Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Are you slipping away?

“Boys are doing great, I think it’s me who is slipping away” and I had to stop what I was doing. I had my own demon to fight and was not in my zone so started cleaning the pantry. That’s how I thought of “S”, a special mom from west coast whose OCD was motivation for many, who’s carefree ways made many people chuckle in the morning. And While I was cleaning and thinking about her, I realizes she was missing from Facebook for couple of months. I am glad she responded to my text and called as soon as she could. She needed someone and I am glad I was there. We talked about many things, how politics here and back in India was the major cause of our irritation, how we could sometimes be lonely having 100s of friends in life, how things don’t make sense and how “what ifs” is our destiny and how some time future seems so daunting.
I cannot focus on one thing, I must do multiple things at ones so my cleaning was going on, the laundry was being done and chicken was on the stove too. But after her confession I had to just stop everything and sit and listen to her, LISTEN to her my heart said, she needs you. And then it hit me.. how difficult it is for a strong woman to say that. She is one of those. She lost her parents and is an only child, having three boys, twins on spectrum. The rich and fast life of west coast is no help either. It must have taken a lot of courage to utter those words. We talked about various options, ways to deal with things, possible solutions and if nothing works she is more than welcome to come to Boston and stay with me with the boys. We laughed, joked, grumbled about life, husbands, kids, parenting, motherhood, womanhood, house works, relatives and everything under the sun. It was therapeutic and after that hour and half we both were happy and ready to deal with the world.
Later in the day I sent her a picture of Anand having dinner and right away got a text –“See, we have a bond. After I spoke to you my day went by so awesome, I spoke to husband and he said to look for ticket to Boston soon.”
This whole conversation forced me to write about this. How we ignore our own health, how we want to fix everything and don’t even realize that we are the one who are slipping away, we are the one who need someone sometimes. It’s not only our kids who need some therapy, we do too. It doesn’t have to be shopping, spa or vacation or couch in someone’s office. Sometimes it’s just a phone call, a hug, a kiss, a poetry, a new song from a friends collection, a dish from a friend’s kitchen, a pantry cleaning afternoon, a coffee, a drink on workday afternoon, a dinner without kids, a movie or just a walk. Find whatever works for you at that moment but I urge you to find it, look for it and just ask for help. Don’t let it slip away, you don’t want to because not only family needs you.. YOU need yourself too.

Below is the image - A summer afternoon in cape cod. My Facebook status said-
When you forget everything in the world and enjoy the moment. 
and son catches the glimpse of real you.. at that ONE moment when you are not a wife, mom, daughter, sister, friend, partner or anyone else ... Just YOU.
Happiness redefined..
Summer 2017.
I grew up in central India MP, saw the ocean for first time when I was 24.. and lived close to ocean since then  and Imagine I am a piscean..Water does something to me 

 Next day I was at the beach at 6 AM. A day before I wasn't allowed to sit on life guard's seat during the day.. Guess what.. It was all mine that early in the morning, A cup of coffee and Jagjit Singh's ghazals were my companion for next two hours.
                                                 and my view was spectacular...

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Happiness.. Lets define our own..

While talking to a special mom I realized how well we know each other. We hardly talk and never met but could talk for so long and felt we have known each other forever. More than that we get what the other person is going through. I met another mom last week and another one week before, first meet but again it was something we all felt, the connection.
During that conversation one said how she is tired of seeing everyone’s rosy and happy life, while her world is falling apart. How Mom’s groups are not her thing as she feels lonely even there. How Facebook’s happy world makes her irk for her son’s very limited world. It did make me think. At the same time, I am guilty too. I don’t post my dark days or write about not so happy days in detail. I feel I post enough of Anand’s life on public platform, but shouldn’t embarrass him more than that. I write about hope, optimism and focus on his abilities than things he cannot do. I think I ask everyone around to do the same, focus on good things in life.
I am happy if shaving is done without too many fights, laundry has gone in the hamper, he has done his exercise without argument, dishes are gone in the sink without too much nagging, I get a hug, and there are not too many arguments about everything.
Today I am happy mom, an accomplished one to that matter. I made Mooli (Radish) and Methi ( green leaves) parathas and Chicken curry with cashewnuts. And My son ate those, did you hear that?? Anand ate those with curry. He tried three new things and loved them, without any bribe or too much noises, I feel like I am the best chef in the world, and on top of that he was OK with me taking those pictures.

This happiness may not last long, we might have a messy morning, things might fall apart tomorrow afternoon and a meltdown might ruin every bit of happiness I am feeling now. BUT for now, I am holding on to these happy moments and cherishing them. Sending hugs to all those mom who didn’t have such a happy evening but want to tell them that they might have a better evening tomorrow, day after tomorrow, next week.. just keep working and hoping and things will fall into place. Not your neighbor’s or that another mom’s but your own “custom defined place”, till then hugs to you all.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Dream and Vision - Life is all about that..

We always talk about family and its strength and what it can do to any person, let alone our kids. Believe me its all about our dream and vision.
While chatting with a friend last week he mentioned how a small company was falling behind in its production, packaging and shipping. One weekend families decided they all will help and over the weekend everyone got together and things were done. I couldn’t stop marveling the idea. Imagining the scenario only helped me cheer up and write this post. If one spouse and one kid could come together, it’s 3 times more productivity. At the same time, it became family time, one could meet the other people who work with their husbands, wives, fathers or mothers and get an idea of their long day. It must have brought the sense of belonging and owning. The same day I was in a Transition conference hosted by ARC of Massachusetts. The key note speaker mentioned the role of the family and what it does to any kids not only our Special kids. Every time I go to any of these conferences I come back more with clarity of the thought that vision and dream of the family can do wonder. When I wrote the post “knowledge is the power” I knew it was my mission to educate moms whatever I knew. Because knowing What we need to do is winning the half battle. That conference taught me few things. Self-determination is our children’s right, they have a right to dream and fulfil that dream. No one can say to them not to dream. No testing, no doctors no one else not school districts for sure.
As a parent we must be not only supportive but show them the path to that dream.
To the moms and dads out there, keep driving your kids crazy if that is needed, keep fighting for them, keep dreaming with them and yes keep that in mind that you are the best advocate for your child and no one can take that away from you. Keep learning and keep fighting for what is your and your child’s dream..Because.. It starts with a dream and then only becomes the reality.