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Work maketh man?

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No matter how much my husband believes it when he says that I am doing work when I look after the kids (and I know he means it) I can tell you that recently when I went into an office for two weeks (freelance work), I realized what work really meant. Needless to say I loved every moment of it. Yes I know it was the novelty of it and I would soon tire of the mundane routine that I so crave right now, but for a while I felt like I was doing something constructive. Bringing up children is work but it’s not a career and it sure is not as satisfying as seeing your work being appreciated and published. Why do I say that? I am not sure, maybe because people view children’s successes as theirs and not their parents’.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not bashful about being at home (ok, maybe a little bit) and am proud of the grades my children get, and no matter what the mother-in-law may say about their superior genes inherited from the father, I alone know hard I work with them (there’s no magic to it). It’s true that I am home because of my kids, but that does not mean I do not realize what I am missing or should give up on a personal dream, or not savour the moments when I get to feel a bit normal, for lack of a better word.

It’s getting better. I now have more time and am actively looking for more work. And the things is (and this is where my going into work proved to be extremely beneficial) that while I am aware of my limitations about not being able to leave the house everyday and put in a full day at work, I am also very aware of my strengths, and of my ability to deliver. The great thing about going to work is that you realize that the people who inhabit those buildings are just as normal as you and often put in just as much work as you would sitting at home. My husband has often told me that I am just as competent as those who are physically at work, but I was always on the back foot because of my need to write (largely) from home. But that’s changed. My two weeks at this office made me realize something I had known, but forgotten – that people are appreciated for what they do and not for showing up.

I may not be able to show up physically at work every day, but what I am going to say to the next person who laments at that idea is – try me, or it’s really your loss.

P.S. – my being busy at work explains my absence from this blog. I’ve been writing – and I am happy. It is what gives me a sense of accomplishment and pride. E-commerce is a great idea, but it’s not for me. Nor is making children’s clothes or setting up a food blog, no matter how sure-to-be-a success those might be. In case you’re wondering these are ideas I’ve toyed with for a while, in my moments of, maybe-I-should-do-something else, which usually spring themselves whole heart-idly upon me at odd times, like when I am at the bus stop, or in those delicious moments between sleep and wakefulness – that’s when these bright ideas present themselves and I wonder if I should be one of those entrepreneur mommies. But when the moment passes, I realize that the only thing that makes me happy, is writing. For better or for worse, that’s my destiny..

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When you discover something you’ve always known.

Ok, so I started this post in a very different way than it’s now turned out. I started in the same old crabby tone about my parents and their unwillingness to change, something that has frustrated me over the years. Visited them this summer – they’re older, more stubborn and ever more determined to be independent.

So when I started writing about them, it dawned upon me that this unwillingness was actually something to be proud of, really. I cannot believe I am saying this, but it’s true. I mean here they are like a pair of wounded soldiers – dad has rheumatoid arthritis, blood pressure, stent in his heart, blind spot in one eye, a deteriorating red-blood cell condition with an unpronounceable medical name, mom has high blood pressure, osteoporosis, a terrible back and spine and my obstinate dad for a husband – but they refuse to make the changes in their lives that I think they should. And you know what, after this trip and many fights, I finally saw their point. Well, I’ve seen the point earlier too but this time I kind of realized that they are special in being determined to carry on despite age and ailments.

I realized on this trip that I’ve always known my parents to be strong, both mentally and physically, but this time it sunk in in a way that it has never before. And I think such a realization can only come when you are a parent yourself.

My trip sort of started this way:

“Do you want me to give up and sit at home and age even faster?” asked my dad at my suggestion that he not drive on the highway anymore. “No”, I bit my tongue “I never said that Pa. Drive in the city if you want, but the highway…” He, of course, didn’t wait for me to finish and launched into this rant about how he knew what he was doing and ended it with his all-time-favourite one-liner: “I am not stupid”. Well, I said, I knew that but sometimes there is a fine line between being independent and being, er, foolish. The fact that I’d used foolish as a synonym for stupid was not lost on him. He then continued to declare to my mum in this self-destructing manner that he was going to give up on life because that is what I thought he should do! AAAGGGHHHHH. I wanted to pull my hair out! My poor mum got in the line of fire and I kicked myself for letting that happen.

Dad sulked for about a day after our fight. Till I apologized, at the prodding of my mum and my own guilty conscience, for what I’d said and offered some sort of an explanation. He didn’t seem too convinced, yet was reluctantly happy that I’d broken the ice (we both have the same egos – I get mine from him!) Anyway, long story short while I was there I realized this one thing: they want to live in the way they want for as long as possible and no matter how silly we kids think that is, that’s the way they want to be and we should respect that.

So my trip ended this way: (which is how it pretty much ends each time, with me feeling like a rat for having lost patience and having fought. This time though there was all that now-you-take-care-and-forget-the-fights kind of parting, there was also the I-know-you’ll-do-as-you-wish-and-that’s-ok thing that I said to my dad)

When I was leaving, I hugged my dad, as he winced in pain, and I cried. Lots (again, kind of normal when I leave home). My older daughter and mom joined in this tearful separation of course. I wished they could’ve come back with me for a few days.. I told Pa to be careful when he drove, to not tire himself unnecessarily to see the doc regularly and follow his advice. I knew he would do none of that, but I said it anyway and he nodded. We both knew he’d go back to doing exactly what he wished, detrimental as it would be to his health. He’s almost eighty and is not going to change now.

I drove away feeling proud of my parents, of their will-power and determination to take on life and live it on their own terms (actually ma lives it more on pa’s terms but then I cannot change that fifty years after they married!)

They sleep in pain and wake up with it. Yet they carry on doing what they must, ma will water the lawn and drive to the market, pa will go to the bank every two days(refuses to get an ATM card – has deep reservations against plastic) and buy vegetables on the way back no matter that he cannot lift the bag. They are almost eighty and don’t want to slow down. I hope they never do.

Kudos to you old folks. Even if I have half the strength of mind and body when I am eighty I would be blessed.

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Second Trimester – much better!

Am four and a half months now. My gynie kept telling me that the second trimester will be better, and it is. Though I am still on “limited activity”, I feel much better. So am trying to enjoy it – reading a lot, have got a bunch of films to watch..

Then am trying to prepare my three year old. She watches the Dora CD a lot where Dora is all excited about her mom having a baby and she becoming a big sister – (turns out her mom has twins so it fits perfectly!). I think, in theory, I am making progress. My daughter told me the other day, “mama, we’ll have to get two cots and also two rattles. I’ll give them rattles when they cry!”

Reality, I know will be very different. I know my daughter will be jealous, it’s only normal, and we’ll have to deal with that – it’s a fine balance..

This is the calm before the storm, I cannot imagine how it will be once they are out – twins! I don’t think I am over that yet.

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Twins, Asthma, Sugery and more!!

Have so much so say. I’ve been away from my blog for so long now, much has happened in the past three months. Here’s an update.

Yes, I am carrying twins! No, it has not sunk in. I am thrilled, of course, but freaked out, understandably! When the doc said, looking at the fuzzy amoeba looking things floating on the screen, “they look wonderful”, I looked deliberately obtuse, didn’t think he meant what he did, till he said “there are two”! TWO!!!!!!!!Drove back in a daze, then called the husband!

Now to prepare my daughter – my sister in law gave me this Dora CD in which Dora plays the big sister and her mother has twins. I am starting to prepare my daughter, but my oh my…

Lot more has happened. I’ve developed asthma, have already had a minor surgery to strengthen my cervix and been on rest for a while. Better now, but third trimester is going to be fun – lie in bed and forget about everything. Right. Someone tell my three year old that!!

And oh, husband is very happy, but worried about my health. Not to mention stressed about the slowdown – world into recession and here I am with a bumper crop – timing.

But one cannot plan in life. Three months ago I was dismal because I was not getting pregnant and look where I am today! No, took no fertility pills! Husband actually asked me that!! Turns out that women over 35 have a higher chnace of conceving twins. Also, in my case it’s in my genes, father’s sisters are twins..

So, here I am getting bigger by the minute and getting on my mom’s case to drop her life and come run mine!!

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