Friday, January 16, 2015

What will I ever do with a genie?

Ever since I was a kid, I had these random whimsical wishes that may or may not have included having a genie or a time machine. There was always that one thing that would make my life perfect. In that moment anyway.

I have always been a last minute person. I would study literally one day before the exams or do my homework one day before it was due. My genie wish in those times would include my homework being magically done or all the subject material magically getting into head and staying there until the end of the exam. Ha. So convenient. I was very sneaky that way. Not that I ever got my wish. But I passed. 

When my younger sister had just surpassed me in height and was turning out to be much taller than me, my genie wish was to grow a few inches taller. That phase lasted for several months.

Anytime I saw a dance or a music competition, my genie wish was to be able to sing and dance. I was always so envious of people who could do either, or worse yet, both. 

And there were times when the going got tough and I would wish for a time machine that could take me into the future to when the trouble was gone, or go back in time so I could fix whatever it is that caused the trouble to begin with. I wanted to be a fixer. That’s right.

Did I mention that I was a realist too? So without any mutant ninja super powers, a time machine or a genie was my only way out.

Oh, well. The things that we do.

I rarely wish for a genie or a time machine now. But hypothetically speaking, unlike the earlier times when I thought it was a real thing, what if I did have a genie or a time machine? What would I really ask for? I had to think long and hard for this one. Absolutely nothing came to my mind for the first 10 minutes. There is nothing in my life that I need a genie for. Whaaat? How did that happen? Is it because I already have everything I need? I don’t think so. Or is it because I feel way above the whole genie and the time machine thing now that I am a grown up, non naive, world adult. Oh God, I hope not. Or is it because I have way too many things to ask for and I could not prioritize? Maybe. I am not too sure. 

Slowly and gradually, some ideas did trickle into my fickle brain. I realized that I couldn’t come up with anything because most of my wishes are small little things. “Everything” is an extremely subjective and strange term. I have everything I need. Mostly anyway. But there is nothing like everything. You can always have more things. And you can always do with less. So what is everything anyway?

But apart from that philosophical rant, here is a list of things I want.

A caramel macchiato at my fingertips. Anytime I want it. I don't (know how to) make it at home so I rely on outside sources if and when I want it. I never need it need it. Yes, I meant to type it twice. To emphasize that I don’t really need it, but just kind of need it.

Oh, and a magical trip to Patagonia with the husband. That would be nice now, wouldn’t it?

Also, a day to sleep in. Till 9. It has happened a few times over the last 3 years, but it is still a rather rare occurrence. So it would still be one of the top contenders in my genie wish list. 

A spa treatment. A 90 minute spa is all I need at the end of a tiring day. And the world will be a perfect, happy, disney place once more.

A night when both kids sleep 12 hours straight. Without crying or making noises or walking up to our room in the middle of the night saying “mumma, daddy.” In the sweetest, most affectionate tone possible. Don’t get me wrong. I love it when my kinds say mumma and daddy with a lot of love and affection. But a 3 am shout out when it is pitch dark everywhere feels more like a scene from Paranormal Activity. 

A day when Sammy will eat vegetables and Rehan will not throw his food to indicate he is done. That dream might stay a dream forever. Maybe Rehan will stop throwing his food when he is a little older. And he will join Sammy in the no-vegetables camp. I have this eerie feeling that might be my reality. 

And then, I ran out of any more ideas of what I want from a genie.

I realized my genie wish list is nothing extraordinary. It definitely does not include being able to sing or dance anymore. I don’t give a rats you-know-what about how tall or short I am either. Especially because 34 years on this planet is just enough time to convince me that by the time you are 34, your happiness will not be derived from your height (weight for that matter) and it won’t matter whether you are 4’10” or 5’10”. Unless of course, you are into basketball. In which case you might get a little bit more anxious about this height thing. I also don’t bother about the time machine during my difficult times. Again, don’t get me wrong. I hate tough times just as much as my next door neighbor. I detest those from the bottom of my heart. But I have realized that I don’t need a time machine for me to get through tough times anymore. I need me and I need Siddhu. And that should do it. Unless of course, Siddharth is the one who is giving me a tough time. In which case, I still need him so I am not yelling at the walls. It is much more comforting if my words are bouncing off of him as opposed to the walls. Unless of course, Siddharth finds my words funny and starts to laugh in the middle of our very serious conversation. In which case, it is not very comforting. 

Given everything, I wonder why would I need a genie at all? The only reason why I will ever need one is in a dire situation. When the whole science and the mankind thing fails, you know. But other than that, I don’t need a bottle phenomena to take care of my wants and wishes. If I do ask for that one burning wish that I need in my life, what will happen after I get it? Will I want more? Or will I achieve nirvaana? Or will I not need anything else ever again? It is a vicious circle. There is no end to it. So what’s the point? And while I was overthinking this ridiculous hypothetical proposition, it occurred to me that this entire genie thing is a big trap. It is meant to transport you to a unicorn world in which closing your eyes is enough make your wildest dreams come true. But, that sounds somewhat similar to this world. Minus the closing eyes part. Close enough. 

The only reason why this exercise is worth it is because it made me think about what is really important for me. And as it turns out, it is coffee. I can’t believe after thinking for 10 minutes the first thing that came to my mind was coffee! Go figure. I was also surprised that my wishes had nothing to do with the well being of my family or my kids. That sounds a tad bit selfish, I think. But hey, it is what it is. I still care for my family. As far as life changing wishes are concerned though, I have trust issues. I think if I really really, I mean really badly, want something, then I can’t really leave it to a genie. So if I want something really badly for my family’s future, or my family wants something really badly for our future, we will work for it. A genie is not going to cut it, my friend. 

I don’t have the power to prepare the world for me and my family. But I hope I have the strength to get us ready for the world. That is just enough. In any case, I don't mind going to coffee shops to get my caramel macchiato, or find a deal for a spa treatment, or maybe, just maybe, one day leave kids with our family and go on a vacation with my best friend. 

My Positivity

Heading from this cold frosty winter to a warm family waiting for us back home. A short trip and then we are back. I cannot wait. My favorite part of course, my nieces.

Saying bye bye to winter for a short while. Will miss you. Kind of. Sort of.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Beginnings

Our family is kind of beginning to get the hang of all the new things that this new year is bringing to us. Up until last year, Sammy was enrolled in a state provided therapy program called Birth to Three. The day she turned three is the day her therapy transitioned over to our local school district. Starting this year she has a new therapy schedule that is morphed into preschool setting. We have spent the last two months talking about and thinking about this transition for Samaira. We even had the option to use school bus as her means of transportation, which ultimately didn’t work out for us. So for now, my layoff situation is working out really well as I get to drop off and pick up Samaira for an afternoon preschool session. 

The first time we were told about the possibility of a school bus being there to pick up and drop off Sammy, my muscles tightened a little. School Bus. The big yellow bus. The bus that stops the traffic on the road with its blinking red sign. The bus that has been another family’s realty for me so far. The thought of my own child in that bus brought so many emotions in my body. There was fear, apprehension, extreme excitement, and a realization that this kid is going to grow up no matter how much I want to hold on to her childhood. I thought about the logistics, the responsibility, the process and everything to do with a school bus ride for Sammy. I was pretty convinced that Samaira was not quite ready for a school bus just yet. But I was also convinced that there is nothing she can’t learn given sufficient time and patience. I have to admit that I was a tad bit disappointed when the bus option did not work out for us, because I had started getting accustomed to the idea of that yellow bus becoming our reality. Oh well.

For the last two months, my mind had been munching over the transition phase that Samaira will have to go through starting this year. The impending reality did hit me last month when we toured her preschool. Going out in a big bold world is not an unfamiliar situation for Samaira because she goes to a day care. But there is still a different vibe to this new preschool that I can’t quite define. I think it is the yellow school buses that are parked outside. Her new schedule started this Monday. I was not sure how Samaira would take to a new routine, new class, new teachers, new friends, new environment. I wondered if she would be anxious, or shy, or less talkative, or happy, or herself. 

On Monday I told her that we will be going to a new school. I don’t think she quite understood the concept until we got there. All the kids were supposed to stand in a line as the teacher continued to gather all the students together. The teacher told me that Sammy looked fine and I could leave if I wanted to. But I couldn’t let go. Shocking, I know. Behind Samaira’s I-am-fine face, I could see slight nervousness, what-is-this-new-place expression. I was not really concerned about it. It was quite natural for her to feel that way. My only concern was that she is not able to articulate her feelings just yet. How will she tell me that she is liking this new school or not? So I stood there with Sammy in the kids’ line, so she could feel like she belonged. Once all the kids were present, three teachers guided them to the class. I walked with her to the class and had a long 5-10 minutes monologue with her teacher “She isn't familiar with you or the class yet so she will not tell you that she needs to go pee-pee. Can you please ask her periodically? Also, she loves to read books and sing\listen to songs. And…she hasn't taken her nap yet. She may be tired so let her sleep for some time if she wants to. And…she has started stuttering a lot recently so please keep an eye on that. Please let us know when we can talk to the speech therapist about her stuttering. And…Samira loves grapes so I brought some grapes for her to eat. She should be fine for the most part. She likes people.” This went on for a bit until I realized that the teacher had a job to do and she was being polite while I took away her precious time. I think she understood that I needed some comforting. While I was monologuing my way to comfort, I saw Sammy was already inspecting and exploring the new class. She was walking around, looking at the new toys, the new carpet, the new furniture, the new environment. She then found a book she wanted to read and she sat in the middle of the room and started reading the book. I was still talking to the teacher when I saw her do that. 

Suddenly I felt my muscles relax a little. She got this.

I went to her and told her “I am going to leave now. I will see you later. Tell your teacher if you need to go pee pee. Ok?” 

She hesitated for a few seconds and said “Bye bye mumma.” 

I left. I have to admit, with a heavy heart. I don’t know why. I was slightly surprised especially because both Samaira and I are used to her day care schedule. But this was different. I can’t quite tell how. The only four words that somehow explain this feeling remotely are “growing up so fast.”

Today was her third day in this school and I heard her say in excitement “I go to new school. Yayy!!” Her transition was definitely smoother than mine. I am still getting the hang of sending a backpack to the school, feeling of dropping off my daughter at school curb side, picking her up at the end of the school and watching other kids run to their parents. While I am still getting used to this new routine and all these new feelings, I have to say I am kind-of sort-of digging it. I had pictured myself shedding a tear or two on her first day of preschool, but I didn't. I think a smiled a little instead. It just happened. I might have chuckled too. 

We sail in our she-is-more-alike-than-different boat most days. But there are times when I wonder what the next few years will bring for her. She will eventually develop a better understanding of herself, others, her environment, her differences, her similarities. How will she react to it? Siddharth and I have always been confident that our conversation with Samaira, one day, about her diagnosis will be a cake walk. We will tell her as is. We will tell her about the science of it and sociology of it. We will tell her it is all about believing in yourself. It is all about being confident in yourself and knowing that we love her. But we do also know that it isn’t all about that. We know that it may not be a cake walk because it is not all about the glass-half-full view of things. It will also be about experiences that will be far beyond our control. It will be about Samaira’s emotions that will be beyond our control. It will be about how Samaira takes it in and reacts to it, which is also going to be beyond our control. We can foster, nurture, attempt-to-influence. But it ends there. She will consume her surroundings in a way that she wants to and react to it in a way that she wants to. While I keep singing my all-I-want-is-for-her-to-be-happy song, I realize that it is not all about being happy. There will be sadness, disappointment, anger and frustration. I hope that she copes with it. She deals with it. She conquers it. 

But in the meantime, I will try to bring myself to the present, and lecture myself about not worrying about the future so much, and live in the present, and all that jazz. Today is a good day because she is happy. She is excited. She looked forward to her new school. I have to call it a win. Today we win. 

Tomorrow is another day.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Thank you for inspiring!

Non-Theoretically, I figured the new year might as well start from the 5th, because it’s Monday and that makes sense. I know the whole deal about the first, but my 6am logic on the 1st of January decided that I needed a buffer between 2014 and 2015. So the weekend was my buffer. Everything starts from a Monday anyway. I have to admit I was so not ready for everything this Monday was ready to bring on. And I am not even counting my resolutions.  Today was a big day for our family. Samaira started her new therapy schedule today. New year. New schedule. New schools. New teachers. New friends. Too many new things all starting this Monday. So it was a brand new exciting day that I thought I was ready for, but it totally kicked my butt. It gave me the much needed jolt to get started with the new year. Finally. A few days later. But, hey. It is never too late. 

I absolutely loved easing into the new year, no matter how much butt got kicked. I enjoyed picking Sammy up from her day care, dropping her to her school, picking her up from her school, picking Rehan up from day care, taking the kids to the bounce house, bringing them back, playing with them, and just hanging out. I could do this over and over again. 

On a little side note, I don’t have any major resolutions this year. Like most years. It is the same old - to be a better person, to be happier, et al. It isn’t anything new though. These are the kind of things that are always on my hit list. Some of these goals I can achieve, and some I can’t so I keep trying. But these are not necessarily new year goals. These are my year round goals that I keep chasing. Essentially they are my life goals that I am always after.

I am pretty sure that the number one resolution for most people must be around health and fitness. While I was out and about I noticed how much corporations want to tap in people’s new year resolution energy. The front and the foremost section in almost all the stores was activeware. While commercialization of the new year does not excite me, the energy amongst people definitely does. I like to see people resolve to do better things, be better, act better, receive better. I like the positivity a new year brings. I like that vibe. I like to get inspired by people around me. And that is my favorite thing about the new year.

So as I ease into my new year with my family, I am looking around me to soak all the inspiration in. Thank you all for making this year so great already. Keep inspiring!

Frosty, Warm, Inspiring, Loving - A good start to the new year
My Positivity

Today seemed like a miracle day because after shower both kids fell asleep within 20 minutes. So by 8ish. That, my friend, is a miracle. My positivity is when we were watching TV in and suddenly our door opens and Rehan walks in. He squints because of all the light in the room. And then he smiles. Like he did something wrong. Like he did something he wasn't supposed to. As furious as it makes me, it totally melts my heart. After some time he asked “Where did Sammy go?” I responded “Sammy is sleeping.” And he looked at me with utmost sincerity and kept his finger on his mouth and said “Shhhh.” Of course taught by Ms. Sammy herself. But that totally cracked me up. It is all about the small little things.