her on my hips when her cry graph falls off to the X-axis from its highest peak in less than a fraction of a second. I turn to her and ask, ” What made you cry like that?” She looks up at my face with a mischievous smile to let me know, “Just for this Amma; to take this place on your hips.” And everything of your being melts!
It seems good fun to recollect these memories today but to have been there. at that point, as a mother, it was no fun! Whosoever coined the term ‘terrible two’ must have really had a terrible kid 🙂
There have been times when I have had no involvement in my life. During those years when my parents were hunting for a groom for me (you will understand if you’ve been through the arranged marriage galatta in India), I began to watch animation movies, hoping some animation will come into my days. The disconnect between the man of dreams and the men that bharat matrimony displayed was too much to bear. I have gone to the depths of boredom that I explored several philosophical and occult realms of humanity like yoga, spirituality, past lives, healing and energies. (I am glad now that I did them prior to having kids 🙂 ) Like all dejected humans, I was searching for my anchor – according to Thesaurus, an anchor is something that is used to hold another thing securely – and I was searching what would hold me securely with life.
All through my days when I was living with my parents, I didn’t realize what it is like to be a parent. After marriage, I slowly started looking back how boring and sometimes exhausting it would have been for my mom to have looked after home continuously for years. This looking-back doubled after I had my own children. When my son refuses to eat something I had prepared with lot of love, care and the anticipation that he is going to finish the bowl, I get reminded of how much I must have troubled my mom being a poor eater. When I get worried when the thermometer reading crosses 100 on my son, I recall of those days when my mom used to sit beside me trying to make me sleep during the unwell days. When I run at the last minute to pack my pre-schooler’s snacks box, I feel amazed thinking about the years’ of lunch box packing that my mom did for the family.
It’s rare but it does happen to moms once in a while! And that one little beautiful wave, occasionally, is enough to melt down thousand other motherhood guilt!
I am just four years into motherhood now. And I have already started to look back and long for his baby days. As always, I am unable (severely) to recall his baby face mentally but I remember the warm, nice, happy moments I had had with him then. It was a time when I wasn’t stressed, I wasn’t yelling at him and I wasn’t expecting him to behave in a particular way. No matter what mess and naughtiness went around, I was a patient mom then. There used to be a lot of giggles, smiles, laughs, cuddles and hardly any instruction or advice then. Yes, it was all then! From when he grew a little bigger, began to speak and began to develop his individuality, at some point, some nice thing from my motherhood dropped. If any of you have experienced anything similar to this, please share, I am still trying to understand this point.
I was just 19 then. It was my first job! A fortune 500 company. A new city. A magnificent office building. Elite corporate people. US Clients. American accent. “Being raised in a middle class south Indian family, how can I even sniff success in this set up?” was my first thought when I stepped into Hi-tech city the first day. But I did, in a few days. Because I was and I am an Indian! And I thought how an Indian would think!
Do you know how it feels when your kid digs his nose in front of your guests and the guests give you that so-you-are-the-mother-of-this-boy look? My little one isn’t a messy one but I’ve had my share of awkward moments as his mother. Here are the top 5 in the list:
Perhaps, this is the most intense of all the emotions I’ve experienced as a mother – Attachment! Sometimes, when I yearn for a a few hours of off from looking after them and when it does happen, I yearn to be back with them in no time. Sometimes, when I breathe a sigh of relief after they are asleep, having waited for it for several hours, all that I like to do is watch them sleep. There’s an emptiness in their absence – even while they sleep!