Monthly Archives: April 2012

Have moved the kids to their room..

For some this may seem too late, way too late. Older one is six, younger ones are two, and they are sleeping in their room tonight, for the first time. For me though, it’s come too soon.

But, I’ve done it – for many, not necessarily related reasons. And I feel a bit empty tonight.

I’ve done this out of my own free will (despite the resistance of my older daughter) and even felt excited about getting a bit of my life back – little pleasures of reading in bed, not talking in hushed tones, watching a film after the kids sleep, and of course, “couple time” with the hubby. But, right now, at this moment as I write this and the room is so empty that it almost has en echo, my heart feels heavy. I miss them. Terribly.

They are right across the room from me and I’ve been to their room countless times already – looking at their sleeping, angelic faces, kissing their lovely foreheads and tender cheeks, standing like a shadow staring blankly at the darkness, waiting for my eyes to adjust to the dark so I can see their curled-up forms, adjusting their blankets, checking if the AC is not too cold….I can safely say that I will not get much sleep tonight.

I almost feel guilty for doing this. Try as I might, I cannot shake away that feeling. And I know that this is a bit of a cultural thing. In India, it is perfectly normal for kids to sleep in the same room as their parents till, well, let’s just till very very late into their lives. I have friends (though these are mainly those who have a single child) who’ve not moved out even 10 year old kids yet. And that’s not frowned upon here, in the least.

There is this mad urge I have to bring them back, to admit to them that the experiment has failed miserably! I know I won’t do it, if only for the fact that I’ve moved a lot of furniture around, made many adjustments around the house etc etc. But I now wish I’d waited a little more. Because this is irreversible. This first physical separation is just the beginning of many many separations and I wish I had not hurried it.

I know that I may be over-dramatizing this a bit, but it’s late and I am in a reflectory kind-of mood, the kind that the silence of the night brings on. My mind is in over-drive and I am willingly letting it loose to make all sorts of haphazard connections between this one little change and my issues of not being able to let go. (looked at deeply enough, though, there is a connection, is there not?)

I need a nightcap. But, far from aiding, that runs the risk of letting my thoughts wander into dark corners of my mind and doing some notorious digging. No, I don’t need that. I guess, I should just sleep. Yes, that’s what I need to do, that’s the only way I’ll stop thinking about it, at least consciously.

So, am going to call it a night, with one last peek into the room, one last kiss and to do my bit for the benefit of the tooth-fairy. Yes, she’s going to visit tonight, to take my daughter’s first tooth and leave her a Doraemon bed sheet – for her new bed in her new room..

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That Single Friend..

I am not sure how many of you have single friends, but, I do. Not a whole lot, but enough to make me think.

There are those who’ve never been married, while others have and then have moved on and taken to singledom with a vengeance (we all have those I can safely say).

What do you feel when you meet/see that friend on facebook? I mean that friend who does not believe that sweat pants were made to be worn all day, everywhere, who is thin, nattily turned out with a, I-just-threw-this-on kind of look, who works, of course, but finds the time to learn photography, fly to Caymon Islands, Amalfi coast and who knows where else (don’t want to know), who alternates between reading David Mitchell and Murukami with her feet up sipping coconut water in some off-the-beaten-track destination (how many of those are there, just by the way?), who watches every film worth its salt (Ukraninan, French, Algerian – you name it), who wakes up and dances to ‘Here Comes the Sun’ while getting ready for work, who takes holidays with her mum, twice a year? What do you feel? Honestly.

Now, I am not saying that I’d rather be single, my life is full and complete and I know better than to get swept away by impressions of a seemingly perfect life. But, here’s the thing. I am a wee bit jealous. It’s liberating to think about this friend’s life. And if my husband’s reading this (not sure I want him to, though), I am not comparing my life to hers, or saying that I cannot do what she’s doing.

It’s complicated. I am not sure how to explain it and I am not even sure if I want to.

But, since I brought it up, what I will say, by way of some sort of explanation, is that if I really want, I can probably do most of those “single” things even now. So, that’s not the thing. Point is, I don’t want to because they will come at a cost; at a cost of spending time with my family, or doing something for them. So, while I make the decision to do or not do something, that decision is made keeping a lot of factors in mind. And, it’s not as simple as you-decide-no-one-forces-you. Part of me wants to be like that friend, but part of me does not. Like I said, it’s complicated.

But (all these explanations aside) in all honesty, how many of you look at that single friend and feel, sigh? And, this does not have to be the reaction each time, by the way. Just sometimes, at some fleeting moment.

There are also times when I look at pictures of a pristine house with a lot of whites in the furnishings and that image (still talking facebook here) says so much, so much about the emptiness and absence of the comforting mess of children. To someone whose house is full of trails of mixed up puzzles from one room to the other, this picture-perfect image is too quiet; the image almost emits that unsettling sound of silence, that deafening vacuum.

And sometimes, when that friend’s eyes reflect this void, I say to myself – thank God for all I have, and damn that Truffaut film festival. Who needs it?

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The Twins Have Started School

The twins have started school and I have mixed feelings about it (they don’t, by the way, they hate it).

I am relieved that they are now out of the house for a few hours, but, I miss them terribly. I am so used to waking up to their combined chatter, non-stop from the time they wake up, to the time they can’t fight sleep anymore and flop down in the night, that now the mornings seem empty and quiet.

Also, I have a confession to make. I cannot take their crying and yelling, as the teachers take them away from me at the school gate. I can hear them (the younger twin especially) pleading for me, and I cave. Yes, I cry. I feel silly, of course, but that does not stop the tears – they keep rolling down and I find it hard to swallow that lump in my throat (it’s coming back now with the memory of that parting)

I dread the mornings, when I have to drop them to school; when I try and create an artificially lively environment in the car by singing and talking about some irrelevant topic as a distraction method. I put on nursery rhymes and ask them to sing along. Needless to say, my completely transparent efforts are met with stoic silence from my otherwise chirpy twins. They look at me with sad eyes and declare that they don’t like school. It makes me want to turn back and take them home. Clearly, my nerves are not exactly made of steel, to put it mildly.

I called my mum when I was at school the other day. She understood, of course, but then she asked me how I’d feel when they’d grow up and go away. I could not imagine it. I don’t like to think of myself as a clingy mother, and I always thought I’d have the strength to let my children go, but now I am having serious doubts on any such abilities I thought I may have had. (God bless my kids!)

These years will pass I know. They’ll pass too soon says my mother, I guess from experience. If she could, she would summon Well’s Time Traveller and go back in time, to when we were little. She does not understand why I want to do just the reverse, to get propelled into the future! I see her point now, though. I cannot imagine how it will be to be old; to see my kids only once in a while; to call them and be told that they were busy- that they would call me back. In theory I know that’s how it will be, but when we are actually there, it’s not like all this reflection would help the reality.

Anyway, I digress. Didn’t mean to write all this. I meant to just pour out some feelings about my “separation anxiety” in child psychology parlance (except that in my case both the kids and the mother suffer from it!!)

I know they’ll settle and I can start to make use of my time. It’s a milestone and I am not sure how I feel about it. When I picked them up from school today, the younger one said “mama, I like home”..

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Am crabby. Again.

We’ve just returned from a holiday in the hills. It was glorious.

But, what could be more depressing than coming back from a holiday and jumping right into reality?

My mom called. Her hello was enough to make me sit down, I took a deep breath and I knew she had something to say and I also knew it was about my father. He’s had a minor surgery for some “growth” which has been sent for a biopsy. She took him for a routine prostrate check up and they admitted him right away to take the stuff out. She was not even sure if they’d given him a general anesthesia or a local one. I think it’s disgusting how doctors take some special pride in keeping the truth about patients to themselves and treating the caretakers as irritants asking irrelevant questions. While I understand that the constant pestering can test anyone’s patience, they should be a little more considerate and at least give out some information. Here my mom was waiting outside the room, unaware of what “procedure” was going on.

Now my mom is not someone who loses her nerve quickly, but, today she sounded tense. That’s got me so upset. I feel helpless sitting so far away, listing to her say that she would be able to drive him home without a problem. I know that she’s worried. And, at 76, this is not something she should be doing – driving her 80 year old husband home after the surgery (the driver was absconding, again)

I can’t do much, except call. I wish, well, I wish for so much that I won’t even start.

My husband says that the reason why life kind if “hits” you when you turn forty is that you feel the stress from all fronts – your children are young and your parents old, and they both need you. The road ahead looks long, and all your fears begin with – what if?

Today, I am going to try and not think about any what ifs? it’s not going to lead to anywhere good..

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