Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Pick the broken pieces and make something stronger?

Last weekend was kind of a reminder how difficulties make you stronger in a way.

I am still in awe of the collective optimism and strength these women bring to my life. I was not in the right place, it was just hard, really hard. Questioning choices you make, decisions you take and then some. When I look back I think we all go through this but again we make those choices where we are at given time.

Saturday, a group of moms from Desi Moms Network participated in Independence Day celebration in Needham town.

I just couldn’t drag myself out of the house that morning and regretted later. The moms took that bold step making their kids part of that grand celebration  and I heard the kids were amazing.The audience loved the show.

That evening Boston saw another example of talent, compassion and supporting the population who is often overlooked. A concert benefitting Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled”. Samarthanam is a story of a blind man’s willingness to go above and beyond to build something for people with disability. Please read more about it. https://samarthan.org

Two amazing singers with the live orchestra/band and very generous Boston audience. I haven’t witness anything like that. The music has the ability to bring and bind people. I was there with the moms from my group, was very privileged to dance with one of the kid.

Sunday afternoon was story of 12 moms coming together. Who never knew each other few months ago and now they are such close friends. Few of them met that day for the fist time and I am sure soon they will be  integral part of each other’s life. Thats what happens when you find that ONE common bond. Their kids brought them together but its moms who took another step forward in strengthening the friendship and building their village.

I got a text from a mom who went camping with another family. Something beyond their wildest imagination. The pics made my day. I remember how helpless they felt few years ago. One day they decided to seek help, reach out and move forward. 

What makes you stronger? What do you do with your broken pieces? 

Yes, I did wear a dress not the saree and practically everyone asked me about it.

Somehow I was just not in saree mood that weekend  

The Sunday saga

These may be simple usual camping pics for you but those familes this is BIG, exciting, hope and new beginning and for many more its something to look forward to, an inspiration, two families with kids on spectrum went camping and enjoyed it - 48 hours together Their story opens the door for so many. The magic of a village.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Hold on - there is light behind that dark phase

Last Sunday was memorable for two reasons.

One was very personal for me but important for many, the other one was important for me and very personal for many.

It was Anand’s first day at work. It’s been 4 days and I have been holding my breath, keeping my fingers crossed but today I decided I should share my journey. Not just the best part but struggles too.

Last Sunday we had a very successful Desi Moms Picnic too, one which I let others initiate and execute and those two moms did an awesome job.

First things first, Anand applied for a position in BJ’s ( Online Shopping ambassador) and within two days it was all settled for Sunday orientation and work was starting on Monday. Sunday morning we all were anxious as expected. Dad took him and stayed there for introduction. After an hour and half we got a call from him that he was ready to be picked up. He came back home happy, such a relief for all of us.

There is more to this story but that’s for some other day, In short, He has worked for few days and gets tired but is happy and cannot wait for his paycheck. He has no idea that his mom is already eyeing her share from that :)

That evening I went to a family picnic organized by two young moms from the group. I did the organizing and planning for a couple of years and this year I just didn’t feel like it. I was asked many times and every time I suggested someone else should do it. I am glad I didn’t give in, we got new leaders.

The picnic was wonderful, 20 families were together, including dads and kids. I was happy to see all the dads chatting, sharing numbers, asking questions and generally enjoying the company. Kids having fun, playing together and sometimes not together but still in the vicinity. Moms were chatting, eating and laughing and generally having a good time.

I still have to process that eventful Sunday, but didn’t want to wait to share this now. I was excited to share my journey with the group and it felt amazing sharing my joy of “ Anand’s first day at work” with them. That one group of parents sure knew how important that was for me and for them too - There is light right behind the dark days..

Saturday, August 6, 2022

A village - Yours, your children's and your parent's too

 Sat 8/6 9 PM

A two day trip to NY to see a set of grandparents made me believe in my vision even more. I was in that home for almost 40 hours, spent 9 hours on the road, a bus and a train trip and I am back home with a happy heart.

I met this mom exactly a year and half ago.  A clinical therapist herself unsure of what she needed in life at that time, with a 3.5 year old son and a brand new diagnosis . Her father, Brother and Sister in law are doctors but at that time I guess she needed more than medical intervention. She needed someone who understood the mother in her, not the person. I am grateful for that one post (of so many) she read somewhere and decided to reach out.

The message said -

“Hi Jaya. My name is *** .I have twins, 3.5, One of whom has been recently diagnosed with ASD.. It’s been hard on us , the diagnosis , the meltdowns , seem to have gotten worse over the lockdown . Seeing your posts on  Facebook group gave me hope and wanted to reach out and say hello . Would love to know how you and your husband manage your anxiety ? N how do you maintain positivity. Regards to you” ( it was 2/21/2021) 

She had a response from me within 15 mins and then rest is history. 

In the last 18 months - What I did doesn’t matter anymore, What she did herself is commendable. She MADE an effort to build her village. She made sure she has a place in my heart and life. She came to Boston with her family, insisted I stop  for a quick tea at her home on my way back from New Jersey. Only two in person meets but numerous phone calls and texts messages.  She supported many moms with her expertise. The geographical distance of over 200 miles didn’t matter anymore. She reciprocated in caring for me in my not so good days.

Her parents are visiting and she in a way compelled me to visit her. I am so glad her magic worked and I made the trip. With Anand back home and us going through the difficult days of figuring out what’s next,  I needed to see people who believed in me, cared for me and thought I can do anything if I put my mind to it. I NEEDED that assurance I guess and some unconditional love. They knew so much about me and were very grateful that I met their daughter. 

I spent two days eating, chatting with her parents, we talked about kids, relationships, money, family, the good and bad and ugly of family, wishes and hopes and yes Will and Trust for children. Their love was enough for me.  Her husband lovingly did the chauffeur duty to pickup and drop off, invited me again when his mother comes next, vocally appreciated my place in his wife’s life. The kids gave me the best hugs and kisses, smiled for pictures.

I am home, happier, lighter ( mood) heavier ( with all the food) and one saree richer, a token of  love from the mom’s closet.

The best thing that came out of the trip ? When I came out of the station the Dad and son duo was waiting, asked how my trip was and I got a hug.  

How do you involve parents and in-laws in the conversation about your kids future? Are they part of your village?

While above pics are  my all time love this pic remains my fav. A friend who came to visit them while I was there, He doesn't have kids, but his interaction, his care and love was so apparent in everything he did - This is a true "Village" - Some time we just have to be brave enough to let people peek into our world and open it little more for them.
 While I was gone boys made some progress towards Anand's next step. This was right before they went to drop me at Providence Bus Stop. On the way back I took the train. Beautiful costal route. I got a hug at the bus stop that was wonderful. 
New Heaven CT stop 

Good Byes are hard, Do you see two moneys stuck on the window with 3 more people

 I will be taking this route again

Saree is a simple Kanchi Cotton, bought from Kanchi. I got too many silks and almost when leaving I saw the sales man showing it to someone local, I picked in 3 colors. Wore it on handloom day for a fun meet.