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The balloons swayed slowly and gave me a defiant gaze. The eerie silence of the house stifled tons of guilt. There was an uncanny sarcasm in the voice of that pouring rain as if nudging and taunting me,
“Try being a good mother, for today at least!”
On your 15th birthday, just a few months back, as you spent the whole day with the ‘sciences’, I pondered over the science and math of balancing it all and vehemently tried to clutch in my fist a precious day that was slipping by. For, turning 15 was a big milestone. Milestones that I have spent raving, writing and going ga-ga about. I knew I wasn’t right but somewhere I wasn’t wrong too. You had your science exam the next morning.
Tenth standard CCE, SA1, impending boards have been a few things that have ruled most discussions, arguments, weekends and the mother-son relation in the year that has gone by. We have slogged together at times, fought over it umpteen times and then made up with each other. Yes, I have been pushing you unwittingly with the belief that I am not a mother enough If I don’t do that. Thinking, these are your impressionable years and you need a hand holding to find your paths.
Something happened today that shook me and made me peep back and inside too!
Just a few years back you took to the Rubik’s cube and the only thing that ruled your mind was to cut the seconds and beat your own record. The sophisticated algorithms that saw you shaving of a few seconds each time were and remain an occult science to me still. I remember swelling with pride seeing you target the Rubik’s cube like a bull’s eye! Yet, time and again I jumped in to steer you towards the blessed books and target your grades with the same fervour.
Your transition from an ambidextrous kid to a leggy teenager saw you switch over from a thirty seconds wonder to over 100 km two wheeled endeavours in your thirteenth year! While flaunting your medals and trophies, I was always on toes waiting to lasso you back to your books. I did that just a few days back too, bargaining with the time you took to prepare for a cycling event at the neck of pre-boards. With no practice when you still could defend your Gold, I announced it to the whole world. What I hid was that it was a deal struck to ensure you do well in your pre-boards.
You had me stunned when you retorted a few months back,
‘Maa, you so conveniently forget, where I was five years back when you rant about CGPAs!’
You were showing me the right mirror. Days when you struggled with writing, concentration and a few more issues.Perhaps, the escapades you kept choosing and excelling in, helped you get over them and mamma conveniently kept forgetting all those hurdles. Your grades went up and with them went up my expectations, manifold.
Sigh! What a meanie I was yesterday, yet again. You jumped at the sight of a boy riding a scootie as I drove and exclaimed,
"My life would be set Mom, if you guys get me this.”
I knew you were just playing with thoughts. But my pucker-lipped reply spoilt it for you,
"I promise. This comes home the day you get a 10.”
That wasn’t funny but acerbic. How I put a rider on your dream ride.
This morning as you left the house with your bazooka to sight and shoot some the winged beauties (another getaway you love), I didn’t quite like the way you said,
"Now don’t keep calling and checking. This is the only morning I have before I start preparing for Boards again. The flamingoes won’t wait for my exams to get over.”
Somewhere I knew, you well deserved this morning. Off-late as I’m being more of a haggler and less of a mother, I know at times you have hated me as much as you hate SST.
The other day when you and your father lay sprawled watching your favorite show, you graciously invited me to join the reverie. As I scorned and looked at the watch, you asked me to stop being a stop-watch and chill. As I ranted off my emotional sermon that I want you to be doing so well in life to be able to follow all your passions, that I dream of you wandering the best locations and safaris clicking away, that I dream of you riding the world’s best tracks and for all that you need to score well. You had winked and said,
"Mommy, your deals have certainly started getting better and more tempting.”
And we three had laughed with you father beaming,
"Your son knows you a bit too well now.”
Last but not the least you just jumped announcing as you read,
"Justin Bieber comes to India soon!”
I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut,
"In March, to write your boards?” I better hold my sarcasm.
I must admit that somewhere inside I know pretty well that you can juggle much more than I could at your age. I know that your passions make you complete. But I am a greedy mother yearning for the best of both worlds for you. In doing that, I do make things difficult for you at times.
This catharsis and confession won’t ever have come, but for this heart touching video compiled by Mirinda. As I saw it, with my eyes brimming I felt like reaching out to all the children pouring their hearts out and hugging them. Yes, we are your culprits somewhere when we take it a bit too far. Pushing yourself enough and taking up challenges is the best way to reach up. Agreed! But as parents, we need to inspire and not push, for you to be able to do all that. I must keep faith in knowing that if you can challenge your mind and body in tasks you love, you are giving your best here too.
It is trust that does all the magic. Mine in you and your faith in yourself.
Hereon Son, I shall stop clamouring for numbers and be proud of whatever your score. For, I know you are putting in your best.
You are the best and shall remain so, for me and your Papa-with or without the ‘blessed’ numbers!