Friday, October 23, 2009

Becoming my parents' daughter

Everyone knows motherhood is tough. That it takes as much out of you as it gives...both in time and joy. One invests so much time and energy into being that perfect mother - the kind who bakes cupcakes on Saturdays just because it is Saturday, who stays awake late into the night folding onesies and stitching fancy buttons on a costume - there are moments that one forgets to be a daughter.


Why is it engrossing to discuss cow dung with the tot than answer questions on how the day was with the parent? Why is it so hard to let go of little things when it concerns your child? Why is it harder to understand someone you've known for more than two decades while you're completely in-sync with a 21 month old who can barely string two words together? Does motherhood erase all signs of being a daughter once?

As the peer pressure of young, vibrant do-it-all moms rises, the doting daughter slowly fades into the background...with occasional glimpses once in awhile to buy a certain bag, listen to an old tale, touch a burning forehead, share a joke over phone...or simply smile every morning instead of the usual complaint about the wrong sippy cup in the toddler's hands.

Being a mother is all about loving someone unconditionally.
Being a daughter is about letting that someone love you...unconditionally.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

In the Land of Butterflies

It was a quiet afternoon in the Azalea kingdom...the kind of quiet that lends itself to mind-numbing chores and pointless conversations; It is also the kind of quiet that makes one restless - a strong yearning to launch oneself off this state of inertia. And if you entered the Royal nursery that's what you would find Princess Mei doing...trying to jump off The King's arms and fly into the skies on a new adventure.

The King and The Queen sang a dozen lullabies, the baby made raspberries at them. The court jesters juggled apples and colourful balls while the maidens twirled satin ribbons but Little Princess Mei just yawned at them. Then she curled her tiny fists, puffed air into her roly-poly cheeks and SCREAMED!


The Azalea kingdom rocked and came to a complete standstill.

No one knew how to calm the baby and put her to sleep. Lady Chance was not in town to bestow gifts and The King was not the kind who believed in Magic either. Her Highness just sighed and hugged herself to sleep in an armchair. His Royal Highness looked at the tiny bundle in his hands. He had conquered the lands, he had reined the raging seas but how can such a fragile being hold him prisoner? Are those spells swirling in those beautiful dark eyes?

As an expert storyteller he weaved many a wonderful tale of grandeur and adventure...of Princes on stallions and talking elephants and finally he no longer had any new yarn to spin but the baby in his arms giggled. Her tiny feet kicked him in his chest asking for more.

He gently caressed her curved earlobe, a trait she takes on from him. Princess Mei looked into her father's eyes and cooed. He closed his eyes and hummed softly. His gentle melody slowly grew in depth and soon found a reply as tiny colourful butterflies silently flew in from the forest. They circled above The King and Princess Mei and the only sounds in the room were the soft flapping of their wings.

Soon a mellow calm descended into the room, embracing its occupants in a velvety hug they had long desired. In that moment of sublime tranquility as the last of the butterflies came to rest on her arm, the Little Princess made her peace. Her tiny fingers firmly clasping his hand, Princess Mei was finally sound asleep, a playful smile still on her lips.

The King sighed.

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Date

She felt her life was sprinting away from her as she scrubbed baby food off the kitchen floors and folded baskets of laundry. Wasn't she more than just a mother? She read books, sang songs and was more than capable of holding a conversation on any topic under the sun for over 10 minutes.

Yet here she was making sure the carrots and peas did not touch each other on the plate, arranging onesies and pajamas by colour and looking under crib and beds for fat, green worms to make soup with.

She needed a date. No, not need, wanted. Yes! that's the word. She WANTED a date. An evening with her husband; two adults enjoying a peaceful meal away from bibs and babble. A date was set, after frantic phone calls a reliable babysitter was found and the baby was informed. As long as the carrots and peas didn't touch, she didn't care two cents about dates.

The Day finally dawned. She spent hours in front of the mirror rehearsing what she would say at dinner. She felt like a teenager going on a first date. An evening to reminisce about Oscar Wilde and Balzac, of red wines and candle evening as a young, intelligent woman.

"So guess what? I am sitting on the couch reading an article on Eezham and she comes and takes the mouse and says, 'Amma , whatyoudoing? elp?' Then she picks up my book from the table and goes ' This libaly book.' "

He smiles at her fondly as he refills her wine glass. She hardly notices the twinkle in his eyes as she continues,
"Oh my God! Yesterday she sang the entire ABC song. I swear, it was the sweetest thing I've ever heard. No other 20 month old I know can say ABC much less sing it. And then, did I tell you she can completely dismantle our remote and hide the batteries and act as if she doesn't know what we're talking about? and today she..."

He leaned back in his chair.
This was going to be a beautiful evening.

Note: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to moms folding laundry or scrubbing floors is completely intentional.

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