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To a boy who turned seven

Dear R,

The days stretch on but the years fly past. This is what comes to my mind when I see you, my little boy, who's not so little anymore. You turned seven last month. In so many ways, you are growing to be an independent person and need me less and less. When and how did the baby and toddler I knew morph into this mini-adult who talks nineteen to the dozen and is already a treasure trove of trivia?

"Amma, please don't do it for me. I can do it by myself"  
I get to hear this all the time. And, the pride on your face is unmistakable, to know that you are capable of doing all that I would do for you until not very long ago. Yes, this also means you get to hear a lot of follow-up questions like, "did you clean your ear lobes, or did you flush and remember to wash your hands?" and a whole set of sundry instructions such as to use the stairs while going down to play and to come back at a particular time. Talking of time, you now know to read the clock but you have no sense of how the time is running out before we have to push you out of the doors for school because you take your own sweet time to get started.

You like to roleplay and often pretend to be on stage, performing an act, perhaps a magic show or a pilot addressing your passengers. Be it recitation or narration, you do it with passion. I realize you love to be in command. Yet, you more or less tend to follow your friends at playtime and get overpowered by them. It makes me sad to hear how you get bullied at times but I know you'll learn, in time, how to assess your friends and to assert yourself.

Even though you are our flesh and blood, you are different from us: more vocal, confident and sure of your choices. It could be the exposure and the generation gap. You are doing well at school and are amongst the popular kids too. Your teachers tell me how you love to fill in for a free period by telling the class stories you picked up by reading or even just randomly. Would I think of you as a show-off? Perhaps, not but I can say you're not shy about showing what you know. Understand that that can be a great trait if laced with empathy.

Which strangely brings me to my pet peeve (or one of the few?) about you. Your favourite word these days is "I know". And, that puts me off many a time. It seems as though you cannot accept or are afraid of accepting that you don't know. I want you to know that it's OK to not know at all times and the worst habit one could develop is a defiance to learning and remaining smug with half-baked knowledge.

While you like to chatter away without restraint, you can be perfectly silent and on your own too. While, in the past, the silence would invariably mean mischief, it now usually means you have slunk away with my phone to watch origami videos or are reading a book. Oh, well, I'm not really complaining here.

I had read about how the sevens can be the best phase of parenting and I'm inclined to agree. It feels wonderful to hold meaningful conversations (mostly) with you and have you notice something new about my dress or cooking. You still enjoy and allow me to cuddle and smother you with kisses and I'm savouring these because I know the time is not too far when you will resist. I love our bedtime ritual for that's when you become my baby again. Amidst admonishes to settle down and lullabies, we snuggle and whisper secrets. In that angelic moment, before you drift asleep, I find that vulnerable child I want to crush under my insurmountable love.

I often wonder how do I bracket myself as a parent, a mother. I do not gush about motherhood, nor am I the fun parent likes to do a craft activity or play with you in the playground. I'm often rule-oriented and perhaps restrict more than I indulge. Yet, I want you to know that I enjoy my time with you in my own way as I've always since your birth. I do hope when you look back at these days from your childhood, you find memories to smile about.

- Your loving Amma

****


Comments

  1. This is such a beautiful letter, Uma and that too laced with some even wonderful lessons. I'm sure one day your boy will love reading these. And yes, I too agree about those moments before going to sleep. I smother M with kisses and once she is asleep I can't help but hug her and hold her close. Thanks so much for linking up :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Naba, for providing a wonderful opportunity to link up. I love reading your mommy posts too!

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  2. Out little ones grow up way too soon, but it is also a joy to see them become these miniature version of adults.

    And that last paragraph - I can so relate to that. It is something that I wonder and wish for every single day.

    Lovely letter, Uma.:)

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    Replies
    1. Indeed, Shantala. Whenever I feel exasperating with all the parenting stuff, I tell myself that he will grow up very soon. It's a bitter-sweet experience. Thank you for reading, Shantala!

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  3. Uma, what a beautiful post which brings out the mother in you and the inner feelings about the phase R is in. As I am reading this post, I was wondering I am in phase I as far as S is concerned and what would I be feeling when S reaches the phase where R is in currently :-). Your writing strikes a chord yaar!
    This is a such a lovely little letter from mother to son which he can read when he grows up. There are so many phases to motherhood and each one has its own set of life learnings as you have mentioned in one other post.
    A very good post from Uma, the mother. I really liked it.

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    Replies
    1. Hey Lalitha, thank you so much for reading and commenting. Glad you could relate to the post. Sorry for replying so late :(

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