Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Happy BirthDay...

We had just moved to the US. I was back to grad school D to work. Life was ok, different and very new. We had an everyday evening ritual which went like this :: he would pick me up on his way home (we had only one car then), coming home we would sit at the edge of the carpet with steaming mugs of tea & samosa or alu bonda whatever was picked up on the way, laughing our hearts out at "Friends" followed by "Everybody Loves Raymond" and chatting, then I would go on to finish my homework he to his work and the day was done. Weekends were for pouring over maps to find new places to drive to and new restaurants to eat out. Life wasn't hip and happening but it was fun.

I scorned at my Mom whenever she brought up "kids" in the telephone conversation, balked at elders who suggested "what are your plans ?"

Life was ok, kind of same and not that new. All that pressure was getting on me, I thought Calvin's Mom was naive & just joking, I thought "what the heck we should have a baby"

Life was getting difficult, kind of same and not that new. The doc said I should lose some weight before alighting on the journey. So the "alu bondas"&"samosas" stopped, the time free from homework & classes were spent in the gym

Life was difficult, very different. My daughter's life formed inside mine . Every day of the 8 months was fraught with anxiety & fear. Every day all that we hoped for was her. All else in our life took a blur, while each day we prayed frantically for her to safely reach the next day within me.

Life was happy, different and very new. And then she came into this world wide eyed and wailing. She claimed all our time and attention with her being. The tiny curled fists, the pink toes, the quivering smiling lips, and those wide curious eyes. We felt relief and joy.

Life was happy but difficult, different and very new. She was so important that I gave up the job I had studied hard for all these years. I did not want some stranger to take care of her. I was afraid of everything that happened or did not happen to her. I "Googled" every word that had to do with babies. I called up the ped in the middle of the night if she had those jitters (most babies do) or threw up or cried too much. I grew frustrated when all we did didn't ease her colic.

And she grew and I grew too as a mom. I learnt to stay calm if she threw up after her meals, to smile when she went for her shots, to ignore if she threw a tantrum, to be ok if she cried a little at school, to be brave and let her bruise a little while she attempted climbing the slide the wrong way, to let her grow.

Life is not that difficult, different and still new. Life as a mom is still new, lots of new things to learn and do. Life is also about less and less time for me and my husband. The little one does not let us talk and has to butt in every discussion that we have. We have to spell out words that too in Bengali for discretion. Everything that we do needs to be explained to her. The only thing we watch on TV is "Barney" or "Arthur". Even if I snatch a conversation with D it is about how much I like "Arthur's Christmas"

This too shall pass and soon the newness will go out of my life. In a couple of years she will not proclaim in a sing song voice "Mommy is my best friend" and will not seek the nook of my arm to curl up in sleep. Till then let me savor and learn from every bit of it...

To our little girl who turns all of three this month, what I wish for her..

The Mother's heart, the hero's will,
The softest flowers' sweetest feel;
The charm and force that ever sway
The altar-fire's flaming play;
The strength that leads, in love obeys;
Far-reaching dreams, and patient ways,
Eternal faith in Self, in all,
The light Divine in great, in small;
All these and more than I could see,
Today may "Mother" grant to thee!

--Swami Vivekananda

I also hope to fulfill her expectation as a mother as I hope she does mine


  1. Great Right up!...Me too not working for my little son. For us he is very important and comes under our values(me and my husband).I wish a very happy and prosperous life to your little daughter.Enjoy the motherhood all the coming way:-))

    Meena Kandlakuti

  2. So sweet sandeepa :) Beautiful write up. :) Your daughter is lucky to have a mum like you :)

  3. Sandeepa...wow...loved reading your post. Both my kids are now adults but you know they are still my kids, they may marry and hold their beloveds hands but they still my kids, they maybe adults and do their own thing, but they are still my kids...once a parent, always a parent, they are not within their mother for nine months but within forever ..~smile~...take care

  4. What a lovely post, Sandeepa. I loved that you said- you too, grew as a mom, this is what its all about. Enjoy your family and soon you'll be having those cups of teas and bondas with her while watching those reruns...!

    My blessings for your daughter...


  5. Thanks meena & rooma

    Dilip, That's a great thought, beautiful

  6. Trupti
    Thank You. Yeah by that time her choice of reruns won't match mine :)

  7. What a lovely write-up, Sandeepa! My parents just left back for India today, after a 6 month stay with us. The one thing my dad said when he left was 'you may be grown up now with your own kid but remember, u will always remain my little one'. Before you know it, your little one might be graduating! :)
    Wishing your daughter the best in life!

  8. Touching! Happy birthday to her. I should have met her over the weekend and bought her some gifts.

  9. Very nice post :). My best wishes to your daughter.

    Though I am still in the samosa-chai and tv phase, the next phase doesn't seem to be that bad.

  10. Sandeepa that was really nice post, Wishes and hugs for the little one.
    This age is really wonderful they think you are the hero and they want to follow you around and be with you all the time so enjoy it.

    I laughed when I read the line about spelling everything out in Bengali. We did that too, but now that does not work either you have maybe couple of years before that happens.

  11. Happy Birthday to little baby and may she have many many more!:))

    Great to read your journey.I agree with you, our children are much more imp than any amount of money or carrer choices.It's great you made your choice and happy with it too!:)Enjoy.

  12. Vani,
    Thanks, Yeah now that you are on your own with M, it might get a little frustrating sometimes, but enjoy every bit of it.


    Yeah the next phase is fun, specially now when I don't need to do the diapers 50 times a day :)

    Yeah maybe I should ask you for tips. One of my friends spells the words in opposite as in left to right to confuse her daughter who is older :)

    Thanks dear. Do write your experience now that the kids are a little older

  13. wow sandeepa
    great love ...may god bless ur kid.many happy returns for ur daughter(may be belated):-)

  14. Arthur and Barney and Elmo and god forbid, the cookie monster. Life is fun, isn't it?

    Many wishes to your daughter.

  15. Hi Sandeepa,
    The write up is so gud.I agree all hard work to earn a degree fades away when you the little one gives a hug and a kiss.

  16. Beautifully written and so very true...everything that you mentioned....I am now in the barney phase :)

    Pocket full of birthday wishes to your darling angel.

  17. Swapna, Vee, Lakshmiammal, Sri
    Thanks a lot and shall pass on all of your wishes to the little one

  18. Hi Sandeepa,your post is so wonderful...children do grow up so fast,don't they?Each day my husband looks at our sleeping little one and he says,"Why couldn't she have stayed the same little baby that she was when she was born?"..Life surely is different and very beautiful with a baby,isn't it?

    Loads of good wishes and kissies to your little one..from me and my daughter Ananya...May she have a very good and prosperous life ahead .

  19. Best wishes to your daughter. It was so good to read this touching post. Happy Holidays and savor your family moments.

  20. Your writeup really touched me. My daughter Anika turned 3 last month and I feel every word that you have written about.
    We are expecting our second baby now who will be arriving in March. Anika is so eager to play with her little brother when he arives.
    Lots of wishes and blessings for your little one.

  21. First time in your blog sandeepa.Great post.My all wishes to your daughter.I am also doing a mom's role with a wonderful daughter.She is turning 2 in next Feb.I really enjoyed your write up.Thanks

  22. Ya , really a great write up Sangeeta. I loved reading it.
    May god bless your lil one.
    Wishing your daughter the best in her life.


  23. Sandeepa,
    what a beautiful post! Happy belated birthday to your princess! Btw, I've been living here for 4 years only :D

  24. I'd say it is time for a second one!!!

    Really, really touching post...your life is read almost like a poem. Happy birthday to the little darling and do start a mom-blog to share her little antics with us! Would love to add you to my roll :)

  25. Vini K
    Thanks and lots of love for Ananya.

    Thanks and Happy Holidays to you too

    Wishing you all the best for the on on it's way and lots of love for Anika. Couldn't see your blog link

    thanks and lots of love for your lil one too

  26. Lakshmi, Gattina , @
    Thanks a lot for all of your wishes. It really means a lot

  27. Lovely lovely post! Very touching and filled with 'trueness'. I could understand and relate to how you feel. I think you really come full circle with some years of mothering under your belt. Wud love to watch the updates on your space and hopefully learn some vibrant Bengali cuisine! :)

  28. Happy Birthday to your daughter, Sandeepa!

  29. Hi Sandeepa,

    I have been visiting your blogs for quite some time.. this was really a very very sweet email. It strikes a chord in me.. having been through much of what you say. I wish you guys a world of happiness!


  30. Tharini, Sra & Archana
    Thanks a lot for all your wishes for the li'l one

    @FOR ALL
    If you are not on blogger, the URL doesn't show up I guess
    Would love to know Gayathri & Archana's blogs. Please post the links if any one knows.
    Others on Wordpress I know you guys

  31. so sweet! happy birthday to u little one.

  32. Beautiful post,sandeepa, My belated Birthday wishes to your little one for bringing you many reasons
    to smile.....:)) Happy holidays and Merry X'mas!

  33. Beautiful write-up Sandeepa. Wish your a very happy birthday and hundred more to come.

  34. What a wonderful post! Heres wishing your little girl a very Happy Birthday. Good wishes, Smita

  35. Hey i like you cake .They look great.Thanks for sharing.Berries are in season.cool ...

  36. We wish you a happy day with your blog :)

  37. Shaheen, Lera, Pavani, Smita, Soumya,recipes-blogcu
    Thank You, Thank You, ThankU from my little one

  38. Hey,
    First time here. Was googling some recipe and landed up here. Your post is so genuine that I felt good reading it. Whenever I read such stuff, it always makes me feel grateful to my mom for making me what I am today.
    Best wishes to you and your li'l one.

  39. Hey,
    I got free time today for some reading, so clicking through your archived posts and pitching in occasional comments :).
    This one is so beautifully written. Really enjoyed reading it.

  40. hmmmmmmm!!! am a bachelor but i can understand the anxiety part, may god bless u . hey !! it's a nice place to hang around.

  41. Happy Birthday to your daughter and she is blessed to have a mom like you. Each day, life is new, life is differnt, life is hope. enjoy.


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