A couple of weeks ago, we entered the formidable age of five. That’s right. F-I-V-E. Five is a big number. I don’t know how much of a milestone it is for me. But for my kids, it has been a landmark number like no other. They’ve been waiting for this age of five for a long time now.
Amma.. When I turn five, can I watch the television for longer durations? Amma.. When I turn five, will I get taller instantly? Amma.. When I turn five, will I be allowed to go on a rocket to space? Amma.. When I turn five, can I go to the park alone? Questions.. Questions.. Questions.. Doable or not, these questions somehow signify that the kids are dying to get independent. ‘I am five. And, I am a big boy/girl!’ is a phrase I keep hearing every few minutes at home.
True to their independence spirit, the kids are trying hard day in and day out to do things by themselves. They are brushing the teeth themselves. They wear their own clothes. They’ve learnt to put on their socks and shoes by themselves. They eat on their own, most of the time. They try to keep themselves occupied with their pretend plays and board games. Yes… They do come to me every ten minutes for refereeing but I think even the ten minutes is a big achievement. That is a besotted mom talking!
But recently, the biggest chore they’ve taken away from me is the bathing ritual. My job, right now, is to just stand and stare at them from outside the bathroom. And, if by chance, I happen to step in and offer a glimpse of myself, I am immediately ushered out with due honours! I have finally bargained to have one day a week of scrubbing them well and making them look good without the germs that they accumulate during the week. Well yes.. It has finally come to this. Sigh.
Am I happy that the kids are growing up and taking over those chores that I once used to consider mine? Hell, yes. It saves so much energy from my end. As they grow independent, I am a happy and a proud mother. But, also somewhere in the bottom of the heart, I also feel a tinge of sadness that the tiny beings that I once held in my arms wrapped in white shawls are growing into big human beings capable of doing all things on their own. Although, I keep telling myself that the kids are not our own but gifts given by mother nature and for whom, we are no more than guardians, the mother in me takes over and protests over the children growing up.
This motherhood is such a contradictory experience. It refuses to accept living in the present. When they depended on me for everything, I used to count days when they’d be on their own. And, now when the kids are growing up and doing things on their own, the heart longs for their touch and the daily time spent with them doing the mundane chores. Hah.. Such is the weird ways of a mother’s mind!
Indu is a dreamer by nature; a (former) chartered accountant by profession; and a writer by passion. Her life right now, revolves around her four year old twin boy and girl. The two naughty siblings love to play their pranks on her every day, making her both smile and wince at once. She loves to leave a trail of her life at her blog.