“Your dad was the first one to wish me and that too at midnight (giggling demurely)”. “Paneer makhani, cheese puffs, and parathas are on the menu”. “My new outfit should be here any minute now”.
As I listen to my *some* years young mom, chirp about her birthday, I can’t help but chuckle at her sweet sixteen spirit. Amidst, going over her mentally curated and revised list of birthday callers and non-callers, she’s putting the cake in the oven and checking on the Amazon delivery app for her outfit.
I am cherishing this invigorating-relishing-life attitude of hers, more so because growing up, this is the side which wasn’t always apparent to me.
A lot of my memories of her are of a woman sprinting between lampposts, shouldering responsibilities, albeit voluntarily, of both a co-breadwinner and homemaker. Unlike today, back in the day, being a working mom was more of an anomaly than a norm. Therefore the pressures of conforming to extremely high standards of societal expectations were even more and so I remember her stretched thin in all possible directions.
On the surface, she was a perfect mom, wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, neighbor, friend, with an extremely successful career, but on the inside, I am sure, her body and mind were taking more than their share of tolls. Of course, it’s no surprise, that occasionally that resulted in my “fun mom” getting eclipsed by “get-shit-done mom”.
As a kid, completely oblivious to the concept of there’s more than what meets the eye, I made sure to complain about it. I would tell her how sometimes she lacked the “jump in the puddle and dance in the rain” attitude or how she wasn’t there for my hundredth school event. It didn’t matter if those moments were far and few in between and it certainly didn’t matter that in spite of all, she always managed to be an always-present-to-catch-my-fall-best-friend.
Today, being a mom myself, I realize the immersive nature of motherhood. Between the physical toll of scurrying through office work, kids’ activities, household chores and the mental exhaustion of trying to conquer the never-ending list of scheduling, planning, and delivering at all realms, occasionally things get unfun. Occasionally, goofy gets replaced by keeping up and keeping intact. Occasionally, laughter gets concealed in the background.
But this occasional decoupling of silly from the serious nodes of life is not a reflection of the spirit of motherhood rather should be acceptable as a sign of being only human..
Today, I understand that better, mom!
Today, I appreciate you more, mom!
And that’s why, today, when I see you eagerly awaiting that Amazon truck and celebrating your day, I smile, because I celebrate you more, mom!