‘First Aid Box. Check. Knife. Check. Spectacle Case. Check.’
I marked out each one of them in the list as I checked his packing stuff. This is the first time he is leaving home to be on his own. He had been to a couple of school vacations, but that was just for a day or two. Now he is moving out for his graduate studies, so it would take a few years. May be he will have to move out to yet another place for work after studies. May be he will not get to be with us at home again except for the Christmas holidays.
Hmmm……I don’t know.
He is an all-time playful chap though I am confident he can take good care of himself without me. He seems to be excited about his new college and place, he tells everyone so but I know there is something going on within him. He keeps staring at the television, just staring – without making his usual fun at the VJs; he eats late, even his favorite carrot halwa doesn’t lure him; he yells at me for no reason although I know he feels guilty about it later.
May be he is afraid of leaving home? Could be, it happens for everybody. I have gone through it too. That sinking feeling which makes me feel ‘should I go? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to stay at home with my people?’ It’s a struggle from within that you do not wish to speak out. Then, a courage, a necessity to move on somehow pushes you to take that step forward. That’s happening to him now. I understand.
He has put on his shoe lace. When he got up to look at me, my heart slipped down. I know the time has come. He needs to leave. I wanted to ask him ‘Should you go? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to stay at home with us?’ But I knew I cannot do that to him. I gave a BIG sigh! But wasn’t big enough to hold back my tears running down. ‘Eat well. Call us soon after you reach’, I said. His eyes welled up too. After all, he is still a small boy.
Well, I came out of my day-dream as my small boy turned his side to make himself more comfortable on my bosom. A drop of tear at my eye corner reminded how deep I had gone into the future. I smiled as I thought I have several years ahead, why take it so serious now. Yet, I know it is a sure reality and will come to happen one day in my life.
My toddler is 10 months now. Days have changed remarkably after he was born. I am never alone in my mind. I live two lives in one body. He is like an attachment! My day begins with him and except for the time he sleeps, my attachment follows me all time. Usually while he rests peacefully on me, I get into thought realms so far like the one narrated above that I begin to connect emotionally with something that doesn’t even exist. I’ve seen him waiting near the school gates as I hurriedly rush to pick him back home; I’ve seen him whispering to me about his girlfriend as I pray they live a lovely couple; I’ve seen him receiving some big award while I proudly hold back my tears. And today’s tears were of different sort; of an unexplainable melancholy.
Will he ever know about these days of him – when he was all alone with this woman most of the day; that this woman dreamed of his future; that this woman felt sad for he will have to leave her several years later? No, he will have no memory of his beautiful days. He will grow big; he will get engaged with destiny’s multiple calls and his life will move on. And this woman who was once everything to him will become a small part of his journey one day. I know this too! That this shall also pass away.
For nth time, this hard truth struck me.
I dialed my mom’s number. It’s happening to her – right now!
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