The cool light from the half moon filtered through the trees casting long shadows as we walked. I walked a couple of paces behind K. The light fell on the cherubic face of Cee whose eyes were fluttering shut and arms circled K in a sight that was heartbreakingly beautiful. The silent tall figure striding ahead with a child on his neck and shoulders drove home a mozaic of feelings that filled my head the whole weekend.
I shifted Kay’s weight from my arms to my hips even as she readjusted herself to my frame and continued to walk feeling her weight literally and metaphorically on my shoulders. I realized with a start that I was all grown up. This was it. For the rest of my life I would be a parent. Long after Kay and Cee fly the coop. Worry if they were safe, happy and healthy. Keep my doors open for whenever they want a refuge from facing the world. Provide for them emotionally and physically. Do everything in my power to see that they are happy.
I made a mental note to cherish whatever few more years I had left of carrying them and smothering with kisses. Of hugging them and feeding them by hand. To pick them up when they come running arms outstretched. To soak up the everyday moments and not look back in regret years from now.
We reached home and even as I set her down, feeling relief course through my upper body, I knew it wouldn’t be too long before she will be too heavy to carry. Walking upstairs my eyes fell on the framed painting of Ambal. I wordlessly muttered my thanks and felt a benevolent smile touch me.