We have valentines’s day, Mother’s day, Father’s day, Teacher’s day, Children’s day, Friendship day, its more of things to buy, gift and spend. Its more commercial than real. 365 days, there is something to splurge on. Does it mean the rest of the year, they all don’t exist?
I was born to very well to do parents, whose best friend couple, who were childless, became my foster parents. I grew up like a princess without a care in the world. Didn’t understand the concept of money. I still don’t do. I was literally spoon fed, and wouldn’t lift my finger for anything.
Marriage and responsibilities changed all that. Overnight I was cooking for the family, and every tom,dick and harry who came and went. My needs were not important. I came last in the priority. Made me wonder, which was real. It looked normal for all to see, except to myself. Dignity stopped me from complaining. Life became a classroom. With so many servants around, I never knew, which clothes were washed at home, and which went to laundry. Now this was my HOME. I had to make a plan, organize, execute, make a system that worked, without waste. The understanding that money didn’t grow on trees, but exhausted by month end. There was a budget to plan…
Amidst all the learning process, and a new life, Surprisingly I did adapt well, and today, from refrigerator organising to interiors, people ape my model. I learnt to differentiate between, wants and needs, spend and save, gifting myself and indulging, and charted my life on the principles and values i imbibed, from my parents and built a system, based on everyday learning process.
I strongly believe housekeeping is an art, science and commerce–all in one. Life gave me new experiences, new relationships that hurt, that nourished, friendships were formed, and made me understand, real solid friends, come past teenage. Life was meandering into a routine, when I discovered I was pregnant with my first child.
The scans and the hearbeats, during routine check-ups, revealed the bond, which was created by two people, to bring forth a new life, to this world. Scan at the fourth month, showed a clear picture, and when my Doctor asked, me,”can you see? How does she look? “. I said, like a COMPASS. The face so round, as though drawn with a COMPASS. I named my baby, COMPASS. and everyday after that, i spoke to her, and sang to her. Perhaps why she hates to chatter now, and loves music.
My husband, wanted to take care of me and the new born, and refused to send me to my maternal home to deliver, as was the norm those days. He was such a natural father, attending on and washing the nappies, to putting her to bed, shared in every aspect of fatherhood. She was and still is his pride and joy. I specialised in child massage and medicine doing my naturopathy.. So, all minor ailments I used my own medicines. Only went to Doctors for vaccination.
Taking a clue from my grandmother, I was firm without being strict. I thought her to negotiate between her desires, and choose the one, which she can’t do without. She could never waste, toys, or books. And when she wanted a cycle at the age of 5, she was made to wash the bathroom, everyday, and accumulate stars, 5 stars per wash, She had to get 100 stars. By the time she got 60, my father and my mother, protested, enough is enough and got her the cycle.
Though she was our only child, we made sure she learned to share and care about other kids, and understand, she is privileged to have a good life, while many others are without, shelter, food or education. Her father would give her all that he could, and all that he never got as a kid. He indulged her and spoilt, while, i pulled strings at one end, to keep the balance.
I for many years had brought her up all alone, as he travels quite a lot. Like any other parent, I was bent on sending her for every class that i went to. She had to join for, classical music, instrumental music, dance, ballet, languages, drawing, stiching and the like. And when she failed in all of it, I spent the nights crying, about having got a child which was so unlike me.
One fine day, she told me,” Maa, i want to enter into sports”. Sports and i were like chalk and cheese. But reluctantly I did agree. And, and, and… the medals and cups overflowed. She got medals and won prizes for everything from, squash, to swimming, bowling at national levels, to playing tennis at IATA level. A born swimmer, who learnt all by herself without formal coaching, made me so proud, and opened a area of my brain dormant until then—I understood the two sides to a human brain only then. I was immersed in singular thinking pattern, that girls did knitting and music. Also, that as parents we force our kids to do what we want, without knowing what they want and can do better if they chose it.
The next 3 years, i worked day and night doing my research and came up with a unique workshops module for kids, giving parents the insight into their own broods, what to expect? how to train? when to give in and when to control? MY DAUGHTER BECAME MY TEACHER. The more i listened, the more i understood, the dogmatic approach of every parent–I AM ALWAYS RIGHT. I allowed her to make her own choices, take decisions, and stood by, when she refused to do engineering, just because its the norm. Refused medicine as well, and opted for PHYCHOLOGY— inspired waching my therapies and the same workshops, she inspired me to achieve.
I as a parent have gone through, trauma whenever she had been sick, worried about her future, fights to get through teenage, stood by her like a rock, accepting her victories and defeat, with the same mental state, watching her decisions, how well planned she is, compared to her impulsive parents, her temperament and attitude in dealing with life, accepting what comes in life, as a higher power’s decision, spiritual without being religious, I grew up to respect and admire her. She has her flaws, that she can procrastinates everything in life, irritates us as parents, more so her father, who can finish tomorrow’s work today. Though she admires his ambition and the way he has risen to the top, she often argues with me saying, “Maa, there is no need to rush. We will end up losing the intricacies of life and fail to enjoy the simple pleasures that come along”. Her courage and the way she puts family first before anyone, is awe inspiring. She has friends all over the globe, a person liked by one and all, they like her because she accepts people the way they are. She refrains from judging anyone and strongly condemns anyone who does. She keeps us, Her parents grounded, giving her opinion boldly, without disrespect. She has remained free of habits, and affairs, something kids these get into like a karate class. Studious she is not, learning has to be a process, Not a chore for her.
Its been a roller coaster life for me, learning parenting, and the troubles and joys that come with it. Today when people model their kids on her, or appreciate her for being the mother I am, I truly understand, no matter what we all earn and accumulate in life. Power, status or position, every WOMAN IS INCOMPLETE WITHOUT BECOMING A MOTHER.
Today is my daughter’s birthday and I celebrate today as MOTHER’S DAY. Life comes with relationships since the moment we are born. But one relationship beyond a parallel is becoming a MOTHER. No other treasure or gift can give that joy.
Today on your birthday, I bow to you, for teaching me, to be patient, to accept things that come along, to have the right expectations, not to JUDGE anyone, and to love unconditionally.
PLEASE FORGIVE ME, IF I HAVE HURT YOU, OR PUT YOU DOWN ANYTIME. IT WAS THOUGHT OF FOR YOUR GOOD ONLY—
I LOVE YOU COMPASS PAPA. THANKS FOR MAKING ME A MOTHER AND CALLING ME…