What a paradoxical title!
When my boy was 10 months old, I wrote this post, This shall also pass away. Here’s a gist of it:
“…….My toddler is 10 months now. Days have changed remarkably after he was born. I am never alone in my mind. I live two lives in one body. He is like an attachment! My day begins with him and except for the time he sleeps, my attachment follows me all time. Usually while he rests peacefully on me, I get into thought realms so far that I begin to connect emotionally with something that doesn’t even exist. I’ve seen him waiting near the school gates as I hurriedly rush to pick him back home; I’ve seen him whispering to me about his girlfriend as I pray they live a lovely couple; I’ve seen him receiving an award while I proudly hold back my tears.
Will he ever know about these days of him – when he was all alone with this woman most of the day; that this woman dreamed of his future; that this woman felt sad for he will have to leave her several years later? No, he will have no memory of these beautiful days. He will grow big; he will get engaged with destiny’s multiple calls and his life will move on. And this woman who was once everything to him will become a small part of his journey one day. I know this too! That this shall also pass away.”
When he was four years old, I rewrote the same emotions in another post, Melancholy: This shall also pass away. Here are a few lines from the post:
“He completed four yesterday. When I look back, reading the old lines and my then feeling, I feel no different from what I feel now. The melancholy has remained intact, in fact is a little more deeper now. As years pass by, I am only getting closer to his flying-out day Hence, the title remains the same too.”
He completed six, two weeks ago. I now realize, there is a change in my emotions.
I think I am done feeling melancholic that the children are going to leave this cocoon one day. And the new feeling is this: The woods are lovely, dark and deep, let me put my promises away to sleep!
Yes, the little ones are the lovely woods I refer to!
One of my visualizations from the first post has already come true – I’ve seen him waiting near the school gates as I hurriedly rush to pick him back home – and it wouldn’t be too long for the rest to come to pass.
On the other hand, it has been years since I’ve been home full-time looking after kids. Well, in all these years, I’ve managed to have one or the other relaxed and flexible work-at-home job which gives me both financial independence and a meaningful career. But every time I get a call from an HR or consultant with an offer for a more challenging job with higher pay scale, I tend to think for ways by which I can accommodate the additional responsibilities if I were to take up the job. And after a brief period of anxiety, I hit back to square one because I know deep inside that additional promises mean less time and involvement with my children.
Perhaps with additional income I would have been able to make added financial contribution to the family, accrue properties, savings and this and that. But definitely the void I’ll leave in my children while I am busy with earning everything else is not something I like to happen. I’ve let go several opportunities without regret, for the great opportunity to be there for my children while they are still children, fills my conviction.
I am sharing this emotional side of me here because I know of many (almost, most) moms whose hearts oscillate between being with their children and their promises of home loan, car loan, school fees, policies and savings. Let me not undermine your passions as well. They are as important as our careers.
Grandparents, daycare and caretakers may be available for your children, but no one can replace you being available to them. I understand it’s a game. You cannot take a break from work for your children for when you want to get back, you may never know what your stance will be and for many other reasons. But today, I want to remind you that your children are growing fast. It will not be long before they get busy with their friends, schools and examinations. If there is a phase when a parent can admire, adore and cherish every move and every word of their child, it is certainly childhood.
Wherever possible, whenever feasible, have your children in your priority than any other promise you have to keep. Remember, we have miles to go before we sleep but our children’s childhood shall come only once.
List of posts in the Series