Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Starting a family?

Randomly I came across of a nice snippet between a mother and daughter, I am not sure about the author of this, however i really enjoyed reading it. I could relate to every single line penned there. It is an awesome write- up. This left my eyes wet. I have heard these words from my mother and many of my friends.

We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that she and her husband are thinking of "starting a family."
"We're taking a survey," she says half-joking. "Do you think I should have a baby?"

"It will change your life," I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.

"I know," she says, "no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations."

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.

I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable.

I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, "What if that had been MY child?" That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her. That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of "Mom!" will cause her to drop a soufflĂ© or her best crystal without a moments hesitation.

 I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby's sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that every day decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy's desire to go to the men's room rather than the women's at McDonald's will become a major dilemma.

That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.

However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother.

Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself.

That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give herself up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years, not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honor. My daughter's relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks.

I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who
never hesitates to play with his child. I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic.

I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time.. I want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts.

My daughter's quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes. "You'll never regret
it," I finally say. Then I reached across the table, squeezed my daughter's hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings.

Monday, March 21, 2011

SEASONS OF LIFE: And we twist

SEASONS OF LIFE: And we twist

SEASONS OF LIFE: And we twist

SEASONS OF LIFE: And we twist

And we twist

My daughter's day-care facility (which also runs a pre-school) was having their Annual day and her teacher casually mentioned that parents are also welcome to dance. Without a second thought, I volunteered as I was under the genuine impression that it would be an impromptu session of shaking our body to some random music numbers at the end of the show. However, a week before the scheduled day, I was asked to come for "Practice". I immediately retorted “WHAT PRACTICE??”. The teachers pounced on me and, in a chorus, screamed out: “What do you mean by what practice?”. That was all needed to see stars in the day,

It was only then I realised that my views about this dance item for parents was not just moving/shaking to some music but was going to be a co-ordinated, choreographed dance show with a partner, costume et al. Then I sublimely realized: I just put my foot into my mouth.”

The usual thoughts then raced through my mind - Should I back out? Will I make a fool out of myself especially since I had never publicly danced? I could hear a loud YES from within. BUT, then wait a minute, why should I back out? I love to dance OK, I admit I am not sure if I can actually dance - but I love music and I love to move myself to the music. Was that not a good reason to go ahead?

After a long argument with myself and SOS calls to my husband, I decided to take the plunge. I met up with three other sweet mommies. YES, I realised that out of the 50 odd mothers associated with the institution, it was only four of us who had volunteered to dance. We shared a common bond - we all loved dancing and we all wanted to do it for our little ones. We ladies hit it off instantly

We practiced hard (not really hard ), discussed life, gossiped, shopped together for costume and carried out such paraphernalia very well. As the D-day was approaching, we had butterflies in our tummies. Alka, one of the mommies was down with fever and Vijetha was tied up with family work and we stopped our practice. We wondered if we must actually proceed with the plan!!

Even before we realised, the day arrived. For some reason, Vijetha was late and without a forethought, Karishma (my partner for the day and a very pretty lady) and I started our practice to brush up our steps. Alka was busy baby-sitting Karishma's daughter.

The venue, by the way, was a school which had a decent auditorium. We started our final rehearsal in full public view (as if we had a choice. In fact, such was our resolve that we did not even mind the young school children noticing our practice which comprised giggling, laughing, curious e kids.

Vijetha arrived late. We realized that we had little choice of place to change our costumes. In fact, we were rushed into the greenroom with loads of kids inside who were waiting to perform. Most of the children were crying and poor Karishma was trying to console them. We changed in a jiffy and very coyly went down stage and sat there waiting for our turns. After two hours of long wait, it was our turn and my heart skipped a beat, but Karishma's smile was reassuring and so we all hit the floor.

The dance was over even before we realised that we were dancing. All I remember is that we groovedto the tunes of a medley of Zooby Zooby (from 3 Idiots) and Twist (from Love Aaj Kal).

Most importantly we loved the fast beats of Twist and so we had a great time. My husband and my sister in law came to cheer me. My mother in law and my mother could not make it but were very happy that I was performing on the stage.

As an afterthought, I wonder what is the outcome of this effort, I realised at the end of it that I am happy that I did something which gave me a lot of confidence - , something that my daughter will be proud of when she grows up. This was a reassurance that my family is by my side. Above all, I have earned three precious friends. We spent just a few hours with each other but we bonded really well and we shared our lives and happiness with each other. Interacting with each of them has taught me something precious. Alka's impromptu jive at any music, Karishma's Cheshire smile, Vijetha's ease in wearing a Saree on her Jeans was amazing

Each of us move around with a baggage but it is the attitude and the approach one adopts in life that makes life worth living.

(From Left to Right- Vijetha, Alka,Me & Karishma)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

SEASONS OF LIFE: Gift to womenhood

SEASONS OF LIFE: Gift to womenhood

Gift to womenhood

I write this not because i am a unique mother, i write this as I consider my daughter to be UNIQUE. Of course every mother finds her little one to be unique. She is three years old and each day of my life with her has made me realise that she is unique in a thousand ways.
She has been and will always be the best gift of God. I rarely cry and i ensure i never shed a tear before her. But then sometimes it becomes inevitable. Even before the tears can roll down my face, my daughter's tears would have started rolling down. She just cannot bear to see me gloomy. She just comes all over me and kisses me and wipes my tears in her little palm.
That little gesture is nothing but the gesture of God. None other than my mother has ever done that too me.Never ever in my life have i stayed without my mother. I always felt like fish out of water without my mother and i still feel that way but my daughter's arrival, her kind gestures has to a large extent filled the void within me.
She is a child but she has her own way to tell me that she is by my side. She repeats my own statements and tells me why are your crying amma when i am here with you? that one statement from a three year old makes my existence more meaningful.
I never was so fond of children, i was not the one who would play with my little cousins, it was always my elder sister who donned the role of a mother for all us. But from the day i have knew i had a little peanut within me growing each day, my perspective changed. Each day has been a memorable day for me.

Those little morsel of rice which my daughter feeds me from her plate are the tastiest food i have eaten. Each day when i bathe her and dress her, she religiously tells me, amma when i grow up i will bathe and dress you too. Her talks seem to be senseless toddler babbles to others, but i know she is serious about it and she does know what she is talking. Her seriousness was exhibited once when i had an asthma attack and everyone was asleep at 11.30 PM. It was my daughter who was awake all the time, her eyes were wet but she did not want to show me that she was crying, all she keep telling me was that amma use your pump( inhaler) and you will be fine.
My heart goes out to those women who are childless and i feel bad for those women who consider it to be burdensome to have babies. Having a baby is the best gift of God. You will never what it is to have your heart outside your body till you a baby. Life is beautiful, but our children make it more meaningful. Our existence is justified when we see our children turning into beautiful human beings.
I used to wonder what makes my mother so selfless, even that last piece of sweet never tempted my mom and she would save it for my sister and me. I now know the answer.