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The alarm rang and though her body wanted to rest a little while longer, there was no way she could take that chance. She had to wake up, get the clothes washed in the machine, hung out to dry, prepare breakfast, flavoured rice and at least one other dish as well as pack tiffin for the youngest. Then wash the vessels, clean up the kitchen and set everything else in order before dropping the youngest to daycare and later proceeding to work.
As she cut the onions for the poha, she took two extra chilies. The kids, her husband and herself were all accustomed to eating non-spicy food and were careful about their sugar and salt. But the two extra chilies were for her mother-in-law who was visiting them for about a month. She preferred her food spicy, extra sweet and well-salted. In the midst of her cooking, the youngest had woken-up and needed Falak's attention. She put the rice on the gas and dashed towards the kids' bedroom. She was already running late and would be delayed for work again today if she didn't rush to the little one.
Brushing the youngest one's teeth, she remembered how it used to be when her mom had dropped by for a short vacation just a couple of weeks ago. Mom would wake up around the same time as Falak and come and help out in the kitchen. No matter how many times she would tell her mom to sleep a little longer and enjoy her vacation, Falak's mom's enjoyment was in caring for and helping out her daughter. Mom would take over a part of the kitchen while Falak could be a little less rushed and a little more relaxed. Of course, she had people telling her how she could go to bed early and wake up early and then there would be no need to have such a rushed morning. But those people didn't live her life. They didn't have the same challenges as her. They didn't have the weaknesses she had. Each one of us has our own story and the stage differently set. We just do our best. And that's just what Falak did.
Her youngest still woke up multiple times at night. Her husband would come home late and she waited until he would go to bed. To think that one of the things that she really loved in life was sleep, and that was something she never got enough of. Maybe once in a month, yes. But a little more would be delightful, she thought.
Right now, back to reality. She had finished brushing the littlest boy's teeth and readied him for daycare. The two other boys readied themselves. Breakfast was served while she continued to cook and feed the youngest. Time was running out. Once again, she hastened. She barely had time to even dress herself. Putting on whatever came into her hands and tying up her hair into a bun, she glimpsed at herself in the mirror to take a quick look at if everything was in place. She was thankful and grateful for the strength and the ability to do what she was doing. The clock struck 9 and while hugging and saying bye to the older boys, she picked the youngest and drove off.
Her mother-in-law was still asleep while she left. Did it make a difference to Falak? Not really. Life was the same while her mother-in-law was not around. Now that she was here, she was on a vacation and had every right to enjoy herself. The bait lied in Falak's expectations. As long as she didn't expect and accepted her mother-in-law as she was, it was better for Falak. There were times Falak missed her mom terribly, but rarely would you find mother-in-laws who treated their daughter-in-laws just as their moms would.
BUT WHAT IF Falak would have gone to her mother-in-law's for a vacation and would have slept off until after 9am while her three kids would have been up and running all over? Would it be the same?
Falak smiled as she snapped out of her thoughts. It didn't matter. She wasn't going to get hooked on to any baits. This was her stage and she was going to do her best.