Life goes by so fast when there is so much to do and sometimes, while catching my breath while being a mom, a wife, a daughter (in law), an employee and wearing several other hats that keep falling on my head, I forget who I am. Hours blur into days and days into memories – faster than a blink. Trust me, it is not a sad or a confusing moment, but a blissful one – there is no sense of one identity that blankets me all over but a patched up quilt of multiple singularities warming my persona. Over the years, my DNA of a basic woman is layered with so many entwined, complex tints that its hard to pull out a single, unadulterated characteristic of me. Make no mistake – I genuinely like it – will have it no other way even when I scream – I can’t take it, anymore, after seeing my daughter’s filthy bathroom or my son’s room scattered with a million LEGO pieces or my kitchen full of dirty utensils. To get by these maddening bouts of parenthood, wedlock, work and perhaps an awaiting solitude, I have constructed a list of I like it’s about my present, unorganized life.
I like it when:
- My son sits next to me to watch different series of Planet Earth and lovingly rubs his hands over my grown, out of shape belly. He reminds me every time that I needn’t lose it and become a glamorous, skinny, conscious mom. Instead, I should stick around with an eternally pregnant paunch for him to rest his hand over.
- My husband extends his tired feet in my lap during an interesting movie and requests me to rub them with a foot cream he got for me. When I respond with a frown, he pleads and promises to make the world’s best coffee and I instantaneously agree. By the time his feet are refreshed, the coffee is usually forgotten by both of us, at least by me.
- My daughter pretending to sleep, comes over to my bed to have a hugging session for five minutes, every night. I try to quiz her on biology and math during those extended five into fifteen minutes but she always drifts my attention with her killer, teenage smile. I abandon my always-worried-mom look-of-a-teenage-daughter and enjoy her warm cuddle.
- I try a new recipe and everyone stands around craning their necks to see if they can help with their constant, confounding counsel-plus-chatter. Even after my continual requests to not do so, they do not leave me alone. They know if the recipe fails, I’d be disappointed. So, they just hover tight to never let the disappointment in. The idea to blend in the confusion is to share the blame.
- Every weekend, I try to get out of the bed and my kids pull me back in, closing in from sides after they have hidden my robe and slippers (without which I cannot function outside the bedroom). They keep making plans for the entire weekend that usually includes an extended spa treatment for me. It also includes a holiday from services in the kitchen. These are all put to rest within five minutes of actually waking up.
- While cleaning the rooms and bathrooms of my kids and tidying up their closets, I find an old Mother’s day card with a baby picture clinging to a younger version of me. I pause to relish the fact that my house is still scattered with their mess braided with their little joys. The day when they will be too grown up to be constantly hugged or kissed, has not arrived yet.
- I complain of a pulled muscle or a tiring day and everyone chimes in to do whatever it takes to make dinner. However, after I am recovered, they hand over the mess with a smile. For the next few times, I refrain from complaining.
- While shopping, my daughter makes me try on clothes from the junior section and then complains how I should select only age-appropriate clothes. I play along every time.
- My husband decides to trim all my grey hair (there are at least hundred by now and he gives up after fifteen) and in between mentions how important it is for me to look vibrant and attractive while walking by his side. When I suggest to trim his, he gives me a sly smile and says – I am an older guy living with a very fine, young woman. I always sigh at his mythical optimism.
- I call my mother to catch up and she discusses everyone else but her. She fills the conversation with no specific details, words of wisdom that I have heard a hundred times. I multitask while listening to her.
Someday, when my kids are off to college and I am sitting outside to read a book, I’d shed tears looking at my immaculately organized home with the whole clock to spare and nothing much to do. Someday, when my husband might get too careful not to extend his feet for a massage to avoid any interruption for me, I’d be completely distracted. Someday, when a perfect recipe would be consumed at the table with silent sophistication, I’d be really disappointed. Someday, when the irregular, hand-made Mother’s day cards are replaced with formal notes, I’d frantically search for love in between clean, artificial alphabets. Someday, when my better half would no longer joke about my wishful youth, I’d really feel old. Someday, while shopping when I’d argue with only myself as what to buy, I’d return empty-handed and spent. Someday, when my mother is gone, I wont be so certain of all the wisdom I thought I had while she was talking to me.
And I will realize what I already know now – this is the best time in spite of all the perceived imperfection and chaos and never-ending madness. This is what I really like and want my life to be. So I stare hard at it and live all I can, right now.