Another year has whizzed past and here we are to live through those beautiful moments in retrospect. You have graduated from Kindergarten and entered into first grade this year. First grade was not so much fun in comparison. You have weekly assessments, quarterly report cards distribution, math group, reading group, social studies, science, book reports, spelling tests et all. We went through initial hiccups and took a while to understand what “honor roll” means. Just for a short while and then you kick started with rocket speed and ever since you have been a consistent “first honor” roll candidate. All we insisted was to review your answers as you were prone to making silly mistakes like writing 6 as 9, 31 as 13. Its not that you didn’t know the answer it was only the silly mistakes that lowered your grade. We were discussing the mistakes in answer sheets every time. The repeated discussions in a cool way made you realize the importance of reviews. I now smile at those erasing marks in your sheet where you have corrected the answers upon review. I am glad that you were ready to discuss and corrected your mistakes da.
You have got the “Most caring friend” award for the second time in a row. Your teacher consistently says “You are very social and ready to help anyone in need”. I have seen you opting to clean the classroom with your after care teacher when other kids line up to step out of the class. I have seen you consoling your friend and talking to others to get into terms and include her in the game. I have seen you holding the hands of the pre-K girl when she needed assistance. In the evenings, for that matter every evening I stand at the corner and watch you for few minutes before one of your friend sees me and screams your name for pick-up. I love those moments and that’s when I have witnessed these beautiful incidents da pattumma.
We love your honesty and even made fun of it at times. When Appa said “If you go early to school you can play in the computer that you got to play the previous day” pat came the reply “My turn is over Appa. Even if I go early and get the computer today I will give it to someone else who didn’t get their turn yet. It wouldn’t be fair for me to play on it all the time”. ”Fair enough” is your way. You never ever demand for anything that is unrealistic.
I love the way Appa narrates your morning drop-off. You guys are late by one or two minutes to school on most days and Appa says when you enter the class you don’t have to even lift your finger. One comes to remove your jacket, another takes your book bag to your desk, another comes to hug you tight, another comes to take your lunch bag to the designated cabin, another comes to hug the one that is already hugging you and you will be standing there indulged. I call him most days from my work to hear this story and ask him if you have said anything on the way to school. My standard question to him every day is “Did pappa tell anything today?” oh that’s how we still call you ”pappa” or “pattu”. when I ask “who is the pappa of this family?” you reply with a proud face as “me me me”…
You braved the scariest “Scarlet fever” this year. You had tiny bumps all over body and head that turned into dry scales and took almost four weeks to go away. I was overwhelmed when you reminded me about the antibiotic that I forgot to give you on time though you hated the taste to the core. You knew the importance of medicine and hated those dry scales every time you saw yourself in mirror didn’t you?
We don’t have harsh NO NO or howling at home. If you need anything at anytime you would ask and we would either say yes or later. The later has to be definite though with valid reasoning. If its a No that’s also explained in a politer way. In most cases, you understand and reply with a sweet “okay Amma”. I have tried hard, very hard to instill the thought in you that “If Amma/Appa says No or later there will be a valid reason behind it” and kind of succeeded in my attempt. I repeat, you never demand for anything unrealistic. You are NOT a “I want right now” kid. Your thinking ability is manifolding every single day that enables you work out the logistics before you reach out to us.
When I ask you to do something you response will always always be “I will do but under one condition”. The condition at some cases will be strong enough for me to just cancel my request. You are clever. You balance us very well that is cleaning up the house with me and messing up with Appa the very next minute. You will never ask me to carry you or ask Appa to read a book to you. Sometimes I feel that you know us better than we know you.
You are very particular about your TV time. If we reach home by 6:02 and you start watching TV from 6:05 then you HAVE to watch the first 5 minutes of the next show at 6:30 as you have missed the 5 minutes in 6pm show. Even missing a minute of the allocated TV time means missing the world to you. TV takes the credit of testing your honesty at times.
It is still a struggle to make you change your dress and wash your face before switching on the TV in the evening. You still use the “Cheerios” fluoride tooth paste. You now brush by yourself twice a day but have not owned bum cleaning yet. You have promised to wet hands on this task once you turn seven. When I reminded about this promise you replied in a very clear throat “I said I will start learning when I turn seven. I didn’t say I will do it by myself. There is a difference Amma”. Did I mention I love it when you stress that “Amma” at the end of a sentence to show your frustration
You sport a dimple in your chin like Appa but most people say you resemble me. When your classmate’s mom asked me “Are you Adi’s mom?” and said she figured it out with our face resemblance I couldn’t help myself from flying high.
You come home with a bad throat on some days just because you had to yell along with the teacher to control the kids especially at your dance class with the music playing loud.
You sing the swaram’s learnt from carnatic class to soothe me. When I am not in good mood you will either clean the house or sing a swaram for me. They are my mood lifter. You gave your debut performance this year at a community center and did amazing well.
You can now read simple words in Tamil. You can identify most of the Tamil alphabets I mean the uyirmei ones.
You developed fear with water this year but we worked with your favorite private instructor “Tommy” and he made it all easy for you. You are now doing very good at free style and backstroke swimming but still not comfortable with diving in deep water.
Your current favorite books are Magic tree house and Cam Jansen series.
Last summer Appa taught you to ride cycle. It was just a matter of few hours for you when we were thinking in terms of weeks.
You are turning out to be a great artist and as a bonus we have themed this year birthday party based on arts and crafts. This year you are going to have a grand party as per our standards.
You HATE littering. You help me with recycling at home. You know our paper and plastic bins better than Appa.
You love babies. Period. You go Awwww on seeing their tiny hands/toes and pass comments like “she is sooo cutteeee…”. You get too excited when they hold your finger tight. You can stay and play with them forever and ever and ever.
We had one of our best vacation last summer at Disney world and enjoyed every bit of it. Now, you are
demanding requesting for a similar vacation this summer which is doubtful.
I have so much more to say da pattumma but I will take leave with this classic that showcased the kid in you my
pretending-to-be matured young lady.
I was next to you, you were talking to Appa over phone in speaker and said “Appa I want to ask you something but I don’t want Amma to hear it. Its a surprise to her. I will turn off the speaker so she can’t hear okay? and you continued to whisper sitting right next to me assuming I am not hearing you as the speaker is turned off.. Its all about the surprise for Mother’s day that’s clashing with your birthday this year.
May you be blessed with the best in everything da pattumma. Amma and Appa will always be at your service.
Love you always,