Thursday, December 22, 2005

Of Mothers and Daughters...& the hundreds of layers of palpable tension in-between.

I need a tee that says the following

“Yes, I’m pregnant.
Yes, we know what it is. It’s a boy.
I’m due in March
NO, it’s not OK to rub my belly."

So people who have more to add can jump directly to other questions and those who don’t can please slink away. The questions that follow mostly revolve around how nervous or excited I am and if I’ll have some help around the time. The first one is easy to answer. Yes, I’m aware there will be pain, and blood and goriness, and pain. But a situation where half a dozen doctors stand around my bedside and throw their hands up in unison and go “Boy I’ve never seen this before” and walk away leaving the bun in the oven for eternity is unlikely. So when we’re ready, we’ll be ready and hook or crook, we’ll have the baby out. The more sedated and drugged I am during the process, the better. But either way, we’ll deal. This one is not really giving me sleepless nights.

So what is? The help I’ll have during the time of course. The Mom arrives soon. Now all the Moms who read this blog will go “Oh perfect! You’re so lucky” and the daughters in ya’ll might well say the same thing but with a sardonic grin accompanying it. Because we know don’t we? I firmly believe my Mom is unique in her mixture of fierce independence, high, oh-so-high expectations of me, general exactness, demand for things to be just-so and this and that. But I’m aware this is just me being all-about-me. The universe demands of Moms to be a bit of a pain. It helps balance the unquestioning love and unconditional patience that they are made up of. Along with the deftness of the hand that knows just how to fix that sambar as well as that bruised knee.

Over the years, we have agreed on one thing - that we are different. The acceptance of the difference is a whole other challenge and each fancies that we are letting the other go easy. After all, she’s blood :) I think we would have ample bonding opportunity if I had a sibling or two who I-don’t-know...did drugs and ruined his/her life? Or maybe gambled away the family fortune..? Or in the least broke a rule or two bigger than choosing his/her own spouse. But nah, that wasn’t to happen now, was it? So here I am stuck with 80 % of the total shock-factor that we as a family can muster, thereby limiting discussions where I can click my tongue, sigh and shake my head while Mother and Daughter stir soups and break bread together as we concoct ways to improve the poor guinea pig’s life.

It’s anyways hardest for the youngest. Because you were the one with the easiest life. The one who grew up in the lap of luxury compared to the older ones...they who used to take the bus, who didn’t get to eat foreign chocolates and who in general walked uphill to school both ways are a difficult crowd to live up to. Now add a sibling of the same sex who has never broken a rule in the book except maybe the one about dicing the potatoes in the unorthodox way (boiling them first) and you have no room for wiggle whatsoever. All things considered, it’s best to find cousins who are indulging in scandalous behavior and recap their lives, install DISH so we have the Sun/Gemini/Teja areas covered and of course, have a baby. These should do it. She'll be soon on her way here, my Mom, bless her! And I’m thinking we’re gonna have a wonderful time, my Mom and I.

And if, by some weird chance, there is some unpleasantness, perspective will soon take care of that. Did I tell you who visits soon after her? The in-laws of course. :)

Monday, December 05, 2005

New Worries

We have an attic in this house. It’s a cute one. Perfect for crawling onto and exploring. I guess little kids can walk upright in there as well. As I settled into bed the other night, I gestured towards the attic and said “Our grandkids won’t find anything interesting up there”. Mr.Gabby looked up from behind his monitor from his little niche in the corner of the bedroom and went “What?”

About 5 or 6 years ago, when Mr.Gabby (or then boyfriend-Gabby) and I had just become something of an item, I was moving apartments. He and his friends were busy loading the truck downstairs and I was cramming in the last few odds and ends into boxes. I reached up to the top of my closet and the huge yellow plastic zipped-up envelope I retrieved stared at me, silently challenging me to make a decision. It bulged with every old love-letter I had ever received along with all-things-romantic that had transpired in Gabby’s life so far. Yes, even those cute Valentine Day’s cards that one finds stuffed in school bags and cycle-carriers, slipped in when you’re not looking. It was filled with some things that would make you go “Aww” and some others that were not so aww-worthy but definitely stirring to me. Those kinds of things that make you pause and stop what you’re doing and just wonder. If only for a short while, you wonder how these people are, how they’re doing and what they're doing and then you shut that little mental envelope and go on with your business. I unzipped the bag slowly and as I did so one not-so-pleasant memory surfaced and I instinctively figured out the best thing to do. I walked over to the corner of the kitchen that housed the growing garbage pile and tossed it in. “Fresh beginnings” I murmured to myself as I taped up the last box.

“There won’t be any pile of letters tied up with a silk ribbon smelling of lilac or lemon verbena..” (Or in my case, now that I think about it, a curious mixture of Estee Lauder’s Pleasures and Indian spices)
“Not even a shoe-box with some mementoes!”...“I threw them all away!”
I had Mr.Gabby’s undivided attention by now as I continued to crib.
“A little kid won’t clamber down the stairs red-faced and breathless clutching handwritten love letters!!!”....
“And you won’t get to chuckle and say “Ah, your Granny was quite a firecracker in her day” or something cute like that!!!”

Mr.Gabby stared at me, disbelief wrought on his face. I knew this wasn’t a big deal to him but I was hoping he would understand my frustration a tad bit at least. He walked over and in some corner of my head I wondered about the commonsense of lamenting old-boyfriend keepsakes to my present love-interest, however honest the current relationship! He sat down on the edge of the bed and said “You threw it all out?” “Yes” I said. “Were there addresses on the envelopes?” I suddenly saw where this was going. “You guys had already taken the shredder to the new place!” I cried out, hoping he wouldn’t ask me why I hadn’t torn the address portions by hand.

A helpful note: Mr.Gabby takes Identity theft Very Seriously. As it is a matter that needs to be Taken Very Seriously. We have an industrial size shredder and several smaller ones too. The industrial size one can even gobble up a CD and crunch it up into several small pieces in 2 seconds flat. It makes a resounding racket while doing so that can quite grate your nerves. In general, all shredding makes a din but we should just grin and bear it, as Identity Theft needs to be Taken Very Seriously.

“Oh well” he said walking back to his desk. I could see that the emotional weight of the issue might have made my action excusable but disappointment was still at large. He resumed typing and I resumed reading. Suddenly he asked “Were there photographs too?” I nodded glumly. “Of you as well?” More glum nodding. “Not quite the lilac-smelling experience but our grandkid might still turn red-faced and breathless, if those pictures some day make it to the internet” he said. I looked up to see him grinning helplessly. As I threw a pillow in protest and screamed that they definitely weren’t those kinds of photographs, I also thought of how the internet might well be the most interesting attic in the future. God knows what shit they’ll dig up about us...all the more reason to keep this blog shit-free. Oops.