I am looking forward to day light savings to kick in. It is demoralizing to wake up at what seems like a reasonable hour to wake up, and not hear the birds, nor feel the sun on your face. It is extremely quiet outside. There is not a soul on the street. Even the cats are curled up and asleep. So here I am, typing away in silence.
When the sprinklers turn on, I will know it is time to wake up Tara. She wakes up with their sound anyways. The one’s in the front, are right under her bedroom window. Her sense of smell and sound are akin to mine. Gah! She hears and smells things from far far away.
It might sound contradictory to the obvious, but I find myself head over heels in love with Tara, more now, than when she was a baby. She was a cute baby, alright. But I love the innocent, and some times malevolent interactions so much more than just chubby cheeks and dimple chin.
I don’t believe in “falling in love”. But the few times that I have indulged in the feeling, I have observed a certain opulence of emotion. A superfluous stream of warmth running inside my core. With Tara around, this fluid, like molten lava keeps running through my body endlessly. Energizing, yet exhilarating.
It is quite possible that I have more time to connect with my feelings, now that she is growing up. Or that I am most stimulated by engaging conversations. Just like her Dad, she too has won me over with her ability to reason and argue. (Well that and their innocent persistence to make it all about themselves, regardless of context :))
Her words tug at my heart strings, more than her whimpers did when she was a baby. I have also observed that a conversation with her, is at times, more refreshing than a cup of coffee. Simply because when you talk to Tara, you have to give her your full attention. She does not entertain light listening. It is meditative in its own might.
When the day care asked us to prepare an emergency pack for Tara’s day care, I finally acknowledged what Tara means to me. I could not even read the email that listed items that should be part of an emergency pack – a picture of the family, her favorite toy, a letter from Mom and Dad to the child. I teared up every time I mustered the courage to prepare the items in the pack. And then finally, Agam got the pack ready, and asked me to read the letter once. Even that was a lot of effort, and I could barely finish it off.
Parenthood is the most rewarding job I have ever had. My reward is the love that I experience as I raise Tara. She helps me connect with my better self. (although there are times she connects me to my ugliest self). She also reminds me that we are all part of a whole. And that our actions have consequences and impact, no matter how small. I know that my impact will not make it to the news papers, but it will satisfy me.
When Tara sings to her hearts content, at volumes I cannot begin to explain (all at the right note btw), and when she sings Yellow Submarine, and Do Re Mi in restaurants, and people look at her and give a smile. I feel content. I am raising a free willed child. One who will not refrain from using her voice, when needed. And one who will not shy from this world and it’s norms. Tara’s will is my reward. And I must tell her one day how successful she made me feel as a human.
Sprinklers have started. Time to wake up my little cat and decide what we will do today. As for me, I know what I am doing today, and for the rest of my life – I am raising Tara.