It’s a milestone! A double digit age! Can you visualize Amma with both her hands on her cheeks, mouth agape and her jaws dropping? Yup, that’s what happens every time the fact hits me.
Where did all the time go, da?
Much as it may sound cliched, it does seem like yesterday when I had gone for a regular check up, with you safely cocooned inside me, and Dr. Rakhi told me that I was ready to bring you out to this world. Rather you were ready to come out, though you didn’t give me any signs aside the casual pokes and kicks. Was I nervous? Was I in pain? Well I can’t really remember being in pain or any discomfort for long. You were a wonderful baby, you didn’t give me any trouble all the while I was pushing you to come out. In fact I was prancing around the hospital ward all happy and gay, chatting with your Ammamma who was by my side all through. Your Ammamma was more tensed than I was. Mothers I tell you!
And then just like that, in a few hours you were placed in my arms.
I didn’t even know what to expect at that point. It took us sometime to sink in that the moment we had been praying for, waiting for, was finally here. Although your Papa & I knew much in advance that we were going to be blessed with a daughter, we didn’t know what else was to come. We weren’t even sure if we were holding you right!
We were as new to the world of parenthood as you were to babyhood. When you discovered the perfect nook to sleep by snuggling in to our necks, we discovered the immeasurable joy of just watching you. You learned your ways around your world while we learned to guide you. You learned to talk, we learned to read you. You learned to walk, we learned to chase. You learned to eat ( fussily at that) and we learned to savor your leftovers…and gain some pounds too in the process! And the stage of fussy-eating and savoring-your-leftover still continues😉
We learned to get used to being called Amma..Papa while you learned to get used to not only Namnam but all kinds of pet names that we could think of. We learned all the baby talks and cuddles that we could possibly shower on you, you learned to decipher them and respond to our crazy lingo with your dialect!
And now. Just like that. You’ve turned 10.
You’re not a minikin anymore. You’re not that one year old who had screamed her lungs out when she heard those thunderous claps of so many people known and unknown, coming at her as her first birthday cake was being cut!
You are a young girl now on the threshold of what they call “preadolescence”. I didn’t even know that a word like this existed until recently. As if adolescence wasn’t scary enough a term. Now there’s preadolescence or preteen or tween to get us parents to hyperventilate even more!
Much as I am glad that you are well over that phase of stranger anxiety, much as I am glad to see you shaping up stronger, much surer of yourself and your surroundings, much as I am looking forward to knowing how much of a fine person you will grow up to be, I can’t help wishing there was a way to hold on to the time dashing past. Then and now alike.
You’re growing up so fast!
So fast that I sometimes tend to refuse to let you grow out of my fold. Papa always tells me that I shouldn’t be mollycoddling you so much. You are old enough to be treated in a more mature manner. While I am still grappling with the speed at which you are growing, I do realize that he is right.
You are blossoming into a wonderfully accommodating, practical, sensible girl with a terrific sense of humour. An avid reader. An ardent watcher of YouTube shows, so much so that you are turning into a potential insomniac. Psst…the insomniac bit is not said in a very celebratory tone, note that ok!
You’re a bundle of energy, always ready with questions and opinions bursting through your curious mind. I look forward to our dinner sessions because that’s also the time when the three of us converse on a range of things. It’s a different matter though that while Papa and I eat AND converse, you…you only converse. And you know what I find most amazing? That you think of the most interesting, relevant questions to ask when you have a plateful of food to finish!
That said, I cherish the wonderfully interesting discussions that we have been having about Greek Gods and mythology and how they have got you to draw parallels with Indian mythology and mindsets of those times.
Oh I hold dear even those peculiar questions that find their way to our dining table. Like when you want to know how you behaved when you were in my tummy. Or if it was your finger or toe nail that did the scratching or poking from inside. Or how could we be so sure that your first word was Amma. Or why is there no such term as a person-made or human-made? Why do we refer to a creation as man-made? What if it was created by a woman?
Namnam, please don’t stop asking questions. Ever. Peculiar or not. Relevant or not. Asking questions is a beautiful way to widen your horizon. To rubbish prejudices. So ask away. Whatever you want to. Whomever you want to.
The other day you wanted to know whether people judge others solely by their looks? It was an interesting topic to broach. And I could tell where you were coming from. Why you sounded so affected. You hate, you tear up when someone calls you tiny or short to belittle your capabilities. You wonder how anyone can judge you merely by how short or tall you look without really knowing how capable you are. You are right, Namnam. They cannot judge you. They shouldn’t. But how people judge you is not in your control. They may judge you for the choices you make, for a certain way you behave, for the accent you talk in, for the way you eat, for the way you dance. What you can control is whether you choose to get affected by them. If you choose not to be affected by those shallow judgments and take pride in what you are, being confident in your own capabilities, you are proving those people wrong already.
Let me give you a piece of advice that your Ammamma used to drill into me and Raghumamu while growing up. Something that has always stayed with me.
Put your heart and soul into whatever it is that you do or wish to do or desire. Give your best and it will come your way, come what may.
Having said that, don’t ever expect for things to come your way on the very first try. You need to keep trying and pursuing. There’s a slight chance that they may not even come to you. You are not to give up on hope if that happens. Do your best. Keep trying and if need be explore other pastures. But don’t ever give up.
With that the birthday special edition of advices comes to a close. The next batch shall be offered in another week. Okay, okay..not for another month. Now go ahead and enjoy your day. Celebrate being you.
Always know that Papa & I are ever so proud of you. Ever so blessed to have you in our lives. We love you more and more with each passing moment. Always will.
Happy 10th, darling🙂