My Lil Tadpole
fills you, when you see things happen out of the blue in the way you may have wanted, at the right time! This is true for anything:-)
I had this guilt of not building a routine for kids household chores, as I genuinely believe that it has to come with shared responsibility, interest and acknowledging one another and not forced upon. But what has been bothering me in the back of my mind was ‘Am I taking efforts and creating opportunities for it to happen?’
Over the years, Yuvan has willingly done house chores like setting the dining table, clearing it, grocery shopping as well as assisting on anything when one needs help at home; learning to reheat food etc at a pace of his own, on top of being responsible for some of his very own chores – that mummy insists must be on his own. This also seemingly worked well with ‘wanting to be more independent’ phase of his!
But I had always thought about why he has not been picking up chores like mopping, which I genuinely believe is a core job on top of cooking and cleaning to be shared by everyone in the family. I had also thought of his mind set etc (now I know it was unnecessary..) towards these chores! Suddenly, in the last week or so, he had willingly learnt to use the pail with spinner and mop small areas such as kitchen, store room and living room after cleaning the fish tank etc., And I can see he is genuinely willing to do it and I appreciate that. And off course no mind set issues! He has been learning how to wash the rice before cooking too.He also has conversations about me being naggy and at the 5th minute after complaining and being grumpy, checking on how am I getting home/office after I drop him at school.This boy never fails to amaze me as much as he makes me go crazy!Love you Yuvan!The important thing I want you to remember is Be respectful and be a Gentleman!
One of Yuvanz school holiday project was to analyze poems given in particular themes and come up with mood boards. The theme of his poems were Poverty and one of it was on Hunger specifically and the other set in Mumbai.
Whilst I was helping him with logistics as he was putting together his project, a lot of reflections crossed my mind:
- There is so much out there happening around me and I am not anywhere in that zone.
- Hunger is the World’s biggest epidemic
- The divide is very huge – social, economical and political
- Why hunger?
- Am I being truly grateful for what I have been provided for and what I am able to provide for?
- What can I do? Am I doing my part being a responsible human being?
Why Hunger? It reminded me of this famous thought-school, ‘Consuming only what exactly you need is indirectly making it available to the needy!’ This I think is a powerful thought, which needs action. Starts from within!
I am grateful that this served as an opportunity to have meaningful conversations with Yuvan. Yuvan questioned whether it is the respective government’s responsibility to ensure no one goes hungry as much as possible? He seemed quite taken aback with the whole issue of Hunger for Food and Poverty.
I was thinking: Has he been so sheltered?
It was interesting when he mentioned hunger drives people to be desperate. He continued that hunger can also be related in terms of hunger for success, money etc. not just hunger. ‘Desperate’ for food could lead to stealing or begging; The other worldly hungers leads to cheating, power struggles and a huge impact on undermining values.
This thought process from him literally gave me a shock in both ways, though very insightful!
I told him, yes I completely agree. But there are so many millions in the World who go hungry every day for food, with no basic necessities like shelter and clothing too. We spoke about the Dabbawalas and the ‘Share the dabba’ initiative in Mumbai. Looking at what transpires and the humble lives they live and impact they create in so many people’s lives as well to come up with initiative to feed those in need is a point in reflection by itself! It was also point of reflection for me on food wastage and sharing!
One of his image was the World famous one by Kevin Carter and that brought out subjects like famine, depression and suicide – talking about Kevin Carter’s death.
Millions in the pocket would do nothing if there is no heart to share and care!
Being consciously grateful is the way of life! Be Kind, Love, Live and Let Live!
Food always brings Nostalgia, isn’t it?
Recently I have been noticing that lot of emotions are connected to food and intertwined with relationships! For example, people who cooked for you, people who served your cravings right and the people whom you always eat with… and the list goes on!
Even “Let’s meet for a coffee… or breakfast” is always associated with people. If I think, one doesn’t share a meal-time or a coffee-time unless that person significantly is a part of your life!
I always associate food with my emotions, happy, sad, homesick (Yes! you read that right… Homesick is a feeling for me!).
When I am happy, I would treat myself with a brownie or when I tell myself “Well, you deserve a brownie for all the hard work and the result you have achieved”, when I am down and homesick, I typically make very Coimbatorean home cooked meals and eat with the right combination – Brown Upma with Yoghurt/Banana; Rasam with Scrambled Eggs; Tamarind rice with home made potato chips and the list goes on!
There are certain recipes when I eat, I get reminded of my Mom’s kitchen and eating at home in India – Poori and Potato Masala; Idli and Chicken Gravy!
There are days that I land in Coimbatore and crave for something and my bestie would drive me to the odd but favourite places where we eat Grilled Chicken, a completely Vegan restraurant where we indulge in early morning Hot Pongal and Vadai, a Dessert Haunt for Rasagulla and not to forget our favourite street food vendor who sells North Indian Chats.
One of the best New Year Eve was spent driving around the city and having Idli and Dosai from Kaiyaenthi Bhavan and a mid night Coffee at Cafe Day!
Even in SG, there are only a specific set of people with whom I meet for Breakfast or had gone out for lunch with. Yuvan and me bond over food too, be it home-cooked or eating out his favourite Thai or the very Singaporean Satay and Chicken Rice!
I love taking my Mom out whenever I am back home, I cherish are the evening outs with my cousin A, my brother and Yuvan eating out or bonding over lunch/dinner at either one of the home’s.
So looking at it Food and my Relationships are so intertwined and completely emotional for me! Its meaningful!
A year where we survived as a mother and son – handling Year 5 (me especially so perplexed after so many colleagues and friends shared what it is to move from grade 4 to grade 5), Yuvan playing two competitive sports – Floorball for his school as a Captain, Cricket for his club and representing both under 11’s and under 13’s (not all matches) and came out well I should say. Yuvan did quite well in academics I should say, at floorball and also was selected as an ‘All Stars Team’ member at the end end of the cricket season, won a man of the match award, ended up being on the winning team for both u-11 and u-13, all of these but not without the lows, which we survived together, introspected and learnt our lessons as we went along…
On top it he explored his skills as an MC at the school hosting, Olympics week, musical performances during recess and his book review ‘A boy who knew everything’ got half of the class interested in reading it. And, I also managed to complete a very intensive work loaded Certification course which was long overdue.
We survived I should say, and we literally unwound the whole of Decemeber trying to do what we like — reinvented our board game evenings and nights, ate our heart out, read a lot, went home to India and enjoyed the quietness, managed to squeeze a mom-kids trip and what not!
Personally I managed stress quite well I guess without transferring it on him, but only I knew how anxious I was… sigh (something to work on!)
Its also a year that I did lot of soul searching – realised a lot more good in me through unexpected sources.
Yuvan too grew up as a person as I have seen him manage friendships and some fun childhood issues that comes with it, relationships and himself in total… I have to accept I got lot to learn from this little fellow..
2017 is going to be another important year and I really hope all goes well!
I felt like writing this to you, Yuvan, 3 years after I wrote my first letter… Thinking back, many things have not changed in the last few years, but you have grown up with me in it, you have understood the intricacies and you have been my pillar of strength…We have learnt to row our boat amidst the waves and have sometimes fallen off it but swam back to the boat too!
I can safely say ‘You are more of my friend, a companion and offcourse the wonderful son you are’ We have shared conversations that are beyond your age, we have done things that are of your age… I should say, I enjoy both… You are such a confidante… Probably I should say that you are the only person to whom I have shared my innermost fears and have rationalized.. and you seem to understand me…
You have been such a supporting, responsible lad in everyway possible who is also loved by all.. we have had our very own ‘lost it’ moments… I am trying everyday to be a better parent, please bear with me as I learn…
You have taught me very important life’s lessons and the views you share with me on quite a lot of personal front, just amazes me. The best I have learned from you through your actions and our conversations, which I still struggle to follow is ‘Silence is virtue.. and you just dont have to respond if you know its better not to respond’
I love the way we communicate just with non-verbals mostly eye notions… I love the dinners we share, the coffee time and I have to admit I like teaching you too.. Needless to say, I love cooking for you!
You are such an inspiration to me and I learn from you every single day! You have been quite open and transparent with me except for a few very silly things that you shouldnt have.. but please do remain the way you are and we will reach the goals and grow together!
I am impressed the way you are taking your competitive sport (and trying your best to balance with academic expectations). I am a proud mom looking at how your teammates bond with you, love you and encourage and adore you. I know you return the same too.. Keep going!
I am baffled and confused as you start your pre-teen years.. I am nervous and anxious! Lets go through this journey together, better and in a best possible way for both of us!
I love you Yuvan and you know what your flaws are… I am pretty proud to be your mother. The way you analyse things and put it into perspective be it in academics or personal or competitive sports, just makes me go ‘*open mouthed* Ohhh I see…’ Keep it up and continue it.. I love those perspectives from you!
Just remember one thing ‘Every action will have an equal and opposite reaction. You know your values, you know your strengths and weakness… Act accordingly!’
More to come from me as a parent but I love you as you are Yuvan! Have a blessed year and many more!
to having time. I belive in making time and prioritising… Though I have thrown some of the things I had been doing for myself out of the window, I am glad to be blessed to keep it going with this part of the equation for Yuvan!
A little burger dinner and a game of ‘stress’ is a definite Friday sanity… [Do not ask why the game is named so and what it is… It is just another version of the so called ‘Uno’ with different I donot who invented those rules.. LOL]
Those quality time spent mindlessly are the ones I really cherish… as well as the impromptu ones like this morning – lazing around in the bed, watching some riddle videos; queuing up to be one of the first few to take the Futsal slots for a little birthday get-together.
He is also my little man who helps me with weekend groceries – happily pushing away my trolley (though I know the other push factor for him is to play that so called ‘coke-cup’ filling game at the Fairprice finest we go to)… But no complaints though as I enjoy this little bonding times:-)
Touch wood… and I am thankful for this!
is something everyone would cherish and people who play competitive sport would relate to instantly.
Today was Yuvanz second ever since he started playing competitive junior league cricket. Both me and Eash couldn’t make it was I was down with fever (damn..!) but he came home with a huge smile and the MoM match ball award. It’s for his 4/14 and 11 of 9 unbeaten ina 20 overs Howzatt game where a batsman gets to bat only 20 balls.
I am glad the cricketing group parents made sure they snapped pics especially his good friend’s Dad and shared it with me… Blessed to have them.. It’s God’s own way of reassuring me I believe..
Yuvanz man of the match comes after a good 4 weeks break from cricket to focus just on academics… So am in a way relived we managed to balance (off course with me pullinnnnnnnggggg hair) both…
I know this has made Yuvan content, boosted his confidence and what not.. Playing competitive sport has definitely its fairshare of pro’s –playing as a team, dealing with loss and wins and many more which I perosnally belives in shaping one holistically!