Saturday, June 23, 2018

What brings us together.. keeps us together ..

The Mom’s meeting is always exciting. Every time it’s a guessing game of how many and who will show up. All of us special moms live such an unpredictable life that many of us cannot plan an evening out without some apprehension. A dear friend asked me how I come to drive this far every time to our get together? The only explanation I could give was that it’s in the company of phone calls with one or the other of the mom’s and Jagjit Singh’s voice. 

On the way back home the fifty minutes I am I in the car I can revisit the time I had with those nineteen other moms in the restaurant. Many of us met for the first time. Every time I feel the same way .. if this is really the first time, then why do we feel that we have always known each other? 

We talked about 100s of things- about us, our childhood, our school, friends, family, husband and children, what makes us happy, what makes us tick and what could spoil things for us, how lonely life can be. Why we need this village. It’s interesting to hear their reasons for what brought them to the dinner It’s interesting to see their reasons-and what brought them to the dinner. It is everything from impulse, curiosity, need, a friend’s nudge or may be a phone call from me. Whatever  the reason may be.. by the end of it they were happy that they had made it. Some get the phone calls  or texts and suddenly realize that they have been out of touch for so long. Many of them haven’t done this before. Leaving kids with dad’s  and taking some time for themselves. I am so glad that they decided to take that first step. Many of the husbands are supportive even as they get worried about taking care of the kids and dinner by themselves. 
The funniest part is saying good bye to the other moms. Even after many rounds of good-bye hugs, many of us still stood outside chatting for another good ten minutes or more. This is what keeps me going. Every month I so look forward to this.. meeting some new moms, with smiles and tears at the same time in their eyes. A feeling of belonging, a satisfaction of having someone be there , and then this kind of text which makes me happy and proud.  

  The group of moms who agreed to be in the picture for my blog. I understand that its a journey and everyone is on their own.. Picture or no picture I am proud that they came.

Cannot thank #100sareepact enough to inspire me to be a saree mom. A simple cotton to celebrate first day of summer. 

and the person who inspires me and drive me nuts at the same time :)

Thursday, June 7, 2018

what Mother's retreat means to me.

This was a post I wrote couple of weeks ago and forgot to post. I was in the retreat again last weekend and It was again a memory of life time.
My fellow moms decided to wear Saree, they have seen me in one for years and it was in many's wishlist. This year we finally decided to offer as an fun thing to do.. After the dinner we were in a different place.. No special needs, no Autism no family.. Nothing existed .. it was all about Saree and its beauty..
A fellow moms brought her sarees too..Together we draped 21 moms..It was late in the night and I didn't feel like draping one so two of us were in our regular clothes. I transformed into indian beauty next morning :)

On that warm afternoon, I made that SOS call to my husband. I knew he
was the only person who could help me through this and I am glad I
did. He knows how to make me feel empowered and confident.

Mother’s retreat – How I have a story to tell, how it all started, how
I called Ashish for help and how that one retreat change my life and
how that first weekend of June is booked on my calendar for my

When I finally decided to come out of self-pity, denial and
frustration and started looking for resources for my family, Autism
Resource Center was one of them. One of those emails mentioned a Mom’s
retreat. I was unsure as to what I was getting into but I decided to
give it a try. It was an impulsive, last minute decision.

Finally, when the the day came, I suddenly realized I don’t know a
single soul there. All of sudden I wasn’t the fearless extrovert woman
I thought I was. My anxiety kicked in as it was a first time I was
spending a night away from home, among total strangers amidst a
non-Indian crowd. The desire to turn back and run home was very strong
but  I didn’t want to miss out on the “retreat” piece of it either. I
called my husband Ashish who said that if knew anyone who could do
that kind of thing, it would be only me. He did play the best friend
card very well and I had no choice but to go in.

I still remember walking in and seeing Cid handing over the deposit
money and Sue welcoming everyone. Years later she told me that as
looking at me in my street clothes (jeans and T shirt) she could never
imagine the wild soul entrenched inside of me.

That evening is still so fresh in my mind. Sitting in that crowd, a no
judgement zone, moms whom I never met became my best friends, no
question asked, only promises to support each other, jokes, hugs and
smiles and tears at the same time. We drank, ate and danced. I
remember going out to get some snack way past midnight and realizing I
haven’t laughed this much in a long time, haven’t felt this heard and
understood without saying the words.

The next morning, after breakfast when we left I felt I have known
them forever. We had different kids but shared the same kind of
motherhood. I made some wonderful friends who don’t speak the same
language but  share the same emotion behind those words. I cannot
forget how I felt like a changed person. I was ready to go back to my
life,  but now I couldn’t wait to come back next year.

Since then I don’t miss a single mothers retreat. Every  year I go and
make some more memories and friends. Please go and join your village!

My blog about mother’s retreat.