She could not hold back the tears in her eyes. He looked at her and she instantly knew that he recognized her. It was that understanding, that bond, that knowing which goes beyond words. It was the bond between a mother and her son. He was the first child she had ever held in her hands. And she had waited a good five years for him to come into her world and turn it completely inside out.
Some of you might remember my post "Promise to Self." The story of a lost mother trying to understand her child was not a figment of my imagination, it was me and my son. And yes, he taught me then how to raise him, and he continues to teach me every day on how to be a better parent to him and his sister.
Now that I look back, I think I knew it since way before I even thought about marriage, that I will have a son. I was in 12th grade, finishing high school (gosh that seems like a life time before :)) when I heard the name for the first time. The name, it stuck with me. I can still remember that moment, upon hearing the name.. it triggered many neurons and connections alike.. and I said to myself, when I get married, if I have a son, this will be his name. I have always believed, that when we really really want something, all the cosmic forces come together to make it happen. And they did for me too. They blessed me with a beautiful child. The pregnancy with him was easy peesey lemon squeezey. I was a bundle of energy, doing 12-14 hours work days making budgets and grinding those numbers till they made some monetary sense to the management, and still feeling good about myself. I wondered then, why women complaint about being pregnant. Now I am wiser and know better :)
He was a week early and yes very eager to come into his bright loving new world. But no one told me that babies can be colicky. They told me "as long as they are fed, and have a clean diaper, they are happy." I can now tell you thats a lie. A complete lie.
Mine was different. The first night home was nothing short of a crying marathon, it was 5.20am, we finally decided to sleep after 8 hours of non stop rounds of rocking and crying. But you know what they say, God moves in mysterious ways. He can't come to all of us for every little problem, so he put people on Earth to help each other. First thing in the morning, I got a call from a dear friend M, ranted it all out and she listened patiently and said, "it will get better, he's just a day old, poor baby he must be confused too. And the next thing I know, she came over just because..." What does one do at moments like these, besides thank god for sending friends like such in our lives. In the evening, another sign; My absolutely wonderful neighbor B. Met her in the evening, rocking the little one and ranting my story again, and trying to fake a smile as proof of how great I felt to be a mom. She said, don't worry, its a switch, just hang in there for 10 weeks it will turn off on its own. A simple reassurance, but it felt great, it made me feel "this is normal, it happens to others too." 10 weeks at that point seemed like eternity away. But she was right, come 10 weeks, and it was actually a switch. The crying stopped and I no longer dreaded the evening and night hours.
Those 10 weeks passed quickly and so did the past 10 years.
He was four years old when the dinosaur phase started and for 3 straight years after that, all we did was read books on dinosaurs. He wanted to be a paleontologist and wanted a brother so he could name him Chomper after his favorite dinosaur T-Rex. The dinosaurs will always hold a special place in my family, because he learnt how to write ABC by writing dinosaur names. From Dinosaurs, we moved on to Pokemon, and God bless the one who made Pokemon cards, because we learnt how to read by reading Pokemon cards. Then came Bakugan, we practiced our math with the game points.
The conventional never worked for us.
From a 21inch baby he is now a five foot young boy who dreams of going to a good college and becoming an engineer like his dad and also an environmental lawyer. Why a lawyer? Well he figured that out on his own too, he says he likes to argue a lot, so being a lawyer is good profession. And I admire his clarity and thinking. Because at 11 years of age, yes I was living independently in a hostel, but I did not have a clue of what I wanted to do in life.
He will turn 11 this week. And he wants a super special present. Why? I ask. His answer, "because M, my birthday is the beginning of spring. My birthday is about life. Everything comes alive on my birthday." And that is true. He is the life of my home.
He calls his sister G and me M. Comes from school and says "What's S today, I hope u have something good for D." Any guesses?
As I look forward to the next decade only to realize that its less than a decade he will be on his way to college. A proud and scary moment. As a mother, I think, what should I teach him. Should I teach him how to be a good cook, so he can always feed himself. Should I teach him how to wash his own laundry, so he always has clean clothes to wear or should I simply teach him a little bit of everything. I decide against all this.
I think I am going to tell him that its okay for a boy to cry, for a boy who cries will be a man who who is tender and caring. There is nothing stronger than a man who can be kind and gentle, and there is nothing weaker than a man who thinks he has to be strong all the time.
I am going to tell him that I am always going to be there and watching him in my own special way. Not because I am an over protective helicopter mom, but because a part of him is actually me or is it the other way round and how does one let go of one's own self?
I want him to know that I have and always will be very proud of him.
He is my SonShine!