It is late in the evening. My almost 2 month old is sleeping in her bassinet. My ears are tuned for sounds of her stirring. Twenty minutes. That is all I have wanted for myself today. Yet, those precious few minutes eluded me all day. Posts kept writing and rewriting themselves all day. You see, I signed up or Writing 101 over at The Daily Post on a whim.
One day this past week when I found myself in front of the computer with little else to do, I mulled writing a post and then on an impulse decided to look for writing challenges. The idea of writing with a community appealed to me, so I signed up.
Just write, the first day’s prompt exhorts me. Vignettes of the weeks past flit before my eyes. The sight of Saathi striding with a wee baby in his hands followed by twin girls in flowing paavadais as we left the temple is stuck in my head. The image is representative of how I see our futures play out. Saathi leading, us following. It does in a way mirror how we lead our lives.
Even as that image fades, another takes its place. My mom holding Ammu close as she sobs her heart out. Pattu watches her sister take solace in the warm embrace of her paati even as she stands by her prescribed spot for her timeout. I stand torn wanting to discipline my daughter even as I watch my mom take my place comforting and creating bonds that I hope some day Ammu will remember.
Ammu and Pattu soar in the air, their golden locks swept by the wind even as they push the swings higher. I stand by the kitchen sink each morning watching the girls play unfettered, unsupervised. They swing, collect rocks, gather flowers, chat away a storm and giggle away even as I file away these moments in my head.
I sit in my rocker recliner, sleep clouding my eyes. A pair of clear, bright eyes catch my gaze. An unexpected smile from my baby pushes sleep away and I let her tiny fingers grasp mine. We stay eye-locked for a while cooing and talking in a language that transcends any spoken word. For that moment, the world lies in that span that separates us, all else vanishing.
“Mama, pin this clip to my hair” Ammu bounces up to me. I look at her amusement rich in my smile. “Ask Daddy” I say as I send her away. A moment later, I look up to see Saathi sitting by the edge of the bed, wielding a comb with the precision of a surgeon, parting hair, combing the silky tresses and placing the hair pins in perfect symmetry on either sides. An everyday moment turns magical because of the affection that is palpable.
Life happens in slow motion as I sit to write. Time freezes and I realize I get to pick and choose the moments I want to record for posterity. It is always the good ones. The ones that make me smile. The ones that remind me to count my blessings. The ones I want to think about when my the kids have flown the coop.