24 Weeks: On my journey to parenting


On the way to becoming a parent …

… to knowing what it is like to spend countless hours and days nurturing a baby, with a selfless heart, never expecting the baby to remember it ever … [Or just create a memoir video (bum-wipes), and play it every year on birthdays]

… to celebrating the first birthday of a new born who brings so much happiness to the entire family … to celebrating many more such birthdays for a lifetime – most of which we might not be involved as much we like, as the baby grows into a young adult and friends take center stage.

… the beginning of feeling love like never before.
I see how my nephew Ryan floods my sister with kisses and embraces her oh so often. I’ve heard friends tell me about those precious years when one experiences unconditional, pure, unadulterated love from their little children – the kind of love that drives out all your stress when you walk inside that door after a long day’s work and your baby runs to welcome you home!

… on my way to getting my heart unceasingly connected to my children, as long as they or I live – they hurt, we feel the pain; they fall, we feel responsible; they get up and walk again, we feel proud, they laugh, we smile.

… to sharing the pocket, without any hesitation, to the one we both will start loving relentlessly – journey of saving money for his/her future begins, from diapers, to school bags, to college fees, to playstations, to finally getting them married … and I don’t think it ends there – we forgot about leaving an inheritance – buying them a house, or leaving them a business empire.

… on my journey to trying to get the ‘parenting’ right, and proving to my parents ‘I got this figured’ and then getting familiar (not much I hope) to the idea of being embarrassed publicly when children openly disobey, and you have to have that look ready, as if, ‘I tried, so hard, but kids – actually grandparents over-pampered them’ …

… to stepping into my parents’ shoes, who would have felt I became distant as a teenager and I felt they stopped understanding me as a person …

… I see myself driving my kid to a college in another city – packing everything he/she needs, giving in some extra cash, checking out the new house/hostel, and finally driving or travelling back home, knowing we won’t see them every day, but will wait for those weekends or monthly breaks where our eyes swell with joy to open the door to now, weekend or occasional visitors … I recently got all teared-up watching Claire and Phil in Modern Family leaving Hailey to her new university and driving back with a heavy heart – I remembered how mom and dad went back after dropping me to Pune, and how I cried myself to sleep …

… on our way to being available for their first laugh, first words, first walk, to a million steps
towards living ‘their’ life and fulfilling their dreams … being available to watch their attempts to shine in this competitive world won’t stop with adolescence. A forever commitment it is … my mom and dad still come to watch me preach every month, without fail. My dad just keeps admiring me and narrating my messages to other family members .. on my way to ‘being available’ always or at least making a commitment to be …

… working to provide for them, day in and day out, never wanting to fall short, hoping to be able to always provide for them – when my sister, after her MBA, went without a job for a while, pappa was ‘delighted’ to sponsor her every month. He had such joy in giving her a monthly income! I mean it – he was actually proud that he could still pay us, even if the world failed us …

… never know how time will pass us by before we ‘let go’ of them, and not realize it until the moment finally comes. dad and mom were all busy greeting guests, friends from old and new, more than 1000 of them at my wedding reception …
before they knew it, we were having dinner together, on one large dining table, and then suddenly they remembered that I won’t go back home. they were so not aware of this, that they actually forgot to book a hotel room … no one remembered. And it’s quite unlikely for our loving families who ensured every single arrangement is taken care of. I’m convinced the reality didn’t strike… that I’m going to a hotel room, and then to my honeymoon, and then to my new house with my new life partner. Joy is not coming back home. they did the formalities – escorted us to our room, and left …
Mamma went home and just sat in front of my wardrobe, sobbing as she embraced those few clothes left behind … the second time in life when the umbilical cord is cut …

… sitting on the porch with mom and dad, mom still well-dressed, hair-all-combed, beautiful jewelry in her neck, face still glowing despite the wrinkles; dad adjusting his spects, still trying to finish two newspapers, back to back, before noon – me, all guards down, kids out of home, either at college or dating, or wherever, God knows – discussing ‘this generation’ with mamma, royally gossiping about my children, their tastes, their dispositions,  their peculiar breed of friends, their weird taste in the opposite sex, then balancing the talk with appreciation of their uniqueness and God-given potential – and mom and dad giving the ‘I told you so’ nod or the sympathetic head tilt ‘I know how you feel’ – and just when the session ends, their beloved grandchildren walk in, and suddenly, as if an amnesia attack, totally brushing aside our conversations, they run to their grandkids, their prize, their trophy and their love – pamper them all over again, and I, of course, join in, in the journey of love, heart-break, love, frustration, patience, love, long-suffering, love, self-control, love, pain, joy and love again … the journey of never ending parenting …

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