Friday, August 17, 2012


I may have said this a few times already, and I may say it again several times in future too - the best kind of sibling relationship there could be is that of two sisters! Needless to say that I absolutely LOVE my brother. He is one of the nicest people I have come across, has utmost integrity and has a heart of gold. In fact my love for my sis is at par with my love for my bro. But even he might agree that a sister-sister connection is absolutely priceless.

My sister is an amazing friend to me. We love each other unconditionally. Our relationship has not changed because of our respective marriages, in fact, it has become stronger with time. We can be brutally honest to each other regarding things we don’t like in the other person, knowing very well that we don’t wish bad or hurt for each other. We definitely fought a lot growing up – for clothes, for gifts, for chocolates, for Maggie (my brother was an integral part of these fights), for friends, for space, you name it. But over the years, this is one relationship I could count on not deteriorating with changing times, changing relationships and changing circumstances.

My sister’s daughters, ‘P and A’, were game-changers in furthering the importance of this sister-sister connection. They brought me even closer to my sister! I see them fighting for toys, attention and hair accessories today. But I also see a beautiful relationship in their future, which will only get stronger as they grow up. I hope that Samaira finds ‘P & A’ to be her real-sisters, and not view them under the umbrella of cousins. The kind of relationship you share with your cousins is inherently different from the kind of relationship you share with your own siblings. I want Samaira, ‘P & A’ to love, hate, fight with and make-up with each other just like they were real-sisters! I wish for them the kind of friendship my sister and I have. The physical distance between us makes this a huge challenge, but my sister has done an amazing job of making Samaira an integral part of their everyday life so far. I hope I can learn from her and continue that with Samaira as she grows older.

A (L), P (R): This is the first time I am taking the liberty to post pictures of anyone other than Samaira, Siddharth and me. I haven't done that so far mostly to be sensitive to other's privacy.

‘A’ recently celebrated her 3 year birthday!! She is all grown up and it hurts my heart, I don’t know why. Well, if I think 3 is all grown up, then I guess I should wait for her 16th birthday! ‘P’ is 4.5 now, ‘A’ is 3, and Samaira turns 8 months today. I wish these three girls a lifetime of happiness and togetherness! I wish them the ability to accept the joys and sadness in life with equal grace and strength, and respect themselves while respecting others!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Normal. Perfect. The Best. Good. Happy.

I hadn’t given a lot of thought to the kind of parent I would be before Samaira was born. I was hoping that I would be a good mom, and my lack of over-enthusiasm on seeing a baby wouldn’t come in the way of me loving mine. But it is probably safe to assume that I would have been a typical mom with typical joys, and typical worries of “oh why is she not smiling yet”, or “why is she not sitting yet”, or “why is she not crawling yet”, or “why is she not talking yet”, or “why is she not walking yet.” The innate tendency to look around and compare would have definitely caught my usual, albeit, darker side. But Samaira’s diagnosis has put some sort of a reset button on what could have been, and I haven’t spotted myself comparing her…in real sense. I have learnt to enjoy Sam for who she is, and only for who she is.

My normal has shifted.

Normal is not something I had dreamt of necessarily, I had just assumed that would happen. So, it is not as if something I had dreamt of did not happen. It was just something I had assumed did not happen. That I think has been the biggest adjustment on my part. When something you assume, take so matter-of-factly, don’t even imagine any other way – does not happen – there is an automatic reset button of sorts that triggers. This change in perspective can only happen if you are in special situation. There is absolutely (maybe, almost) no other way you will have this perspective.

I sometimes think about what I want for Samaira anyway. And then I realize. It doesn’t matter what I want. I may want her to be someone, to do something, to have certain things – and really, it doesn’t matter. I sound like I am giving too much into “I can’t control it” sentiment. I see it more as “just be” sentiment. I strive to provide the best opportunities for Samaira. But do I strive to get perfection and the best as output from her? Not really. Not even close. Do I want Samaira to be happy and have a good quality of life? Sure I do, knowing very well that it is yet another want that I won’t be able to guarantee for Samaira. Do I want her to be happy? Sure I do, again knowing that there is no way to guarantee that.

 We have had lots of tears and lots of laughters. These days when I tear up, I don’t really know why. Is it because of the shifted normal, or because of my non-desire for the best or perfection? Or is it because I cannot guarantee a certain output for Samaira? I don’t really know. Being a parent is so much about acceptance. Sort of unconditional acceptance. If you cannot do it – it is your own loss – because everyone else will be just fine.

Samaira is not, as they say, a typical child…and I am not a typical mom…and we are not a typical family. And it is all good.

Just promise me happy, and I won’t bother with perfection :).

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Magic touch

More often than not, Samaira sleeps through her car rides. Even if she is not sleepy at first, car rides can easily put her to sleep. But sometimes she doesn’t. Those are the times when she gets super chatty. While driving, I sometimes try and touch her car seat edge in the hope that she will become aware that her mommy is right there. This one time, she touched my hand as I was trying to flap the top of the car seat, and, for reasons I cannot explain – it felt like a magic touch. Her hands felt so soft, so small, so tender that all I could feel was the need to give her extreme care and protection so she never loses “it”. Her unexpected touch felt like magic. At the same time it made our vulnerabilities – her’s and mine, very real – how she needs me and I need her.

I was looking at our pictures from December last year and it almost made me feel like an outsider looking at someone else’s life. I guess the first few months of Samaira’s birth feel a little surreal now. I still can’t believe things we have experienced in the last 7.5 months. It still feels surreal that we decided to get our pregnancy photo shoot done on December 16th, and Samaira decided to make her grand entrance to this world on December 17th – I think she was just being nice and wanted to give us the satisfaction of getting our pictures taken while I could still flaunt my pregnant belly. It still feels surreal that a day and half after she was born, while we were standing next to her incubator, the nurse told us that Samaira has down syndrome. Our reaction to this news feels surreal. The next few weeks and months feel surreal. I don’t know at what point all of this became real.

But today feels real.

We have been spending long-quality-morning times lately. She wakes up at 5ish and starts her day with a sound of “aaaaaa…” That’s my alarm. I am so not worried about putting any alarm clock these days. Shockingly enough, I enjoy waking up with her to feed her, play with her, dance with her and get her ready for the day care. I will probably enjoy sleeping in just as much though ;).

Soon we are going to get to the point where I will be able to play with her hair plenty – if she lets me, that is. For now, we are doing a Flintstone Pebbles style pony for Samaira. My nieces, P & A, also flaunt this style of pony and look so cute that I invariably want to eat them up. Even though my sister and I are thousands of miles apart from each other, she has done a wonderful job of connecting my nieces with us – at a very emotional level. And she has done it, what seemed like, effortlessly! I believe that two sisters’ bond is probably the best kind of sibling-sibling bond – and I hope Samaira forms that bond with P & A! I hope they fight plenty, spend time talking/not-talking to each other, and at the end of the day – love each other immensely. That’s what sisters do.

I love spending time with Samaira, now more than ever. Her smile and giggles melt all my worries, any and all, into thin air, at least temporarily. It is fun learning more and more about her personality every single day. She has a killer gaze – one that can penetrate right into your soul – no kidding. I am a total fan of her intense gaze and her meaningful smiles! I wonder what kind of a person she will be….