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A few weeks ago, we were on our way back from a family event and stopped for a little while after a heavy meal to walk around in one of the nearby parks. My husband & I were a bit ahead and we turned around to see that my mom wasn't behind us, and to my surprise there she was trying to swing by herself. What a sight that was, my first words were of caution, but later realized that she needed this. She was thoroughly enjoying herself. I could really see a child's smile popping out of her face. While she was swinging, I heard her giggle many times like a toddler. It was as though she had achieved the epitome of bliss. There are very few moments in life that one would want to live all over again, and this was one of them for me. It was after a few rounds of swinging my mom realized that she wasn't a child anymore. Most adults shy away from doing child-like things and even if we do so, in our inner courts of justice we charge ourselves guilty for having fun. My mom's state was no different. But for those few moments, she was ecstatic.
She is the same woman whose day started around 5 in the morning and ended by around midnight on good days. She would have taken care of the daily chores such as rangoli, pooja, breakfast for both my dad and for me, packed our lunch boxes, and finally would have had her breakfast by around 11 in the morning, when she would have had a few minutes for herself. There were many days in a year where she would have cooked a four course meal for more than 25 people all by herself. Also, there were days when the food would have gotten over by the end of the night when we would have had unexpected guests, and she would have gone to bed with some quick curd poha or sometimes too tired to even have that. And I would say that was one of the easier periods in her life.
When I see her swinging today, I see the woman she always wanted to be. The wings that were tied down with responsibility she assumed and some that were piled upon her are now back up fluttering. Now that she has all the time in the world, she has been wanting to learn new languages, cuisines, gardening and more. I guess there is no age to flutter your wings and swing back to life.