Wednesday, 6 March 2013

I was that Mom on Monday

On Monday, I picked up my son from day care at 1pm and took him to a McDonald's nearby. We chatted while we stood in the queue. When it was our turn, I asked him to place the order. Big responsibility for a three-year old, but we were at McDonald's. He chose to have ice cream for lunch. When the cone was handed to him, he was overjoyed. His eyes had a twinkle and his walk, a bounce. It’s an ordinary thing to take place, right? Wrong. Not all kids experience this.

I had an unconventional childhood. My parents believed in empowering kids as early in life as possible. Add to that my mother's acute arthritis, which she got when she was just 26 years old, and you get a bunch of self-reliant and go-getter girls. As soon as our folks felt we were capable of doing something on our own, we were made responsible for doing it. For example, when I was in class 4, I was made responsible for fetching the milk from the dairy. I remember going to the bank on my own when I was in class 8 or so, initially to have the passbook updated or to deposit a cheque, and then to withdraw cash, etc.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining. On the contrary, I'm glad I received this upbringing, however unconventional, because this has made me the person I am. I attended tons of hobby classes, went swimming and skating, and read at numerous libraries either by myself or with my sisters or friends. My father often took us to the zoo, the planetarium and the Museum of Natural History, and for movie screenings at the dozens of international film festivals New Delhi plays host to.

Nonetheless, the child in me sometimes wanted the life that everyone around her had. For example, the seven-year-old me yearned to be taken out by her parents for maybe a cup of ice cream or be read stories at bedtime. I dreamed about how it would feel to have a parent pick me up from school or look us over while we played at the playground. At the local bus stand, I would see mothers buying their toddlers ice cream. These are mundane, everyday acts that nobody notices, except a child with a longing.

On Monday, I picked up my son from day care and bought him ice cream. I was THAT mother.

When I was growing up, I decided that when I would become a mother, I'll be a combination of what my parents were and what they couldn't be. They were always there for me and so will I be for my child(ren), but I promised myself that I will be around for the mundane, everyday tasks as well.

So, if you see a mother out with her son, arduously trying to avoid stepping on the red-coloured tiles because ‘hey, Mom, they must never be stepped on’, don’t think about how silly she looks, but about how her innocuous hopping fills her child’s heart with joy. Some kids don't experience this.


  1. That's some hidden talent can live a vicarious childhood thru saumil again...and this time do all that you did all over again and also all that you didnt!!!


    1. Thanks, Apoorva. I hear the blog bug has bitten you too. Live it up, M'lady :)

  2. Very interesting. I can relate to "that Mom":)

    Keep writing more and more.

    Deepa Kabade

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