...and my memory an 'unerasable' video cassette. But no, my mind is pretty much like a sieve, where even the most precious of images manage to slip through.
That's why this blog. To write down even the bare bones of the images, the instances, the moments that make motherhood a joy.
Two incidents took place yesterday where my heart went 'click' and I know I have to write them down before they disappear to the Island of Fuzzy-Warm Memories.
I arrived in school ten minutes late. The normally full-of-screaming-scramming-kids playground and gymnasium looked pretty sparsely populated, with around 30-odd kids running around or playing in small groups of twos and threes.
My eyes were on the look-out for three little boys, specifically the one who has my heart-strings nestling amongst the eyelashes of his big, brown eyes; eyes that have each and every kind of human emotion swimming on its surface so that its always easy to understand what he's feeling, sensing, experiencing.
I walked via the field in case 'my' three boys were playing there, getting all sweaty and piggy-like. Then I looked over by the ice-cream truck, or 'the spot', where they have been instructed to wait for me once dispersed from their classrooms. And sure enough, near the pillar, I saw half of a familiar orange school bag. Next to that, I saw a knee. As I approached the beloved body of that little knee, I saw my grubby little, tousle-haired boy, draw both his knees up to his chin and hug them close to his body, the corners of his mouth struggling not to droop while his eyes were firmly trained to the path from the gate that I normally tread when I come to pick them up. I stopped where I was, drinking in the sight of him, my sad, anxious little boy. What a beautiful picture he made. Here, sitting before me, was the dream child of a Horlicks, Complan or Airtel ad campaign. My boy, and countless other adorable ones like him, are the inspiration for all the awww-inducing ads that we see on TV.
After a few seconds, he must have felt my gaze upon him because he turned to exactly were I was standing and looked into my eyes. He didn't get up with a yell or a whoop, he didn't smile, he just continued sitting there in that sad pose looking at me with that little-boy-lost kind of expression on his face.
I quickly closed the gap between us, walking as fast as I could, trying hard not to trip and fall flat on my face, my eyes never leaving his for even for a second. I reached him and bent down to his level and asked him anxiously, "What's wrong my darling?"
He looked at me sadly, trying very bravely and very hard to be almost-six-years-old-now and not cry, "I thought dat you had forgotten about me."
I put my hand on his cheek and softly reassured him, "How can I ever, EVER forget you? That's impossible! I was stuck in a traffic jam. I'm sorry."
All reassured and happy with my explanation as well as my apology, he got up off the floor, dusted himself down and put on his bag, as the other two boys ran towards me, relief spreading across their faces upon seeing me.
Then all three started jabbering away, nineteen to the dozen. I don't remember much of what they said, because all my senses were still full of the image of my little boy, sitting there forlornly, waiting for his Mamma, hoping and praying hard that she hadn't forgotten about him.
It was late at night. The MIM was watching TV while I was sitting next to him, working on an assignment. The ayah had just stepped out of the room and gone to have dinner.
Ten minutes later, the EO walks out of the room, all groggy-eyed, arms outstretched towards me. I pick him up and carry him back to his room. I make him go to the bathroom, have a drink of water and tuck him into bed. I lie down next to him and he nuzzles into me.
A few minutes later, the YO wakes up and sits up in his bed. He peers around in the darkness, looking for his ayah. He sees me next to his dada and makes to clamber up between us. I quickly disengage from my elder son's grasp and scramble down to scoop my little one up in my arms. I then call the MIM for reinforcements and we each settle down next to a boy; he with our
YO and me with the EO.
Soon the ayah comes back. The MIM kisses his sleepy boys and leaves the room. After a few minutes, I get up to do the same.
A small little head lifts itself off the pillow and a tiny voice asks me, tentatively, softly, hesitantly, "Mamma, tumi aamaal shonge show?" (Mamma, will you lie down next to me?)
Aaahh, my precious little one! How could I not? How could I not?