I think back to the days when I was a student. I had this image of finishing school, getting a job, getting married, having kids etc. I have older siblings so I saw them go through it all even as I was a young girl in middle school. I had spent good amount of time playing with and cuddling and enjoying my nieces and nephews. I remember how my first nephew used to cry his guts out on some days when he was left alone with us (when his parents went out) and we would pray that his then nanny should be still in the neighborhood so we could go get her to calm him down. Which she could really do like magic. Or how my sister used to sound out words to my niece when she was a preschooler - like "sss ah t" (for sat) etc while giving her dinner. And how my other sister told her husband they would just have to cancel their trip to India because they forgot to put my nephew's "Nebulizer" in the van (he was asthmatic) on the way to the airport stopping at my brother's place on the way. My brother made calls to local pharmacies and managed to find one that would sell them one right away. I remember my second brother concealing his anxiety and praying to God standing in his pooja room while my nephew went through a temporary but severe phase of alopecia. And I think back on those little and big moments now and see it more clearly - what it means to be a parent. How you can't help but celebrate your children's every acheivement and how their every little pain is yours to bear as well.
I read this post by Mad Momma and I could feel her joy. And really felt pride at the little boy's accomplishment on getting potty trained and being able to carry on this basic function independently. I read this post by Tharini just now (and these somewhat prompted me to write this post) and I felt like physically reaching out and patting Winkie on his back for such a commendable job. On what? On being able to go through the tedious process of wearing the whole set of winter gear patiently and correctly. And to actually not take up his mom on the offer of getting dropped off in school. What more reward does a parent want than knowing the child is learning to fly on his own? These posts might have seemed like posts on trivial every day things from a giddy mom before I became a mom myself. I don't know - just wondering if I would have appreciated as much what each of these things mean to a parent before I became one myself. It is indeed a giddy feeling when your child is able to do the simplest of things on his own. From latching on perfectly as an infant to nurse, being able to look at your eyes and smile, to roll over, to roll a ball, to saying mamma, to look at the birds in awe, to point to the moon on a summer night...every moment, a celebration. Deep within. That is only shared in equal magnitude by the other parent. In the look they give each other and knowing that the other person too feels like jumping in delight. And in that feeling deep within when you feel like you are blessed infinitely - that your child is able to do every simple thing that we take for granted. But as a parent, you do feel pride when you read about children who you get to know through blogs - in some sense you watch them grow - in a different way - through the written word. You imagine their personalities and you marvel at the little things they do. I still remember some of Winkie's art work, Ayaan's arrangement of flowers, Beanie talking clear words at a very early age, Sooraj's lovely gift for his mother...so many little things like that. These are children I have not met but only read about them through the mommy blogs. I relate to the pride the mother's feel when they write about them because that is what being a parent does to you. And it makes you realize what an important task you have at hand. That of raising children. Precious little ones that are moulded to a large extent by how much nurturing the parents are able to provide them.
I read this recently and agreed with No 1 on the list. To be able to provide your child with abundant love and to make the child feel secure in his/her early childhood years is an important task at hand. You know you love the child, but to make the child know that and to make him feel secure as a person is much harder than teaching academic concepts in my opinion. It sometimes fills me with anxiety when B remarks jokingly to me as to how much KB is influenced by my every action. While I sometimes loose my temper and yell at B in the middle of an argument, I see KB absorbing all my tones and inflections. And it later shows up in his own actions in some other instance. It is hard to become a saint as a parent. I console myself that KB has to know me as me and not as some saint that I am not in reality. Anger is as much as part of me as love is. I have to try to be good as much as I tell KB to be good. It is the trying that is even more important than winning or losing. I have to first convince myself of it before I teach KB that. But in all of the trials I go through in raising my children to the best of my ability, I realize how much I am growing in the spirit of the word as a person. They have enriched my life like nothing else has in the past and I pray that I have the courage and will to accept them as they are when they grow up and not set rigid expectations as to who they should become. I feel a sense of gratitude towards destiny for allowing me the privilege of being a parent. It takes being one to know what it means in the truest sense of the word.