Happy 10th

Dear Adi,

Two digits? already? You are growing way too fast for me to get adjust to it. I don’t know if I should continue with birthday letters in coming years as all the mushy part of our relationship has vanished in thin air. If at all I write, it will be more like a report or in complaining mode rather than a heartwarming letter that I dream to read with you someday. I don’t blame you pappa. Its your age.

If you are asked to choose the most annoying person in this earth, you would point at me with no second thought. Such is our relationship now. I try my best to fix it but I keep failing miserably only to hear those golden words from you. An attempt to help you remember those golden words in case you forget them while reading this letter. “meany mommy”, “worst mommy ever”, “why should you be my mother”, “it is your fault”, “selfish mommy”, “I have an Amma who doesn’t care about her kids”. I am not mature enough to shrug off and move on even though the mind knows it is a shallow comment. It pains as if someone is pinching my heart. My two cents in corporate terms. Motherhood is the toughest job that makes one continuously strive for exceed expectation even after receiving the worst rating.

What should I do when you are not ready by 8:35 am so that I can drop you at school and then dial-in on time to my call at 9 am? To top that, on days when you are at your best, you get ready at snail’s pace just to make me late for my call. That is how you show it back to me. I end up apologizing at my work on most days for being late to the call. It is very tough for me pappa. Will you understand this any day?

This is just a sample of what is happening between us. You get annoyed with anything I try to say. I choose to stay quiet on some occasions but at some other occasions I feel it is my responsibility as a mother to correct your actions no matter what you think of me. It is okay if we are not friends anymore but I don’t want you to lose basic values of life. I know you will not lose the values as they have been built very strongly within you but still the mother in me gets into the panic mode. It is as simple as taking your plate to the sink after eating, putting your used clothes in dirty hamper and keeping things in its appropriate place. Is it too much to ask? You don’t like to do it at all and I had to force you to do it every single time. Changing your clothes and brushing your teeth before bedtime is another big task for you. All these might sound trivial but these are the things that makes our daily routine miserable.

I will repeat the same to you again and again. Please learn to appreciate good things around you especially what your family does for you and think for a minute before you point finger at others. will you? These days it sounds so natural for you to blame it on Amma. Your shoe is missing? Its Amma. You are late to school. Its Amma. You didn’t finish your assignment. Its Amma. LHB takes your stuff lying on the floor. Its Amma. Amma is turning to be your punching bag. I am trying to accept it. Trying…

You are happy with Appa as he doesn’t ask you to do any of this stuff. I mean, first he has to follow it right? Let alone telling you. I am literally tired of cleaning up after you guys. I have better jobs to do and wish you guys can respect my time. I feel like an alien in this family and sometimes you guys make me believe that I suffer from severe OCD. Is keeping our home neat and clean unnecessary? I rest my case!

Now, this is enough. Your birthday letter is turning to be my rant. I am sorry for this. But, I thought you should know about all this some day.

To the outside world, you are the best child ever. You are very social and nice to others. I don’t know if this is good or bad. Sometimes I feel good when people praise you but sometimes I wonder why you are so moody to me. Its partly on me too. I aka the punching bag should learn to take it easy and let go as you forget them soon too.

Your sarcasm amazes me. It hits me hard to realize that you are not little anymore. Unfortunately, your mother is not very good at understanding sarcasms. It takes me few minutes to even realize that it is one.

You have moved to a new school at new neighborhood this year and doing great. You got selected for advance learning program with zilch preparation and always like to be in good books of your teachers. You track all your school works by yourself and all I do is only to sign your report card and help you with projects occasionally. I am still pinching myself to believe that you will be stepping into middle school this year.

Boys are big no no and I am glad you have shared some of your friend’s crushes secrets with me. Boys are lazy and dumb in your opinion. Eewwww would be your response if I ask you anything about your “boy” classmate.

You still don’t like pattu class but we are continuing in the hope that you might like it someday. You love art class. You are very proud of the landscape art you did recently. It took you more than 8 classes to complete this piece of work. How could I not frame it? It has now added more beauty to our living room.

lanscape-with-frame

You behaved like a charm when your little brother was seriously ill this year. No doubt, you are an adorable big sister as long as he doesn’t step on your toes. This fella, as a blessing of growing up, plays his part to the best to annoy you sometimes.

You have minor health issues that can be addressed with changing your life style slightly. Better eating habit and more physical activity is what you need. With summer around the corner, I am convinced that you will get more physical work in coming months.

Our gift to you this year is a bike and you have re-learned to ride it in two days after five years hiatus. Now, you can join your peers and ride around our community during weekends and evenings.

As it has become a tradition now, Amma will arrange for a treasure hunt on your special day and have planned a surprise for you. Will do a separate post about the party and surprise. I also did a surprise sign up at your school to display your name on the electronic board in front of your school. Apparently, your friend saw the sign board and broke the surprise to you before we could.

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I truly believe that you have a beautiful heart and all these are just temporary and age appropriate behaviors.

Happy happy birthday pappa!!! That is how we call you at home. No matter how old you get, you will always be our pappa. I am blessed to have you as my daughter. There are some random moments in our everyday life when I pause and secretly admire you my darling. You have grown so much!

Indha maanae, thenae, ponmaanae ellam inimael only in letter (sweetheart, darling, cutie pie name calling is all only in letter). You don’t allow me to even hold your hand in public and keep a distance while we walk together. Where did that little girl vanish who run towards me and hug me tight when I pick her up from school? I know I will get that hug back someday.

Wishing you a healthy and happy year ahead pappa!

Love,
Amma

P.S: An update to all my readers. LHB is doing good now and staying at home with Amma. Thank you all once again for all your prayers.

LHB

LHB has come home yesterday. He is back to his baseline and doing good. However, needs close monitoring for another six months. He has periodic follow-ups in coming months. Otherwise all of us are fine. Last evening made me realize how blessed it is to spend time with all family members at home. Adi has been the wonderful sister as always through this testing time. Thank you all again for your prayers.

LHB

LHB is recovering as expected by the doctors and has been transferred to a rehab hospital for different kind of therapies. We might stay here for few weeks until he gets back to his baseline. Also, in another one week repeat MRI and follow-up with neurologist has been scheduled. He needs close monitoring for at least six months. I believe that it is the power of all our prayers that has brought him back to us. Just the thought of what he has gone through in this one month makes me speechless and numb. A simple thank you will not do justice still Thank you all for your prayers. Recovery is a slow process but I sincerely hope he will come out of this clean and it doesn’t relapse. My respect for the medical field, doctors and nurses has taken a new grand level.

Thank you all again for your prayers.

LHB

Thank you all for your prayers and support. He has been extubated today and is slowly moving his hands, legs and eyes. EEG monitoring for brain waves looks ok so far and doctors want to give him few more days to see if he gets back to his own self. As he has been on high dosage of multiple medicines they want to give him sometime to wean them off. He is still in ICU but hoping that he will move out of it in few days as his condition improves. Amma has reached yesterday to help us through this testing time.

I express my heartfelt gratitude for all your prayers. Please continue to keep him in your prayers. Thanks again.

LHB

LHB is terribly ill. He got seizures last weekend and admitted in hospital. He has been diagnosed with ADEM lesions in brain. First set of treatment of steroids did not work and now he is in ICU put on ventilation to sleep and rest his brain for 48 hours.

Please don’t ask me anything else as I myself don’t know what is next and also don’t have the strength. Doctors said one day at a time. Please please keep him in your prayers and send in positive vibes to him. The intention of this post is to get him as much as prayers as possible. Hoping the collective prayer to be answered. Thanks.

Happy 2nd

Dear LHB,

Where do I start? I am totally blank da. I can’t believe that you have been with us for past two years. You have changed all our life and transformed each one of us for good. We are not the same as we used to be before you came into our life. Your Akka will steal this post if I start to talk about her love for you but I can’t talk anything about you without her. Such is her influence on you! You want to follow her and repeat whatever she does. You want me to do it to you, whatever I do to her. Be it oiling her hair, checking her belly button. You will come next to me with your shirt rolled up for belly button check. Its a happy moment the three of us share every other day followed by laughter.

You have started full time daycare soon after turning one as we didn’t have the luxury to hold back Ammachi any longer. Appa was dropping and picking you up from the daycare so you would always run to him as you were so used to running to him every evening. When you were just getting comfortable with the daycare we shifted home. Yes, call us cruel parents. You continued to travel two hours round trip to the same daycare as India trip was around the corner and I didn’t want you to go through too many changes.

You went to India on three weeks trip with Appa. Gasp! You celebrated Diwali with kith and kin back home and had a whale of time enjoying the attention from both set of grandparents. We could see your happiness through Skype. Once back from India, you have started a new daycare near our new home. This time, I was mostly doing the drop/pick-up job and you slowly started running towards me. That meant so much to me and I started to look forward to those moments.

You have never been a demanding baby. You go very easily with the flow. We don’t do anything special for you, yet you take most of our time. The Florida road trip proved how well you adapt to situation. We never thought even in our wildest dreams that a JetSki could be your best cradle. You dozed off within minutes after boarding the JetSki and gave very hard time to Appa.

It is very easy to make you laugh and pacify you. All you need is a tight hug. You are very good at complaining. You go near the other person in vicinity, pull her/his shirt and point at the person bothering you with your index finger. We pretend to support you and questioning the other person.  The pride is your face at that precise moment is worth a million da!

You talk a lot but just that we are not able to understand any of them yet except your “noo nii”. You use it when you are upset and your teacher helped us to realize that it means “Not nice”. Then, you say Hi, Bye, My (especially when Akka tries to snatch stuff from you). Words like Amma, Appa and Akka are still waiting for your attention!

Though you are not clearly pronouncing words, you are very clear with gestures. You can point head, nose, eyes, hand, diaper. Give Hi-Fi and you kiss generously and give a big bear hug when asked for!

Whenever you see me opening cupboard in the Kitchen, you will come running to me for your share of Bournvita. You patiently wait fiddling with your fingers until I take the bottle out, open it and take a spoonful out and feed you.

You are still a total daddy’s boy. Your favorite pastime is to wet Appa’s face. Ewwww would be Akka and my reaction and run away as soon as we can.  You spend most of your evenings with Appa at upstairs bedroom when Akka and I are occupied with our chores downstairs. By the time, we come upstairs you will be in your snoozeland. This routine makes it very slow to build our relationship. What rush? Slow and steady. We will be there someday da!

You eat if you like it and feel like eating it. No one can force you. Period. Amma has learned to accept this fact. I am yet to find out your favorite food as you are a man of moods. The dish that you will polish off within minutes will not even be touched the other time. You eat better when I feed you and Akka from same plate and you will be very clear and specific on whose turn it is and do a mock cry when I try to feed Akka two times in a row.

You have been on two courses of antibiotics within two months this year. It was to treat ear infection. I hope you don’t get it anymore. It is very hard to see you all curled up, the otherwise bubbly boy.

Your favorite time is to watch youtube videos by lying down on the bed with hands behind your head on either side and legs crossed. Appa claims that is his relaxing posture. This is how we engage you when something else cries for our attention. I know, not the best way to engage you!

I want to repeat this on all your birthday letters. Don’t even think about hurting your Akka for fun. She loves you above and beyond! She is the sole reason behind us buying last minute ready to bake cake mix and make goodie bags for your class friends. She has been nagging me for past one month about the plans. She has single handedly packed the goodie bags last evening and its all ready to go. She forced me to bake the cake on 3rd evening itself as she didn’t have much homework on that day. So, we baked zebra cake and then decided to cut it on 3rd night itself with both set of grandparents online on Skype as technically it was 4th morning at India. You will take choco chip mini muffins, orange juice and goodie bags to school.

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Here is a song she composed specially for you when you were born. She hates when I sing along and says this is a special song only to be sung by her for you!

 
Lyrics goes like this “I love you, yes I do, who do I love more than you? Nobodyyy!!!” She means it da!

Wishing you a healthy and happy year ahead! You are a lovely boy. Stay the same always kanna.

Love,
Amma

P.S: For new readers benefit, LHB stands for Little Honey Bun. Adi came up with this name for her brother.

 

Those few minutes

As I was about to board the train yesterday evening, a man was trying to step out and he passed out. Half of his body was inside the train car and half on the station platform. All around were panicked and frozen. Two gentlemen helped to pull him out to the platform and one of them went ahead to check his pulse. This gentleman quickly stuffed all his things into his backpack, knelled down on the platform to go face to face with the man and tried to check his basic reflex. By that time, the train authorities came by and took over the situation. The gentleman informed the authorities that he is breathing. He then boarded the train and the train moved so was our life. I wanted to appreciate his kind act but couldn’t with my own inhibitions. People around appreciated him and he shrugged his shoulder with “I didn’t do anything”.. Hope the man has been taken care and is safe now. God bless this gentleman! I will never forget his face. The funny part is the man had “fall risk” band on his wrist. Obviously, but that was noticed only after he fell. The gentleman was expecting to see his name on the band and instead saw “fall risk”.

Those few minutes made me question everything about life. What will happen if I get a call all of a sudden about my loved one’s life being at risk? What is the point in holding on to our ego so tight, fighting for trivial things and getting worried about things that we don’t have control on?  I fantasized about an ego free, status free, rat race free, s**t free world for few minutes. Then, I realized there is indeed a world like that.

Did you guess it already?

What if it is virtual? Got it now? I am talking about the world you and me are part of.

That is the blog world where we have the liberty to share our opinions, connect with like minded people, stand for each other through tough times, encourage each other with our kind words with no ego, no status or no rat race or no comparison. We all have our own little world in the name of blog and respect each other’s space genuinely. There is no reason to mock. And I feel it is this unadulterated happy feeling that is bringing us all together beginning of every year for the blogathon no matter how crazy our life is.

Simply put, I make resolutions every year. I want to bring in fitness in my daily routine, I want to nurture my hobby but failing at all of them miserably for years where as I readily jump into the idea of blogathon with no second thought and even complete it not giving up. I create time for blogathon which I am not able to do for my other long pending list. That explains It all. Simple.

I am glad to be associated with blogathon for past three years. I feel very happy and proud today.

Long live blogathon!! Long live our connections!! See you all next year :)

Seema – big big thanks to you for facilitating the blogathon this year!!