Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Learning

My two precious babies; one 5 feet tall and the other a little over 4 feet, lie in bed, breathing softly, getting ready to frolic among singers like Selena Gomez/Justin Beiber or Iron Man in dream land. I lie beside them in the dark room, still dressed in my work clothes, hoping they fall asleep soon because I need to hit the sack too. When I hear the soft snores and feel that the twitching of limbs has stopped, I know they've slept.

I hug them. Tight. Like my life depends on it. I hug them again and kiss them - and hold them, wanting to hold on to the moment forever. The silence makes me feel 'relaxed' and at ease.

And then I remember.

I remember how the day had begun. Shouting at the daughter for having woken up late, not set her bag for school, unpolished shoes et al....followed by another screaming/threatening session aimed at a pair of sleepy eyes that wouldn't open until too late, and limbs that flayed about as I tried in vain to get them out from under the cosy comfort of the quilt.

Two hours of battle. A short breather...before I resume another battle of another kind.

The day progresses and as the evening draws near, the two brats return to my hearth and the clamour for my time and attention begins.

I put a meal on the table, reprimanding one to put down her book while eating and reminding the other to chew his food, get some home work done and keep an eye on the clock - all the time.

Then I hurry them to bed and lie (almost impatiently) waiting for sleep to knock on their doors, and then hug them trying to make up for the lost time and a lot more.....

The cycle continues. One day after another. We awake, we quarrel, we part, we meet, we argue/quarrel, we sleep...and ....

Sometimes, when I lie in bed, tired in mind and body, I think of what life has become - a quagmire of routine - of things to do, that have to be done at a particular time. All the waking moments are spent glancing anxiously at the clock - ticking away at its pace - making no concessions for over worked, sleep deprived mothers or attention starved, distracted children.

Spontaneity is sacrificed - sometimes for academic achievements and sometimes for achieving academics; to wake up on time, sleep on time, eat on time, play on time... Sometimes the hugs - before going to school, at bed time - also seem orchestrated to fit into the scheme of things. Sometimes, a conversation, a joke, a story become tedious and never ending and sometimes, when the house is quiet, the jokes, the extended drama in stories longed for...

When I have successfully turned life into a series of tasks that have to be achieved with clockwork precision, how will I ever teach my children the value of 'living' in the moment? Of being spontaneous and carefree? Of unadulterated happiness that all of us deserve?

Its past 1am now and I still lie awake wondering if I will be able to unlearn the learning I am rendering to my precious little children; one who is 5 feet tall and the other, a liitle over 4 feet.....

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