Rain clouds have emptied themselves, returning the sky to a washed, bright blue hue. Dragonflies fill the air and the unmissable saffron of genda (marigold) flowers sitting in wicker baskets on roadside stalls beckon the most-awaited festival of autumn - Diwali.
As the moon wanes into amavasya in the night sky preparing for the luminous festival, the memory of my childhood Diwalis come to mind. As a little girl, after I’d bathed and dressed for the festivity, the first scene in the morning that welcomed me every year when I entered the kitchen was my father in his crisp, white kurta pyjama squatting in front of an old kerosene stove.
As bed time nears we have a negotiation ritual each day.
‘Mama can we please have one story today?'
And as I am a little strict about A sticking to her bed time each night, some days I have to decline. She is getting better at her negotiation skills though. Last night she said, “You know, right? I will not always ask you to read me a story and I will not always need a torch light, I will grow up some day”
With THAT dialogue and some drama not only did she manage one, but two stories from me!
When I look back now, I realise I have actually learnt a lot from her in the last five years. Today being Children’s day, it just seems like the perfect opportunity to thank her for this gift of motherhood and a lot more.
So here's a letter to you dearest A,
Thank you for all the little things you have made me relearn over the last few years!
- To wake up with a smile- Right from the way you wake up each morning with a big smile on your face and so much cheer, and no agenda really:), makes me realise we must slow down and enjoy each day as it comes. Smile and spread the cheer. Each day is a new day and we need to start afresh without carrying any baggage from the day that went by!
- To value the small things in life - The way you tell me your endless tales each night right before sleeping - makes me realise the little little things that are so important for you. You make me want to pay attention to all the small things and the little conversations I have around me.
- A lot of patience, A LOT! - Well, your endless conversations that happen at your sweet (read: very slow) pace have made me very patient too!
- The ability to laugh unfettered - Laughing at the silliest of things and being unfettered and not just be able to do this after downing 3 glasses of wine! :P. Laugh as though no one's watching you :)
- Being kind - The other day when I came back home, this little one left a note on the fridge for her nanny saying that she missed her and was glad she is back from her leave. She also said I love you didi. Made me realise how important it was to express how you feel towards other people. We rarely get the time to tell others how we feel these days! Leave aside just expressing how much you love them. I hope you never stop saying goodbye to me each morning with a small kiss and that sweet I love you mama! That truly makes my day.
- To be happy, joyful and excited about every thing you do. Even a mundane task like cleaning up or laying the table is done with much enthusiasm. You make me see the joy in doing the most mundane tasks.
- Learning to express my feelings. How you feel about things around you, about things you felt bad, about things you enjoyed each day. About the laughter you shared with your friends or the joy you had in playing a prank! Being able to express what you are feeling and voice it out is something I have learnt from you!
- To be inquisitive. The whys can be annoying at times, am sure all moms will agree. But it’s amazing how you will always ask me things you don’t know and not be ashamed of how silly the question might be!
- To go that extra mile for my friends. Childhood and friendships are precious. I think as we grow we become these humans who are so absorbed in their life between work, home and kid. Thanks to you, I would have reconnected with a couple of my older friends and may be made that effort to pick up the phone and make that pending conversation.
- Letting go! This one I still need to master :). I think with the ease I ask you to let go of that Elsa doll at the toy shop or the little pony, I too should train my self to let go that one dress I really want :D
Well, the list will go on! But here’s a small wish for you on this special day, I hope your life turns out to be such, that each day you get to do something that makes your heart sing!