ROFL. Literally.

Rolling On the Floor laughing. Really. That’s what we did for almost an hour yesterday.

Not rolling on the floor because we were laughing rather laughing because we were rolling on the floor.

My daughter and I .

And the laughter just flowed.

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I don’t remember the last time I rolled on the floor. May be it was some two decades ago.

It just so happened that my 12 weeks old r dozed off in the evening and I had both the opportunity and the energy to play with R. We rolled on the floor together , tried (and failed) to do cart wheels and tried (and failed) to stand on our heads. Amidst the laughter she insisted, ” Mama! Do it again! Do it again !!”

Honestly if you had asked me a year ago, I would have told you that I would never pass up a chance to play with my daughter, that I loved to read/paint/walk/talk with her and that I almost never rushed her. I could not imagine how things will change in a year.

In my instinctive desire to protect the new born and in the midst of the busyness of caring for her, I have been telling R that I could not play with her right now, that she had to wait, that we will do it later and even when we do start something together, we would be interrupted by the cries of a newborn seeking attention/feed/diaper-change. I have been expecting R to understand that suddenly she was a big girl. The truth really is that she is still a little girl- A little girl who has been excited about the arrival of her little sister, who is willing to participate in caring for her and who has a lot of love that she wants to shower on r but does not how.

On the other hand, while I had all the time in the world with the first one, the attention is divided for the little one too. I don’t get enough opportunities to snuggle and stare at this little wonder long enough. There always some chore waiting to be done.

When I sit with r I think of R and vice-versa….. the disposition of the heart is such as to never be completely satisfied. It may read as unfair but it isn’t.I am one of those moms who can take a happy moment and turn it into a guilt trip. Motherhood is hard anyways and honestly no one needs the added burden of guilt with it.

In our little unit of family we are doing life together. We give some and we get some. We are getting older together. R is learning to grow & be a big sister, my husband and I are learning to be parents of two and the little one is learning something new each day. We are learnign to love each other anew. Love is not divided but it is multiplying each day.

Till the time r is old enough to sit with us or participate, R and I will have to steal moments like this and make them our own.

And when we do that I will bring to mind this day of rolling on the floor…laughing…guilt free!

Phir Milenge!

 

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Present.Continous.Tense

Last week, almost Six weeks post the birth of my second daughter, I was able to revisit my old art projects. I posted the next in my series of hindi alphabet illustrations as well as worked on the sketchbook exchange.

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Last week was also when I came across the following in a daily online magazine:

“The painter, Wayne Thiebaud, once said that “an artist has to train his responses more than other people do. He has to be as disciplined as a mathematician. Discipline is not a restriction but an aid to freedom.” Thiebaud insists that rather than being opposed to creativity, discipline provides the conduit through which creative engagement grows and develops freely.”

Oh ! I agree with the sentiment whole heartedly. I can tell you it was hard to get back to drawing after being passive for so long. It took longer to complete and I made more mistakes. I started this blog as another medium for self-expression – Started out as a mom-blog and then it converged with my drawing interests. Somewhere in between my writing lost it’s thrust and the blog went ignored for a very long period . Now, try as I may , I am yet to get back to my rhythm of posting regularly here. What my creative force still lacks is discipline. I have written about my struggle with disciplined creativity before but parenting two kids takes it to a whole new level.
Life with an infant is unpredictable. The daily routine I had going is not followed all the time. Depending on the baby, the schedule for my elder one changes. Sleeping, story time, reading and all other pursuits have to be constantly pushed around. Now-a-days my flair for story telling is limited to hashing out ever-new stories to get my three year old to eat her food or finish her chores (yes ! I have given her some chores . Yes . at HER age!but thats a topic for some other day) . With my mother around it has been easy. I have been able to find time to rest. I can’t imagine yet how hectic life will be when she goes back to India. The very thought makes me tense.

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.

Corrie Ten Boom

 

Even though , I am not actually creating a lot of work, I am certainly observing more and observing more intently. Creativity demands a presence of mind and a presence of Your self. My hope is that all the mental notes that I am taking for myself, I will be able to bring them to fore when I actually sit down to draw or create. I am trying to be present.

present to see

present to feel

present to process

Rather than getting disappointed at not finding enough time to do the thing, I am trying to keep the momentum going, the thoughts flowing and the process continuing.

continue to explore

continue to dream

continue to steal from time…a moment here and a moment there.

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Phir Milenge!!

 

Future Continous tense

What is it about motherhood that attracts so much worry? Among the paperwork I signed at the hospital, there might have been a form for giving lifetime residence to worry in a part of my brain. Sometimes when I run out of serious things to worry about I find myself worrying about any trivial matter.

My husband often recounts a story he read in his Marathi Lit. class called “Murkhancha bazar ( a market of fools)” in which a woman cries sore over a coconut fallen from the tree, worrying that in the event she had a child, who would have been sleeping under the tree, the coconut-fall might have been fatal. In fact she did not even have a child. So when I worry , I set up a market of foolishness around me.

I recently met a young girl, through our family friends . She is of Indian origin and has been living in Canada since the age of four. Over the course of our acquaintance, I found out that she knew very little about her family’s home town and their roots let alone the whole of India.  I would confess, that I saw a possibility of my own Canadian born daughter to become that way in future. Detached from her family’s past and I have been on the worry treadmill since then. Please dont get me wrong, I am not judging my young friend, But as a mother and a proud Indian, I would like to pass on some stories and information about the whole idea of India to my children. for them to be aware of where they came from and what went into making them what they are…..and things like that …..

Once again my dear husband came to my rescue when he pulled the plug on my worry machine. He reminded me that as parents we have to hold our children lightly in our hands , enough to support them when they need us and enough to set them free when they are ready. Holding them tighter could mean withholding them from finding their own wings. As an immigrant , I often try too hard to fit in and blend in with the culture around me. Unlike me my daughter is not a transplant, she is born here and has to find her sense of belonging  here and to India by herself. My role as a mother is to be available, lend an ear and teach her what I know. What she does with it , is her own choice.

Future is out of our control yet we spend so much mental and emotional currency on it. The psalmist says,”Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”

For now my worries are at rest…..but that is only till the time I find something new to worry.

May be I can say to my worries too…..Phir Milenge!! (see you again in Hindi)