My younger one – K is nine now. I sure miss the days when I could scoop him up in my arms and cuddle him, rubbing my nose against the little hollow at the base of his throat. It always brought out squeals of joy and shouts of mock anger “Mumma let me down!” that spurred me to cuddle him even more. He would then wrap his little chubby feet around my waist holding me tight throwing his head back so it hung in the air, waiting for the spin he loved to get. Round we whooshed through the air before collapsing on the bed, breathless with laughter, dizzy with the spinning and very, very happy.
God knows I can’t do that to him anymore! (He weighs about 35 kgs now 🙂 ) I sorely miss his babyhood. Carrying him in my arms, rocking him to sleep in my lap, nuzzling him in the crook of my arm while we sat on a rocking chair reading his favorite book, letting him lie on my stomach as we napped on lazy summer afternoons.
“They grow up too fast, enjoy them while they are young!” I heard that a bit too often in those wonderful ‘baby filled’ days. The wistfulness and the look of longing that accompanied those words of advice did seem genuine. But for me, who was engulfed with baby things of my two almost twin kids (They are a year and few months apart!), it never really rang a bell. I am glad to say I did enjoy them – we had countless soapy bubble filled bath sessions, and endless gibberish filled conversations, we had long bumpy pram walks and horribly out of tune singing sessions. It was a mad, fun filled time.
But it was not all fun! There were days i was so tired that I could have slept standing up. Days when the diaper basket was overflowing and all the milk bottles lay used up & dirty and days when the kids wouldn’t stop crying. Days when I fervently wished to God that I could somehow grow either an extra pair of hands or an extra lap to accommodate both my little ones at the same time and get the ability to stay up for three days without a wink of sleep.
In retrospect I realize now that the frustrations were caused more because of my ideas of what ‘should’ be. Kids should eat healthy, home cooked elaborate meals with greens and as many other colours as possible. They should drink at least three glasses of milk – preferably unsweetened. Kids should not watch TV while they ate. They should stay away from mud and dirt and germs that lurk everywhere ready to grab them.The list was endless and it made my ‘new-mommy’ life difficult.
Only if I knew then what i know now – That kids are strong and buoyant. That as long as they get kindness , small doses of spirituality and a lot of unconditional love they will thrive. That regardless of the hundreds of psychological theories that talk about thousands of ways parents screw up their kids lives forever, in reality there is not much that we can do wrong. As long as we understand them and care for them and let them be, they will be fine.
I am glad I have learned my lesson now. I realize with gratitude that nine is still not ‘too old’. That there are many days even now when he throws his still chubby arms around me and sleeps blissfully using my arm as a makeshift pillow. On days like these, no matter how much my arm hurts I never pull it away. Because I am old now and I have gained some mommy wisdom and I know that soon this too will pass. And before it does, before it becomes another of those long list of ‘happy memories’ I want to hold on to it, live it and savour it.
A mom of two, Sapna is a business woman, an avid book lover, a stand-in decorator for her restaurants, a movie buff, a social worker by training and a ‘change maker’ by choice. A dreamer like her name suggests, she says she is dangerously sentimental and an idealist at heart. Married to her childhood sweetheart, she lives in a small city in Rajasthan with her kids Maya 10 yrs. and Kabir 9 yrs. She started blogging a couple of years ago and uses her blog Just Another Wake Up Call to make new friends and connect with people.