Today I went to pick Arvind up from school and we went through the usual drill. The one where he ignores my greeting and looks pretty disinterested in gathering up his stuff to leave. We were almost back at the car when he suddenly spun around and hugged me. Arms tightly wound around my waist and tippy-toed as if he wanted to picked up and cuddled.

I was thrown for a huge loop, but I scooped him up and snuck in a snuggle and a kiss, realising sadly that both he and I might forget these moments in the future. I feel him melt into me and I wonder how much longer he will allow himself this comfort, this pleasure.

For a while now, he has been a big boy,  “he is big enough”, “he is too big to..” and he is a big boy “so get over it already”.

I need to remind myself and him more often that its okay to feel small, that he doesn’t have to be big all the time and that being big doesn’t mean you need this facade of cool. I want to tell him that he can grow to be as strapping as his father and still need his hair tousled, still need his chin grabbed lovingly before I crush his bones.

I fear the day when you will shield me so totally from your heart and its inner workings and I fear not knowing if you are hurt, if someone has broken your heart or damaged your faith in some way. I might never know your deepest fears. I fear only knowing second-hand about your life. (If my mother-in-law has any peep, its because I talk to her. Even though the Viking thinks she is a great mother. Don’t ask.)

I fear your hugs being hesitant. I fear your grown-up disdain and disapproval. I fear you growing away and growing into another family.

Its just that I thought I could hold you so much longer, but I never bargained for time flying so fast –  nary a breath from a little head in the crook of my elbow and here you are hesitantly needing me.

We’ve officially reached the part of the programme now where you say, ” Mum, are you crying again? Are these your happy tears?”

These are my bittersweet pearls, baby.


Filed under Arvind

18 responses to “Growing

  1. dipali

    Cherish and relish the bittersweet! Time, that great rushing monster, doesn’t bargain:(

  2. Anjali

    What a lovely post! I could feel your fears, and your love for your son. All we can do, when they grow up, pray for their well-being, and always be there for them, available whenever they need us.

  3. same fears i go through but wont be able to write about them so beautifully as you do. hold on to your little men!

  4. zeno

    welcome to the crazy club ,pal!
    beautifully worded

  5. Amma

    May be from the beginning of the human race all mothers have gone through this turmoil and finally came to terms with it. A mother’s role is mostly that of a giver and if you don’t expect too much in return , you will be a happier person. When they grow up , they have to grow away also because they have their lives to lead as we have had ours. My father told me once that the river always flows forward and never flows back, you have to go with the flow. This doesn’t mean that your children don’t love you, only that they may not have the time to express it always. Unfortunately as you get older it is the expression that one may need, a kind of reassurance of being needed and loved.

  6. Chooch

    sweet post…I feel like weeping sometimes when I look at my son’s hands and feet now because I can picture exactly what they used to look like when I kissed them:) the’re very manly:((

  7. lovely post. I can totally relate to the second hand knowing bit. In a mom-son relationship, it can be only that much more intense.

    btw, what’s the small one upto? I see the header and smile everytime thinking about that post where Armaan said sowwy to Arvind.

  8. You have articulated my thoughts so beautifully and now that Manoj has grown……Though Zoo is the same age as Adu, the good thing about girls is that it will be some time before they shun pda’s from Mom!! Love you…and now will put this link up on my blog….the price you pay for being such a fantabulous writer. And no will not do so without your permission…..

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