I check my phone one last time before I call it a day. Washing up before bed, I stand in front of the mirror, the pendant snug against my throat, winking at me. I smile as I hum and wrap myself in fleece.
The wishes have been pouring in over the phone, on Facebook, on Messenger, on iMessage, on WhatsApp. Somewhere around noon, they slowed to a trickle and I got caught up with all of them.
The wrapping paper, the remnants of the boxes that the toys came in, the paper stuffing from the new handbag that my brother gifted me, they are all bagged and in the recycle trash. Other than the still twinkling tree, the empty stockings and the lights on the porch, the day is over. Done, dusted and put away until next year.
Tucking in a still sick child, I rub her back and chest with liberal amount of Vicks. I sit by her bedside, my palm against her burning skin, hoping it will let up when she wakes in the morning. I tuck my other child in. She throws her hand over her new doll, nuzzles against its cheeks and closes her eyes. I feel a poignancy I can’t express in words. I walk to the nursery, Laddu against my shoulder. We rock back and forth, the chair squeaking in rhythm with her breath. I find her relaxing and I slow till I come to a stop. We sit in the darkness, her weight a tad more than is comfortable. I rise, lay her gently on her crib and walk down in the darkness.
Saathi is on the sofa, glued to an app on his phone, playing chess. I rouse him to come get dinner. We eat in amiable silence, our thoughts to ourselves. Clearing up, I reach for him, a wave of gratitude washing over me.
In a few minutes he is back at the sofa and I am reading a book on Kindle. A few pages in, my mind is distracted and I bookmark and close the app. I am tempted to browse, to stalk weather discussion forums and obsess about wintry weather, but I resolutely shut my laptop down and walk upstairs.
It has been a nice day, a day worthy of catapulting me into the next decade of my life. I have no clue what it holds and probably for the first time in my life I couldn’t care less.