Monday, December 31, 2012

Our 2012

I am writing after a very long time. It’s almost like I have forgotten how to write. Thankfully for me, I haven’t forgotten how to think. In fact I have spent a lot of time thinking. Thinking about 2012 and what it means to me. We (my family and I) have had our ups and downs this year, but the thing that strikes me the most about this year is that it seems to have flown by faster than any other year, ever. Depending on my frame of mind, January 2012 either feels like eons ago, or like just like yesterday. It is a little bizarre in some ways, and I can’t explain this contradiction.

I have a very crisp memory of Samaira’s birth and everything that followed, like it happened yesterday. Yet, it feels like she has been in my life for as long as I can remember. It’s probably because I can’t imagine my life without her. What did I do before she entered our lives? I am pretty sure I did a lot. But I like my life with Samaira in it a bit more.

I had visited my niece in India when she was about 9-10 months old. The thing that amazed me about her was that the first thing she did when she woke up in the morning was smile. Big, bright, beautiful smile. And that used to make my day. I was convinced that my sister had a part to play in that. Because my sister is inherently a happy person. She finds ways to be happy no matter what the circumstances. And she passed it on to my niece. From that visit on, I had hoped that my baby would also wake up with a big, bright smile the first thing in the morning. And she does. She makes my day. Samaira wakes up in the morning, starts by chanting dadada-tatata, then she claps and then when we take peak at her she smiles like she had the best dream ever, and then she giggles as if sharing that dream with us. My mornings with her make me happy.

Our year started with coming home with our one month old from the hospital after a month long stay. Samaira made some things really easy for us as new parents – she has always slept through the night and we didn't really know what sleepless nights meant until the first time she got sick at 6 month old and was congested and couldn't sleep through night. That’s when Siddharth and I exclaimed to each other – “so this is what it is like…”.

While we slept through most nights this year, we also experienced a lot of planned doctor and therapist visits. On an average we have about 3-4 visits/week for Samaira on either of this account. It feels pretty normal to us, especially because we have known nothing else.

This year, I learnt what it means to be a mother. This year I understood my mother like I didn't before. This year, I was more in awe of my sister than I ever was.

This year, I learnt a lot about myself. About Siddharth. About us. This year, I understood the strength of our relationship. I thank that stars that aligned for us to be together forever.

This year, I learnt how to make a decent green smoothie and enjoy it too. I think more than the smoothie itself, I like the idea of it. It stimulates my mind more than my taste buds, but that does it for me.

This year, I discovered that I love my parents, brother and sister more than I love myself. I have always known their importance in my life. They are my rocks, pillars, anchors, and so on. But I hold them very close to my heart, closer than I’d ever thought.

This year I learnt that friends are in fact the family we choose for us. Sometimes we get lucky. Siddharth and I got very very lucky.

This year I learnt to bake. Just cakes, for now. As I spent every month-birthday of Sammy, I wanted to bake something. I did, most of the times. I have had several failed attempts in the past and so I always delegated baking to Siddharth. But I realized I am not that bad after all.

This year, Sammy made us realize that baby girls clothes are pretty stinking cute! I go to the mall to shop, and I cannot stop at one, or two, or three either. I don’t think Sammy cares. She finds her clothes attractive based on the number of things she can chew off of it.

We celebrated our first Diwali with Samaira this year. It was so so special. I do long for the day I will get to celebrate this festival in India, where it is most fun!

Sammy turned one earlier this month. Time flew. No idea where. While she was sick through her birthday, and we had to cancel her celebration, we were overjoyed and exhilarated that our baby is all of ONE, and ready to take on this world! We did have a little celebration for which my in-laws, my brother & two of his friends from California joined us!

Thanks to Imran for the special effect

Samaira said her first word a couple of weeks before she turned one. She said “Appp..” for her toy “Happy Apple”. At this point, anything and everything is an “Appp..” to her. We show her a ball and she insists that it is an “Appp…”. We try to reason, but she has her way of arguing that doesn't let us go far.

Siddharth and I have two different roles for Samaira. He makes her laugh, and I calm her down. Either of us can’t do what the other person does no matter how hard we try. We have spent a good chunk of this year playing our roles!

One of the most important things I learnt this year is that I don’t control a lot of things I care about. I also don’t control things that happen to the people that I care about. But I can love them for all they are, and for all they aren't. Instead of questioning, I am learning to accept. It takes a lot of practice, and I hope to get there someday.

This year, Siddharth had to travel a few times for work. I have a new found respect for single parents. I don’t know how they do it all. I have no clue. But hats off to you!

There is a funny contradiction I chanced upon this year. While sadness and devastation can happen on life changing events and things that impact us in a big way, happiness is not like that. Most of my happiness comes from small little things that I don’t stop to think about, that I sometimes take for granted, and that don’t necessarily have a life changing ring to them. Happiness can come from any angle, and I just have to be open and ready to embrace it – a smile, white snow, pani puri, beautiful eyes, innocence, a random act of kindness, a song, a voice, a thought, a gesture, a drive, a sunset, a clear sunny day, new shoes, a high score in Wordament, really – just about anything. Isn't it a beautiful thought? Isn't it a relief to know that we don’t have to wait for something big to happen to be happy?

On the brink of this new year, here is my wish for my baby….

May you live to learn and learn to live
May you wish to share and yearn to give
May you get what you want in life
May you do more than just survive
May you face any defeat
With a lot of grace and none of grief
May you nurture strength and strong will
May you climb every mountain, surpass every hill
May you have the power to re-imagine and power to dream
May your enjoy life like a chirpy curious stream
May your care about your friends
May you be the one who heals and tends
May you always be my sunshine
May you be gentle and be plenty kind
May you see in yourself what I see in you
May you always be you, may you always be true

Our 2012 has been filled with joy, learning, growth and satisfaction. Peace.

PS: We do believe in lots of cake :)

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