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One of the most wonderful aspects of the journey of parenthood is the memories that we create as a family. It has been only sixteen months since Shona was born and there are already so many beautiful memories and special moments, which will stay imprinted on me forever. There is this memory of her laughing a full throated belly shaking laugh for the very first time just as she turned 3 months old. She was having a fun time with her dad as he made funny sounds and faces, luckily I managed to capture this beautiful moment in a video on my cellphone. Watching that video and remembering that moment still brings so much joy to me. Whenever I feel low, I go back and watch this video and it helps me feel so much better.
On our trip to Tamil Nadu in August this year, we witnessed so many of Shona’s firsts – riding a horse, her first time on the beach and walking along Pondicherry promenade. My favorite memory from the holiday is of Shona on the beach, getting her feet wet as the waves come onto the beach. It was amazing to watch her experience the wonder for the first time as mixed emotions played on her face. She was happy and excited as the waves washed over her feet and scared when the sand beneath her feet shifted. All the while she held onto my leg and kept waiting in anticipation of the next wave to come to her.
I also love the moment when we dressed her up in a tiny little chaniya choli few days back and took her to the Navratri celebrations in our society. It was an absolute delight to watch her get all excited and dance in her own adorable way (with jerky, unbalanced movements) to the upbeat music. As she went round and round trying to do the garba steps and stopping to clap her hands; her face was bright and there was pure bliss in her expressions. A lot of the grownups around her stopped to watch Shona as she immersed herself in enjoying the music.
My most favorite memory with Shona though is from when she was about 9 months old. I had returned to work a couple of months back and had just settled into a good rhythm. Shona was teething again and had been quite irritable for the past few days, my husband wasn’t keeping well and work had just started getting hectic. When I came home that day, I was really tired and wasn’t feeling well and was in a particularly bad mood. The sleepless nights of the past few days, the work that seemed to keep piling on, lesser than usual support from my husband as he wasn’t well had all gotten to me. As I mentally resigned myself to another sleepless night and worrying about all that needed to be done, my husband noticed the state I was in. He asked me how I was feeling and as always his genuine concern for me tugged at me and then the waterworks started. As I cried I told him I was feeling low and thought I was going to be sick. I was dreading another sleepless night and I wasn’t feeling up to deal with Shona’s crankiness and irritability. All this while Shona had been watching us both curiously; wondering why momma was crying – I guess.
My husband told Shona not to trouble momma today and to let her rest and asked her to give me a kiss. She hadn’t yet learned to kiss yet, so she gave a wet smack on my cheeks instead and gave me a wonderful smile. When he asked her again if she will be a good girl and not trouble momma – she nodded in yes. I am not sure if she understood this (it sure seemed like she did) or if she sensed that I was feeling low; but she was on her best behavior that evening and did not wake up or trouble me that night. It was as if little Shona – all of 9 months understood and empathized with her mommy and wanted to help her out. She showed to me that it wasn’t just her mommy who understands her every unsaid need and tries to help her out; she loves and understands her mommy’s needs too and is happy to help her out as well. It is a beautiful bond that a mother and child share – some call it empathy, some call it intuition; it is a bond of pure love that is difficult to describe in words. This is my most special memory with my dearest daughter Shona.
Here are some photos celebrating some of our treasured memories as we build through the memory book.
Here is a video of a mommy unboxing the Johnson's Baby care collection, which comes loaded with lots of little surprises – baby skincare products, a special organic cotton romper and the most adorable memory book: