Monday, December 17, 2012
We have all these days to commemorate love, friendship, mother, father, teacher, doctors, grandfathers, boss, secretary, janitors, first and last days of seasons, BBQ, vegetarians, vegans, tall people, short people, thin people, fat people, cats, dogs, wild animals, apple, orange days and many more that I have missed. Maybe, once a month, every month, we should have a day for tolerance and concern. We need a day to honor man’s innate need for acceptance, longing for recognition, appreciation being most certainly not driven by corporate greed for money but promoted out of sheer respect for the identity of every human being. No expensive gifts, shopping lists, fresh flowers, special cards, run out times involved here, just a pat on the back. Just acceptance, tolerance and concern for the fellow human being! Maybe we should all forget just for one day, about our race, nationality, language, ego, unfriendly smiles, judgments and make it a point to tell every person that we come across how we appreciate his/her existence, though we don’t know them. Maybe that will slowly build a sense of belongingness among our kids towards the society that no gun ownership ever will.
Dear kids and staff of Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown, CT, maybe we could have saved you if a lost soul’s cry for help was heard much before he lashed out at you- trusting, helpless angels. Maybe we could have saved you if we had mandatory gun safety training for owners that includes teaching kids to respect the weapon and to strictly stay away from it, before any weapon was ever registered. Maybe!
May God give your families strength, hope and courage to get by without you.
May God give your families strength, hope and courage to get by without you.
May you all Rest in Peace!
Friday, December 7, 2012
This morning at about 7.00, I almost pulled out ten pans from the cabinet to find that tiny omelet pan which the commercial swore would make my mornings easy; my husband almost pushed my son into the shower and I almost shoved the milk cup into my daughter’s little mouth – in other words, it was a regular school day morning! My daughter seemed lost in thought and suddenly asked, “Mom, what do you want to be when you grow up?” For a second I thought I lost it completely since we were to start in 10 minutes and we still had to wear shoes, fill the water bottles, pack a snack, tuck the shirt in and brush the hair. But she wouldn’t budge until she got an answer so I said, “ummm, I want to write, now run”. She said, “You know you should come to Kindergarten with me. Ms. S is a great writer; she’s teaching us how to write. She can help you”.
That afternoon, over a cup of tea, I thought about it again. So, what do I want to be when I grow up? We are always asking our kids this. But do I have a plan, an idea of how my life would be once I have the time and maturity to think beyond myself and my little problems? “I want to go on a world tour; I want to be more spiritual, I’ll study the scriptures and live life peacefully; I want to take up music/yoga/dance that I left off since the kids need my time and attention now.” I’ve heard these from some friends, but it isn’t really about retirement and empty nest; as much about growing up and not growing old. Can we have a self of our own, within the life of our own, right now? It’s probably different things for different people. I’ll know I am growing up when I can do at least some of the following, verbatim.
· I think about a good friend of mine that I talk to on phone regularly and imagine having her family over on that perfect weekend. Instead, I’ll drive away instantly to her house to just be with her for a few minutes before I pick up the kids from school.
· I volunteer at school sometimes whenever there’s a call for help within the time frames that fit my schedule. Instead, I’d go to every PTA meeting at 7 PM at school just to show my support for all the wonderful volunteers out there and not worry about dinner, homework and sleep routines of my kids.
· I'd volunteer with my kids more frequently at the institutions I support and not just donate some money or goods once a year in a conscience-cleansing attempt.
· I would not judge me when I come face to face with a guard down version of myself.
· I would not strive to turn every experience into a teaching moment when I am spending time with the kids. Watching movies, reading together, visiting or entertaining friends and family, homework time, when they are down from a loss at game, class test or a fight with a friend, excited about a win – can I just let them enjoy or get over the moment without getting worked up myself?
· I’d smile more, laugh even more, fret a little less, accept my limitations, embrace my imperfections, let go of a little, hold on to a few things even more tight, in other words just find that little person lost in piles of hoarded layers of life.
I don’t think she appreciates all this right now, but when she “grows up,” I’ll show her this post and tell her this was my answer to her question.
That evening, my husband came home giggling about something. On the way to school, my daughter had asked him where he would go after work. He answered, “I come home”. She said, “No, not home. Where do you go AFTER work?" Since he works late most of the time, he thought she must’ve assumed he was going out to do fun stuff after work and decided to enlighten her on the fact that he works very hard for all of us. After the lecture, she was frustrated and gave an example: “See, I went to Kinder after preschool, right? Brother went to 3rd grade after 2nd; cousin went to college after high school; just like that, where do you go after work? Don’t tell me you have nowhere to go!” God, the girl never stops thinking, does she?
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
This year, I am thankful for:
1. My great husband, lovely kids, supportive family and wonderful friends.
2. Our brand new car. We’d been searching and researching for that perfect one. It took almost as much time, resources, determination, abilities, hope and willingness to walk that extra mile that took us in finding each other, 11 and a half years ago.
3. My new blog. I’d been trying to post in my blog for a year now. Just got stuck at the thought, “What if I exhaust all my thoughts after the first 10 posts? Would I have anything left to say? What if nothing interesting happens in my life after I start the blog? What if I have all these amazing ideas for posts and not enough time to actually post them?” And finally a day after thanksgiving I said, “What if I don’t have a blog…ever”? Ladies and gentlemen, introducing, “Thoughts and Keystrokes”!
4. My 8 year old son who punched my nose so hard in the middle of the night, while fast asleep, that he permanently knocked off the troublesome bump above my new piercing and solved my puzzlement – to keep or not to keep the nose ring.
5. My 5 year old daughter, who, so ruthlessly proclaims that “her daddy is the best and he’s the boss of the house and he can do whatever he wants”. Thanks honey, for constantly reminding me of another little cheerleader thirty years ago who always sang the glory of her hero, daddy. Yeah, that was me and, wait till you have a daughter of your own.
6. My sometimes untidy house with loads of clean laundry waiting to be folded, kitchen full of done dishes waiting to settle in their respective spots, wet mop waiting to be used, expensive dress waiting in my closet for that one perfect occasion, child’s reading log waiting to be filled…all constant reminders of a great blessing - to have a roof and four walls to cover all these imperfections of my life.
7. Friday nights when my kids dash to spread comforters and pillows on the game room floor for a movie and co-sleeping night, a tradition we started about 4 years ago. My husband and I get traded, shared, tossed around like a stack of poker chips while who sleeps next to whom negotiations are in progress. Sure we’re all uncomfortable and sore from sleeping on the floor between two squirming, giggling, fighting, snoring kids, but the contentment and the sense of security it brings, makes it all worthwhile. Thank God for Fridays!
8. Morning coffee in peace is my biggest guilty pleasure. It tears me up from inside if I have to finish my coffee in a rush, as it gets cold in the mug; I’d rather skip coffee that morning. Kids leave the house at 7.30 AM, I pour my coffee at 7.32 - laptop, morning news and liquid angels in a mug…3 steps to paradise. “Can you leave a message, Mr.President”?
How was Turkey Day, y’all? Had fun?
Monday, November 26, 2012
Picture this: You just dropped your diamond ring in the toilet bowl at the porta potty at a general admission camp ground on a summer evening, put your hand in the toilet to retrieve it and notice that the ring is actually lying on the floor right next to the toilet. As you are getting your hand out, the lid dropped with a thud – on your fingers. Suppress your tears, dress in haste and try to rush out as soon as you can; only to realize the door latch is hanging loose, and there’s a line of people outside waiting to get in – all staring –at the bear towering over the portapotty you are in.
Now, consider this: You are a newlywed, new to this country and its roads, would like to learn to drive and your sugary sweet, head-over-heels in love with you husband offered to be your instructor on evenings and weekends. Awwww, right? I’d take the first situation in a heartbeat.
Just 2 months into marriage and a million miles away from where I grew up across seven seas, my husband and I could never get enough of each other. We were all around the town, everyday of the week, every waking moment, together, hand in hand, separating only to take bathroom breaks. We never quite understood how other couples could walk, sit or stand at a distance from each other. It seemed so impossible at that time…oh, that time! That was how we decided he would be my driving teacher. I mentioned this to a friend and she said, “girl, you’re, ok…no, call me if you need me”. Strange!
Anyways, back to us. It was always we…never I. We went to DMV together for my learning permit, he was nervous for me as I took the test, I got the permit, we smiled happily and we came back home to live happily ever after.
Next evening, we got in the car, me at the wheel with him by me all radiant and bubbly. An hour later, he was yelling and I was keeping myself from bursting like a balloon sitting on a pin. 3 days later, he was cursing and I was screaming. Here’s an example, “Hands firmly on the wheel”, okay firm, “I said firm, not uproot”, okay light touch. “Yeah, what are you holding, remote to an atom bomb? Break, break…dammit, I’d be surprised if we get home in one piece. Okay slow it. “Why are you crawling on the freeway honey? FAAAAST. Looks like I need to speed up. Stop being nervous, it reflects in your driving. Uh, it’s a little hard to spread joy when you are being strangled verbally! We decide to give it a break for 2 days. After the break, when we resumed classes we were considering a divorce. Now I know why vodka was invented. I love you, honey!
I called the driving school the next day and enrolled. I also called my friend and …well, you get the picture. Life was so much better after that. The instructor picked me up from my apartment, we drove off and all was well with the world again.