I realized that I have not written for almost a month. I have also not been able to run in the morning either. The winter is upon us, and the nip in the air is becoming a little more than just a nip. It is so difficult to just jump start my day at 6:30am, as it used to be. Even the sun does not rise until 7:15. I know I am making excuses. I can hear it in my own inner voice. Sigh! That’s why they say, winter is coming!
Things have been busy. A wee bit more busy than I prefer. But it is what it is. I see myself going down a slippery slope of going back to my workaholic mannerisms. But I correct myself, from time to time. It helps so much to have Tara running around me.
When you are having fun, it is tough to see the clock. You cannot leave things in between and switch modes easily. It takes so much more effort to get into that groove again. Once again, I am making excuses.
The bottomline is, I feel like my two years sabbatical is over. I am picking up where I left things off in winter of 2014. I am growing mental prowess, investing in emotional intelligence and stability and expanding my professional networks. It is exhilarating. And it is great to have that feeling back. A feeling that was the highlight of my three years at Salesforce. A feeling that took a while to form, here at Google. But I am thankful for the journey. And with that, I need to learn to balance this exhilaration and not let it impact Tara.
Mom is heading back to India the week after, and we will be back to being by ourselves. It was so amazing having her here. But I admit it is tough to play Mom, when your Mom is around. Our contexts are so different. We view parenthood with a different lens. My goal with parenthood is to stay Tara’s friend, for life. I will need her for life. I want to be her best friend forever. I am such a sucker for her friendship that we repeat “Best Friends Forever” every night before going to bed, in chorus. I will consider myself a successful parent if I am the person Tara runs to when she goes through her first break up. I know I am pathetic. But that’s my currency, empathy.
I don’t think those were my Mom’s goals when she was raising my sister and me. She was raising two daughters in a society that was very different than ours. She did so well for the times she was in. I am a proud example of that. But I cannot and will not raise my daughter on the same principles. And it is tough to confront your Mom on topics like – I don’t care if Tara’s hair are combed every morning or not. I prefer to get her hair cut super short, instead of subjecting the poor child to the torture of combing her hair and tying them into a pony tail, every single morning. Or for that matter the argument of paranthas being more nutritious than quinoa with broccoli and red peppers. I mean I grew up on those paranthas. But Tara doesn’t have to. I want her to learn to eat her veggies and love the colors of nature’s bounty.
It is hard to explain to your own mother, how what worked for her, won’t work for me. And that I want to have a very active role in defining my child’s childhood experiences. I will not let society tell me how to raise a girl. I am raising a wild kid and I want to encourage her wildness. I don’t care if all other kids in the day care wear leggings with tshirts. I will let her enjoy summer dresses as long as possible. Because winter is coming and dresses won’t last.
Keeping that aside, I know that Mom was the highlight of our summer. And with her leaving, we go back to embracing silence.We will once again, come back to an empty house. She won’t be there to remind us about eating cucumbers with dinner, and adding ghee to Tara’s rotis, and to switch off the lights before going to bed. We go back to our routines, and mundane tasks. And that’s why I say, winter is coming. In fact it will be here Oct 23rd 😦