Happy 18th

Welcome to the adulthood kannamma! I am writing this letter a day late and with this I am discontinuing writing birthday letters to you. As you have moved out now, I won’t get to know everything about your life anymore, I will only know what you chose to share with me so I figure there may not be much to recollect in your future birthday letters

You have been away from us for 4 months and I see you have changed a lot in this short period. You have lost weight, almost 15 pounds, attribute it to the every day walks within campus and less snacks! And now even at home you eat very less portions and watch your junk in take which is a big pleasant surprise for me as I have seen you surviving with junk for all 3 meals while at home.

You have formed your opinions around matters, you have a point of view and your judgement around incidents and situations are interesting to observe. All I can say is don’t get too judgmental as that takes away the joy of life. Remember to laugh out loud and you don’t have to over analyze every conversation or situation. Learn to be happy from within and enjoy the journey of life. Do not lose sight of small joys in life as those are your energy sources to tap into when you feel low!

You are doing great in college, wrapped up first semester (technically second) with straight As, getting yourself known to the professors, forming your safe circle of friends (two of them were kind enough to mail you thoughtful birthday gifts), signing up for opportunities and setting yourself up for next phase. I can’t be more proud of how independent you have become in this space dear. This is a big relief to me!

You set a high bar of expectation with almost everything. Its not easy to convince you into something that you don’t like! Keep your bar lower in some cases to make it a better experience of life. You are conservative in spending which is a good sign but remember to spend for your loved ones and those who deserve. Money will come and go but relationships are to stay for life!

The role has switched seamlessly at home. Gone are the days Appa drove you and LHB for store runs. Now, you and LHB make indulging store trips once he is back from school. You love spending time with him and keep him inclusive when you want to do something fun. You call him “bestie” πŸ™‚ and the dotting little brother obeys all of Akka’s orders.

You are a well matured, thoughtful, diplomatic, structured, mannered young lady who takes calculative risks! I want to tell you that its absolutely okay to “break the rules” sometimes. “Live and let live”

I adore the way you call me as “dee” especially when you have to condition me on something..

Yesterday, I woke you up with our tradition of “Treasure hunt”, then we visited community garden to get master gardener elderly couples blessings, then a quick visit to temple, then you spent the afternoon with your friends at a park, then we drove to NYC for dinner. I wanted to do something special to welcome you into adulthood. We visited Rise NY attraction and then had dinner at Vatan, vegetarian restaurant. Food thali is unlimited and good for our taste buds. It worked well as you are a chaat lover. By the time, we returned home it was past midnight!

LHB made this card for you. You are the pride of our family kannamma. Stay happy, Stay healthy. We are your team and will always always be on your side.

Amma ❀️❀️


Akka birthday surprise

Akka is coming home tomorrow for a loooong break and I wanted to finish off the birthday surprise visit post before she comes.

Continuation from this post

I suggested Akka to come and co sleep with LHB on Friday night so he will see her when he wakes up and it will be a big surprise. She denied and said she will be up and bright before LHB wakes up and will surprise him! Isn’t it fun to deny Amma’s suggestions? Anyways, as I suspected the plan didn’t go the way we wanted it to.

LHB woke up early, got curious about why Akka’s room is locked, roamed around the home, identified Akka’s shoes near door, duly questioned about it, drank milk, ate breakfast and agreed to go to basement to play for some time. We tried our best to keep him in basement until the doting Akka woke up, refreshed and came to the family room. She wrapped herself in a blanket lying down in couch and we called out for LHB to come and unwrap the present.Β  Phewww!! Then they hugged, pounced on each other and rest of the day was overloaded with family time. We ate banana leaf lunch at a local restaurant, watched Wakanda forever at the comfort of home (cuddling inside blankets in couch after a heavy lunch) and friends family made surprise visits in the evening.

Adi and I dozed off while watching the movie and later the day Adi shared a psychological fact that “a good siesta means you feel safe about the place and people around” and that she had a very good nap that afternoon πŸ™‚ I had a good nap too cuddling her πŸ™‚

Next morning, she left to college and I duly packed freshly made tomato thokku and rotis for her to savor later. It was a short trip but a must needed for everyone in the family! I am so glad she came home.

Happy 10th

Dear Chellam,

This is how Amma call you these days! You are truly my chellam as you exactly know how to melt my heart ❀️We woke up today morning around same time, I was the first one to wish you and we scrolled through random pictures and videos from last 10 years and started the day with a hearty laugh recollecting those moments. This time, 10 years back you were ready to be taken out of my tummy! But end of the day you declared; Appa’s wish was the best as he wished you at the store right after handing over the cake to you!

I re-read your previous year birthday letters and you are still on the same track with all your traits growing slow but strong and steady. We have brought back study/activity chart system based on your demand and now you kind of have an idea about how to spend your evenings. I help you little lesser with your homework and you are semi-independent now! I measure your growth with Tamil learnings. Last year, I had to sit next to you to make you write every letter and now I still sit next to you and only guide you. If I underline a sentence, you can copy it yourself my semi-independent boy!

You don’t want to continue Tamil class and Amma’s persuasion is still working! I do a guilt trip talk in lines of
“Dude it’s your mother tongue, saying no to mother tongue is like saying no to your mother and I know you are not that kind, and you succumb.”

You did tryout for soccer travel team and didn’t get through. You are going to continue with rec soccer and try for travel in next seasons!

You signed up to play Guitar in upcoming talent show and very dedicated to this practice. This is a proof of your dedication to anything you put your heart into! You played Guitar at last year talent show as well!

Your wittiness is at its best state, you have very good sense of snapping with witty responses at the least expected time to instantly change the mood of the situation.

You miss Akka terribly and adjusting to the new life without her. She is home today just for you, and this is the best gift as you called it. It melts my heart to see the two of you bond since today morning!

You have developed a taste for Chinese food and now Appa and you get it more often. Sesame chicken and fried rice is your favorite.

You are continuing with cub scout, and it is getting competitive starting this year. You have an amazing den leader and your team secured 2nd place in Klondike competition with your den leader’s guidance.

It’s very hard to make you upset. You just go with the flow, adapt and bounce back very quick. This makes it very easy to work with you da!

You are equally understandable and annoying. If you need something, you will keep repeating it until I do and not give me space to respond.

It’s very hard for you to wait or have patience. We are working on this!

This Diwali, we both dressed up and went around the town to distribute sweets to your friends and my friends. You are my best companion da and you are still at this age to fully believe anything that Appa or I tell you. You validate yourself with us!

I can have a conversation and convince you to do something. I love our morning hugs and you are generous in your own ways!

You are my reflection da. The family always make fun of us when you display some of my not so cool traits. They go like “we wonder where he got this from”, and I brim with pride πŸ™‚ I often say in a proud tone “en inam ada nee” (rough translation – you are my blood) even if your act is mischievous!

You have learned to brush your hair with gel, and I love you for doing that. I had to help and remind you the first few days when we started this routine, and you are pro at it now!

You are still going strong with brushing teeth at the night. Now, we team up to use the mouth wash at night! It’s fun to swish swash together!

I can still keep going and will stop here. I wish you loads of happiness and good health da.

Loads of ❀️,

Happy 17th

Dear Adi,

I can’t believe that I missed to write birthday letter to you this year! Is life at such a crazy state? Well, better late than never so let me at least write a birth month letter.

You are continuing to grow as a beautiful young lady. I am super proud of your college application journey. You did it all with very little support from us right from researching to short list colleges to apply, go through application process and apply for colleges. You received few of everything rejections/waitlists/acceptances. It was very hard to see you walk around when the rejections came in one after the other but the best was saved for last. Finally, you received acceptance from your second most dream college and committed to this college after the campus visit. This is not in our league in any possible angle. The campus is not closer to home, you are not choosing a familiar career path course and the tuition is a stretch for us but this is where your heart is at this point and we decided to honor your decision as it was earned by you with your hard work and dedication. You may choose a different path later but I am confident that you will learn a lot in this journey and make wise choices as you go along!

It was a very stressful year for you dear and I must admit that you managed it pretty well. You are good at balancing life. Now that all big decisions are done and dusted, you are spending more time with your friends and having good fun times! You were sick on your birthday and your friends A & J came home, played birthday song from front yard, dropped off presents and had a little conversation with you from a distance!

As it has become a tradition now, I drove LHB to store and he bought cute little presents for you. When I tried to suggest a gift, he told me in a firm tone, “Amma, you may have spent more time with her but I know her better, just follow me and I will pick up the presents for her!”

You are independent in all ways darling, we share our own annoy each other moments but you have grown so much that I am struggling to draw my line with just offering suggestions. You will soon start to drive on your own too.

You planned and hosted an art theme birthday party with friends at local park. We just assisted you with some logistics.

I will do a separate post about the senior assassin fun game experience πŸ™‚

I can’t believe that you will be living far from us from your next birthday! As I always say, have “empathy” for people around you and try your best to take “morally right” decisions though it may not be “politically right” always!

You are the pride of our family kannamma! Stay happy, Stay healthy!

Here is one of the gift your brother bought for you πŸ™‚

Loads of love,

Happy 9th

Dear LHB,

This is your last single digit birthday da! I was just reading your 8th birthday letter and most of it holds true still!

You are a mini version of me in all aspects. What would a typical 8 year old do when they grab an ice cream? gobble it? You offer to everyone around you before you take the first bite. This is you and this is me in you! Am I proud or Am I proud?

You are learning base guitar and have a good rhythm for it. Its going slow and steady! You have learned to play twinkle twinkle little star this past year!

One day you came home with an application form to join student council. I didn’t encourage claiming you have no idea about it. But, Akka supported you, both of you filled in the application form and later that week you came home running to share the news that you have been elected for student council. I couldn’t believe it at all and was planning to talk to the teacher to make sure this is not a mistake. You take this very serious and your teachers are very proud of you. Your first grade teacher told me how proud she feels when she hears your voice announcement in speaker about student council news! Am I proud or Am I proud?

This year, you started playing video games online with your friends. You all do a group video call in iPad and play on a different device while you continuing to talk on the video call!

So in the video call, one of the guy from the group was very mean to you and I am truly amazed at the way you handled it. At times you ignored him and at times you gave it back to him. I was worried if this would affect you mental health as your other friends also listen to him when he is in the group call. But, I watched you from a distance and let you handle it. The second he joins the call, he will ask you to leave! Eventually, you stopped playing with them and started playing on your own, even made your own another small group and moved on as if nothing happened! Am I proud or Am I proud? For the records, you play Fortnite, Roblox and Rocket league.

The same gang bullied you in school bus and you promptly reported to bus driver. Now, they call you tattle taler and you care less. You just move on by doing what is right!

On the day a new season was released in Fortnite, you made plans with your friends to wake up at 4am. You told them “My Amma will not allow me to wake up so early but guys I can convince my Appa. See you all at 4am”

Another day when one of your friend asked if you can gift him a skin in Fortnite, you replied “My Amma doesn’t buy any game stuff for me. She always says kids have to ask their own parents if they want to buy any skin or game, I am sorry. My mom will not allow me to buy”.

It is true, we didn’t allow you to buy any game stuff for a long time. You were using laptop to play with friends. Very recently we bought you Xbox series S as your birthday gift. Now you get ration hours every day to play in Xbox. All your robux and skins are only earned as reward points!

You can easily make me a “bad momma” with all your random comments but I try not to succumb! We both are the best pair πŸ™‚ We push each other beyond our limits every single day!

You are an easy goer, doesn’t bother much about how people perceive you. You don’t care to impress anyone. You are not teacher’s pet. You give ample chance to others. You can be easily convinced. You make lot of trade offs. I often call you “dra” short form for “drama king” when you act up!

We cut short most of the words in our daily conversations! Some samples are “imag” for “imagine”, “quesh” for “question”, “dra” for “drama” and so on..

You have recently joined basket ball team and learning the tricks!

I spend most of my weekday evening time with you helping you with homework, make you read at bedtime and very recently we have started work out routine. You walk and do tricks in tread mill while catching up on your favorite Youtube videos. Ah, you want to be a Youtuber when you grow up and you want Akka to make tik tok videos so you can use those moves to create characters in Fortnite. You also want to be a Vet! You were asking Akka very seriously the other day “What does it take to be a Vet Akka?” You do homework just to satisfy me! Math and science are least of your interest!

Another quality time we spend together is art session. We pick a drawing of your choice from Arts for Kids hub channel and draw it together following the video instructions. So far, we have drawn Husky, Marsh mello, Kai ninja character and a Phoenix bird! I love these art sessions with you. Wish we can do this more often though!

You call me Amma few times and if I dont respond then you call me loudly with my full name (first and last name). When I ask why you do this, you respond with shrugging shoulders that only then I pay attention to you!!

You are smart in your own ways. You call iPad to find when we hide it and claim that we are fools to hide without putting it on silent mode!

You broke my heart last week by declaring that Math is your least favorite subject 😦 We take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours to complete 1 sheet of Math homework! You are not an academy strong person like Akka. I am yet to identify your true interest as right now most of your time and energy is taken away by the game monster! Whenever you throw tantrum, I claim that the “game monster” has taken over you!

You are a great friend and your close friend G’s mom adores you! She keeps praising you for the way you protect her son G!

This is you and Akka splitting the candies that you got from neighborhood trick or treat. You gave away some share to her happily πŸ™‚

This is you at Cub scout booth helping visitors to play some games.

I can keep writing πŸ™‚ We all love you to the moon and back kutty! You are our lifeline!

You have a very generous heart and stay the same is all I want to tell you. God bless you chellam!

ETA: I woke up to see this in the morning. Our favorite plant “redda” decided to wish you in his own way! He holds a bloomed flower for you after many weeks. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, he decided to bloom today! Nature’s gift to you da! Are you lucky or are you lucky?

Loads of ❀

Adi’s 16th birthday surprise

On her birthday, I took the day off to spend the time undivided with my daaru (darling daughter) who is turning 16 only once in her lifetime πŸ™‚ (too dramatic 😁 we also say it as maska chaska at home). Frequently spoken words at home these days when someone tries to be dramatic is “too much maska chaska, just get to the point!!)

For her 15th birthday, I managed to arrange for a surprise zoom call with her old neighborhood friends. Luckily I had one of her friend’s contact number and she helped to coordinate with other friends and keep me informed about the plan. I had to constantly delete her text as Adi stalks my phone at random times.

I told Adi that our family friends wants to wish her on a video call and made her join the call 5 minutes late while all her friends were waiting in the call to wish her as a group! boom she was surprised and it was a mission accomplished proud moment for me πŸ™‚

For 16th birthday (16 being a special number in this country), I decided to take it to next (vera) level. Our family friends daughter’s had school holiday so I planned to bring them home in the morning as a surprise. We had a small party at home with neighbors in the evening. My friend helped with all logistics to order food, bring it home in the evening and help to serve/cleanup. M had a minor surgery early May so my friend family’s help for this party was a great help!

I made a store run in the morning (or so Adi thought) when she was busy with online school. But actually I drove to my friend’s home, picked up the girls and brought them home. I made them come via front door, go upstairs and hide behind Adi’s bed while Adi was in the kitchen and I entered via garage to the kitchen as if nothing happened. Adi called me when we were on our way back and was unusually extending the talk while the girls had to try their best to not laugh loud. We were talking on car speaker and I was probing her about how our family friend forgot to wish her while the friend’s daughter were right next to me in the car πŸ˜„

After the girls hid behind the bed, I asked Adi if she looked at the surprise in her room. She was like “what surprise?” and ran upstairs to her room! As she entered the room, the girls popped out and shouted “happy birthdaaayyy”. She was in total shock and it was another year of “mission accomplished” proud moment for me πŸ˜€ They laughed hard for a good 10 minutes!

LHB gifted these handy items to Adi so she can take with her to college

Rest of the day the girls spent time chatting non stop and made Oreo chocolate cake. It was a failed attempt and somehow later in the day they made it presentable and Adi cut this cake in the party.

It was a last minute planned party and my sweet 3 neighborhood families agreed to come. One of the little girl gifted this poster. It seems she worked on it all day!

Mommy was super happy about the way her daaru’s special day was spent!

I will do a separate post about her party with friends!

Thank you

Thank you all for your lovely wishes. Some of you emailed and texted me and I can’t thank you all enough for taking the time to wish me.

One of my school friend randomly chatted with me after many months without knowing its my birthday πŸ™‚ My friend could have easily chatted a day before or a day after right?

My colleague cum friend donated on my behalf to “Stem from dance”. The best thoughtful gift I ever received.

LHB and I visited his friend’s home in neighborhood and wished the little boy as we share birthday.

Our friend’s family made a surprise visit in the evening with cake and gifts.

My birthday is also LHB’s half birthday so he demanded to cut one of the cake.

The family bought a cake and made me cut it at 2pm as they ate lunch before me and was badly in need of desserts. They made me cut the cake with a hungry tummy!! But I forgive them as they gave me a cool gift. Wireless headsets – much needed one in current work setup! My phone will now be freed from frequent drops struggling with wired headphones.

Amma arranged for special pooja in local temples.

My volunteering centre delivered 3000 cutlery bundles to a local soup kitchen. The first news I received in the morning. We have been working on this project for few weeks and yesterday just happened to be a delivery day which made me double happy πŸ™‚

Best of all, LHB adjusting my smile and dress before photo session πŸ™‚

Big number

4th Sep 2020 is the day I step into 40. There, I said it! The number 40 scares me though I self convince that age is just a number. I wanted to reach a goal weight and move to maintain mode before I turn 40. Did I reach that? No, but I found few ways that can work for me and keep me healthy. I am not satisfied with current weight but at the same time I don’t regret either as I am learning to accept that what is more important is the lifestyle. how do I work towards sustainable life style change? how do I stay true to myself? This has been almost 7 years of journey so it is not easy, it will take time but I am confident to stay healthy in coming years. I am learning to know my body better, I am learning to listen to my body so it is a big change. It is important to be conscious about food choices and I am trying…

Birthday has always been a big deal when I grew up. My mom celebrates her kids birthday nothing less than a prince/princess. Even during school days, she takes me to the city to buy birthday dress. That is the one day annual trip I get to do by bunking school. Amma and I leave home in the morning and take the express train to T.Nagar. The feeling of seeing your friends going to school and you going on a day trip in color dress is something greater than the birthday itself. We visit every other garment shop in T.Nagar. I remember giving a very hard time to Amma by just sticking on to white and blue. She prefers to buy colorful dress. She will pick few dresses, ask the shop keeper to keep it aside, visit next store and this continues till she visits all shop in her list. Finally, she will do a quick mental recollection of all dresses kept aside in all stores and decides on the one to buy. Honestly, I never used to like this drill but I tag along as I get to bunk school and also get to eat parotta/veg kurma in Saravana Bhavan for evening tiffin. I eat only parotta/kurma every single year though Amma try to persuade me to look at the menu card. In between the shop hopping, we eat special meals for lunch in Saravana Bhavan and Amma will also buy some goodies like ice cream/juice when I start whining about long walk. We take the 6:40pm express train and come back home around 8/9pm. All this for buying that one birthday dress for me! I remember one of the year, she just saved money for return train tickets and used rest of the money to buy a dress. It was a dark green georgette material salwar with colorful embroidered flowers around the neck. It costed around 2000 rupees back then. Such a crazy lady! I failed to understand the importance of this dress and trip until I lived under her wings. Some memories just become richer and richer as you grow older.

On almost every birthday at school, my dress would be the talk of staff room. When I go to distribute chocolates the teachers make me stand/swirl to get a closer look of my special dress and ask all sort of questions. I wear pretty skirts, intricately embroidered tops, jumpers, sequin tops, 3 layers skirts and many more modern dresses. I only get two new dress in a year but each one of them will be very unique. For my 5th grade birthday, Amma bought yellow colored actress “Nadhia” dress. Its a 3 piece set with see through overcoat. Its very popular at that time and I remember we were financially at rock bottom in that period. My cousin sisters used to reserve my dress in advance as all my dress were handed down to them.

My best birthday so far happened during 3rd year of college. I have written about it in this post (its a long post, search for keyword birthday)

After I started earning, we upgraded to pantheon road and Alsa mall centre (elite places) for birthday shopping πŸ™‚

And then, life happened and the enthusiasm to celebrate birthday slowed down. A collection of events happened on this day in last 20 years that I started dreading this day literally as much as I enjoyed this day in growing up years. I have not written about my birthday in this little, close to heart space of mine. I look for ways to get past this day quickly and pretend to hide/mock my feelings through this day. As kids grow up, they want to do something special for me in their own ways and I painfully brush it off.

2003 is the year I last celebrated birthday with new dress, new sandals and cake with my then family. This birthday is very special as my brother and SIL had come on a vacation from US and they bought the dress/sandals/cake for me as a surprise. I think this is the last birthday I celebrated with my Amma, Appa and Anna. Oh, we were together on 4th Sep 2010 at my Anna’s US home but it was not the same.

2003 birthday picture:
Amma and me at our Velachery, Chennai rented home. That’s a pistachios flavored cake from Mc.Rennette cake shop and I am wearing my birthday dress πŸ™‚

The number 40 reminds me to get more disciplined with life in all aspects. I do not regret my past and looking forward to an eventful/happening years. I see at least the next 15 years as the years to give back as much as I can, to my children, to the society, to my friends, to my parents, to my extended family and to all those who are looking for my shoulder/support. Its mutual giving as what I get in return is this immense sense of satisfaction, happiness and peacefulness which no money can buy. I feel obliged to give back for all the love I have experienced in my growing up years. Life has been kind to me in many ways and I have to appreciate it by staying humble and kind.

I feel like life has just started with me taking big steps in volunteering this year. All I pray is to stay healthy and active so I can give back my fullest to everyone. One of the friend family have started feeling comfortable to come and stay with us in recent times. I want to host many more friends & family and above all stay and spread positivity.

And I need all your blessings and wishes on this day to make it brighter. You all have been an integral part of my life journey so your wishes means a lot to me πŸ™‚

Happy 15th

Dear Daaru,

15 it is my dear. Darling + Daughter makes it Daaru, a pet name Amma came up with to call you during this quarantine time. This birthday will be unique and remembered for a longer time for the nature of life we are living now.

You are someone who can just stay put at home all through the year. Your needs are very simple. FOOD and TV. That’s it. Oh, and Amma’s phone. Mind you not your phone. You check my phone more than yours as you like to catch up on all my messages!! It seems you can follow me in Instagram, but I cannot follow you!! Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around my dear?

You are self-managed except for few habits like remind to wash your hair, remind to not use my towel if your towel is misplaced, remind to not hunt my closet for fancy shirts when you have a presentation (learn to move on and build your closet lady)

We haven’t succeeded in making you do chores for money or free pass as you have no clue what to do with either money or free pass.

Money is not needed as your needs are very simple. You can live with 2 free t-shirts and 2 pants. You don’t need any makeup items. You are not a gadgets person. You don’t go out with friends or you don’t shop on your own. Are you for real? What else can I use to bribe my Daaru?

I am still wondering what will you do if I give you a free pass? Is it because we respect your choices and fulfill them, or you act responsible on your own?

You have the power to make Appa do a store run in middle of his work just because there is no snack aka junk at home whereas I have to wait till the weekend to make him buy essential groceries.

You are everything for your little brother. I mean everything. He wants to marry you and get settled so you will stay with him forever! Every single sentence he utters ends with a “right Akka?” and you validate dutifully. It is a sight to watch your sibling love and random conversations. You help him with homework and correct/teach him if you find out your little brother is lagging on something. You call him “Avi”. You are very concerned about his quarantine bedtime routine and the amount of sleep he gets. A first grader is not supposed to be awake past 10:30pm, So you request Appa to allow him to sleep more in the morning.

Your often-spoken words in this year are “Amma, you look quite delicious today, I am going to eat you”, “I am going to eat somebody today”, the word “butt” has somehow caught your fancy attention lately. You do not understand what grounded means, so we make you do some physical activity like jumping jacks, squats, burpees whenever you use “b” word.

Appa and you have come up with a form of “Chicken dance”. The deal is one who seeks help has to watch the chicken dance before getting the help! You make coffee for him and he has to watch your chicken dance before he takes that first sip!

You are taking online music theory class for kids as a service during this unprecedented time. I am super proud of the way you engage and teach little kids in that weekly call. You sound like a born teacher and I brim with pride hearing you handling the class! One of my friends texted me later that her 5th grade daughter has so much to talk about “Akka” even after the class. Take a bow dear!

We have moved to a new adobe this year. I know its contradicting, but you are the most impacted and most happy about this move. You LOVE this new home, backyard the most and I am happy to see you happy. It puts my mind to peace about the decision to move.

We have got a lot better with communication, bonding and having many more lighter moments in this new home. I am very busy creating tiny pocket of memory of each of those moments and save them in my brain to cherish later.

I often plead you to take me along with you when you go out for college, I offer to cook/clean for you as I am not positive about handling two extreme boys on my own!

You have randomly started using more “tamil words and tamil sentences” in recent times and let me tell you, it’s an instant mood lifter for me to hear you speak Tamil.

You respond with “enna di” when I call out for you and utter “ennadhuu” when you are in confused state. When I seek help you walk away with your signature style of “po di”. Appa also gets his fair share of “po da” so no complaints!

You have friends but not best friends. You are part of few gang of girlfriends and keep them all the same. At least that is what I know!

You don’t get upset easily except when LHB eats your share of junk or Appa tries to wake you up early on weekends. 10am is early for you and too late for Appa! I give up!

I appreciate you trying to make conversation with Ammachi on video calls. It means the world to her ma!

You have started with eyebrow threading this year. This is the only beauty thing you do other than face wash at the age of 15!!

Your Carnatic vocal music teacher has a soft corner for you and your piano teacher is a gift for you. They both will be your music gurus and you keep in touch with them for rest of your life. Oh, and your former piano teacher from old neighborhood. Make it 3 gurus.

You like baking, cooking Italian dishes and is capable of fixing quick meal for you and LHB.

You want to visit London and Paris.Β  Our next international trip is only after you secure college admission. You are working hard for your future and I pray for you to get deserving results.

You are a god sent angel to me and sometimes I just pour out my heart expecting you to respond like an adult. I must admit that you are a very good listener and acknowledge my rant! I validate myself with you the same way I do with a friend. You have been very nice and gentle to me in past year and I can’t thank you enough for this!

You are a cry baby when it comes to losing in board games and when LHB gets one extra bite of any junk. Like if you give a share to Appa then he is forced to give a share to me to even out. Sometimes he even gives away his share to you and walks away shrugging his shoulder “It’s okay ma! If I don’t give she will become a cry baby”. Sometimes, I wonder if I am raising a 15-year-old running 7 and a 7-year-old running 15!!

You have been given a generous 10 years to take over the family my dear. The agreement we have or rather I propose is ten years from now, you will take over the home mortgage, get married, stay in this same home, be kind to give 1 room to LHB, give guest room to your parents. I will help you with cooking and babysitting your kids and Appa will help with house/lawn maintenance so you and your partner will have the elder support to raise a family. I know this mommy brain is crazy. On other days I talk about going back to India for my retirement life. Basically, I don’t know how to control my wild thoughts and be loud about this craziness. I hope you don’t get confused with all this craziness of your Amma!! No pressure Daaru!

If there is one word that I want to share with you when you turn 15, it will be “empathy“. Hold on to this word tight as it will help you to grow as a good human and help people around you as well.

You are too good for your age and I wish you good health and happiness all through your life.



Happy 7th

Dear LHB,

Where do I start baby? You are a bundle of positivity with abundance energy and that has a ripple effect at home. Amma, Appa, Akka are boring souls who are more focused on their work and then you come in to make us laugh loud and ease up the air.

Akka calls you Mousie. You sighed to me one day while brushing “She keeps different weird names for me ma. What does Moussie even mean?” But I can see how much you love it. She will step out of her room only when you enter the house to hear all stories form you. Our arrivals are grandly ignored unless we bring some treats. And you will tell all stories only to her ignoring our presence around. It is a delight to watch you both converse.

You want to marry Akka so both of you can stay together forever. You are worried as much as I am about Akka moving out to pursue college in couple of years but we talk about it often to come to terms with it.

There is a high school girl Ms.E working as an assistant in your class and you described her looks to Akka so she can reach out to her in high school for any help. “She will help you Akka. Ask her. She knows everything!! That’s your way of helping Akka!

You have a BIG heart kutty and that is the trait Amma loves the most in you. You offer it to others before tasting even if its your favorite dessert. Hearing “do you want some?” melts my heart instantly.

We have come a long way in communication. I am so glad that we have started making deals and you to some extent understand the implication of your action. We have a conversation and I am able to convince you, sometimes you convince me too. We complement each other very well and that is a big win for me.

You are at this prime age to question everything and your curious mind never takes a break. Your family is still the world for you and you look up to us for anything and everything especially Akka. From drinking a cup of milk to choosing a career, you lookup to her. “What do you want to do Akka?” is the question we hear very frequently at home. Every other sentence ends with “right Akka?”. You need to validate everything with her. Like for example, “Amma, you are a monster. right Akka?”

You have taken after me in many things like seeking to be treated special, easily convincible, capturing moments with pictures, putting others first and being generous. Appa says often that “You have taken after me” and I grow an inch taller with the pride. Its a big deal for a 5 feel 1 inch lady. I tell ya!!! I am listening to this tamil song as I type this “Maghizhchiyil endhan manam malardhidumae. En uyaramo innum konjam valarndhidumae….” which translates to growing an inch taller due to abundance of joy.

You love going to temple and I can’t thank you enough for that. You are my best company. Your favorite god is Lord Hanuman.

Your recent attractions are bey blades and pokemon cards. I am still able to convince you that video games and watching TV before bedtime are bad for eyes. Not sure how long it will last.

You change to pajama and brush your teeth before going to bed without anyone telling you. You make me super proud with this act and this is the one thing that Akka can learn from you!

Math and English are still boring and hard for you. I am sure we will get through it together someday.

You still believe in Santa and tooth fairy and allow me to hug and kiss you unlimited. I need them big time to survive so keep them coming da. Our home would not be the same without you.

You do have your moments but you are distractible and according to you “your silly brain forgets everything”

Your laugh is contagious, you know exactly how to make me laugh and use them when you see me dull. I am blessed to realize that you are watching me.

I love this phase and want to live in the present only for you, just for you so I take in as much as I can that will be the memories I talk about over and over again to your children when you are busy with your own family.

I truly thank the almighty for bringing you into my life and honestly I benefit more from this relationship than you. Thank you for everything da kanna. You make me appreciate life more than anything else.

Stay happy! Stay healthy and remember that we love you to bits.

Screen Shot 2020-02-03 at 10.06.17 PM

Picture taken when you were blessed with garland at temple during last week visit!