Several days ago I was looking through my son’s toy basket for his remote control, and while doing that I found his old mobile. I had forgotten about it honestly. And it’s not like it ever really helped him fall asleep much less stay asleep. I’m not sure what made me turn it on. Sentimentality? What was I yearning for? As the Bach baby lullabies began, a flood of memories came over me. Picture after picture came to mind, like snippets from a movie roll. Ishaan in my arms as I rocked him to sleep. Ishaan on our bed as I sang to him, You are my sunshine. Ishaan wearing his beanie from the hospital. (The same beanie all hospitals have. My sister, who was born in 1990, had the same one. You’d think their sense of style would have evolved by now.) Anyway, I kept remembering things I had not necessarily forgotten, just not thought about in a while. In a very long while perhaps. There’s a picture of him on our desk of his first time wearing the tika. And I remembered that day, the events, the actual feelings I felt. Remembering that the mobile had different functions, I then switched it to the sound of the waves. That was our white noise for months! I will admit it was more relaxing for me than for him, much less my husband. It reminded me of some nights where my husband and I jokingly would lay in bed while it played and we would guess which lullaby would come next as we would hum it in a whisper to avoid waking up Ishaan. This became our pillow talk.
Is it emotion that helps us remember? Or is it the memory that evokes emotion? I would say it’s both.
The nostalgia that I felt for those minutes was congruent to my all day mood. I had these unexpected bouts of boggy pathos throughout. I looked at my son who was sitting quietly on the floor playing with his toy mirror. I cannot believe almost a year has passed. He’ll turn one in eight days. I am excited and emotional! A year passes in such haste! I ask myself lately did I live each day with him to the fullest? Was I mentally and emotionally present at all times? This is very important for me as his mother. I should be able to answer that confidently, but one always has their doubts. I took another look at him and I saw a quick reflection of myself in him. Although his spirit is all his own.
Now that our first year is coming to an end, I reflect back often on this remarkable year filled with love, laughter and exhaustion, of course. That’s not the right order of things. So let me start again. This amazing year was filled with exhaustion, love, and laugher. Because I was always crippled with fatigue. Always. But now those moments have become unique heartfelt stories to share with him when he’s older.
I feel a sense of achievement. First of all, I survived my first year in one piece. That may not be entirely true. My back and left arm are in constant and at times unbearable pain. But I’m still standing! Also and most importantly, Ishaan is a healthy boy. (Thank you God) He is happy and spirited. He’s clever and curious. And has become a book nerd like his parents. He points at his bookshelf and says, “Buh. Buh” His adorable way of saying book. He’s walking too! Which means now I need to eat more carbs to keep up with him. Lately he has learned to laugh without anyone or anything making him laugh. I would like to think he’s being reminded of something amusing and hence the surprising laughter. He’s so affectionate too. You should see how he grabs my face and plants his mouth right on mine leaving behind a warm big blob of drool. Do not be deceived though. Ishaan has paroxysms of rage in him too. Uh-oh. Just like his Mom.
I’m so proud of him and our passionate and challenging journey together. He has learned a lot, as have I. Who would have thought that a baby would have something to teach me? And though with age comes wisdom as the adage goes, I believe that Innocence, the untainted can be enlightening as well. Since their vision of the world is without blemish, they remind you to see the beauty in things and appreciate the small things more. With him I have learned what love without bounds really does mean.
Why the sorrow? It’s also the end of an era for us. Almost a year has gone by and just like the book says, now I only have 17 summers left. Darn book! (But thank you for that perspective Gutteridge and Cox. I read the first several chapters with a knot in my throat) I wake up with that reality everyday. My heartache these days also has to do with the fact that I soon will stop nursing. My son and I have reached the end of the road and I feel triumph and loss. I know most moms would find this moment perhaps liberating, as I know many found nursing as an inconvenience. Something that got in the way of things. However, I found it empowering and special. It was always our most private intimate moment. Although the first three or four months it wasn’t always private. I don’t think there is one woman in my family who didn’t see my breasts. So a tip to those Mommies-to-be who plan on nursing and want privacy. Seek your privacy! Go to another room and close the door and focus on just you and your baby. Otherwise, you’ll look back at them as only stolen moments. A learning lesson for me.
If I could ask my son one question in reflection of his first year, it would be, did you have fun? I’d like to think his response would be, I had a blast mum-mum.