Saturday, 18 April 2015

An unexpected lesson

Parenting epiphany, a moment of sudden revelation or insight received as a parent.

A mirage in the middle of town?! I found it hard to grasp because to my limited knowledge, mirages only happen in the deserts. In far away barren lands with hostile living condition that you’d be surprised to see any animals or plants. So what the heck was a mirage doing right in the middle of my town? A bustling town. Was I hallucinating or had I gone into a dream like state, again, at this infamous junction that hasn’t failed at turning unsuspecting decent motorists into hooligans, thanks to the ill timed traffic lights.

My doubts were cast aside when I saw a person walking over this mirage. It was hard to see who, but I could make out it was a beggar from her gestures.

"Is she mad, being out in the sun at this particular junction at this time of the day!?", would have been my usual thought but not today. Today was different because I had been schooled by my tween.

A couple of weeks back, while I was stuck at this very junction with my boisterous children, I had ignored a beggar who knocked on my window and drove off without an ounce of guilt. The result was detrimental to my ego.

"How could you?!” muttered my tween daughter. “Would it have made you poorer if had you just handed him some coins from your heavy purse?!" she continued with fat tears rolling down her cheeks. The anger, disappointment and sadness in her voice caught me by surprise and it made me feel so awful, so guilty and so low.
In an instance, our jovial mood had turned grey because of my refusal to help someone in need. It was too late to change what I did then but it had left a lasting impression and I had  learned a life lesson from my child. 

What she said was very matured and made so much sense. Her uncorrupted innocence, managed to prove how flawed my adult reasoning can be sometimes.
There was so much truth in her reasoning. I wouldn't have become poorer by handing the beggar some cash but he sure as hell would have benefited from it.

I am a queen of justification and always had good arguments up my sleeves to back up my actions, even when I was wrong. It was my way to lessen the guilt-trip but this skill was rendered useless, this time. For every justification I made, my tween’s response made me look even more foolish. So what even if the beggar was a cheat or was fooling every driver at the junction into handing him some spare cash? Or that he was just plain lazy to get a job and hence had to beg. “SO WHAT MOM!”

It is amazing, how pure a child’s heart is compared to mine which has been corrupted by many negative thoughts and suspicions.

Today, I had to brush away that negativity and look beyond the tattered clothes. It should not matter to me why this beggar is standing outside my car window, in this smouldering heat, begging. That was her purpose and I had to make a choice. I am glad I did what I did because seeing what that small gesture of mine had brought was more valuable than keeping my purse impregnated. It made her happy and it made me happy.

Every day I am learning new ways to live a little happier by watching my kids and their friends. They are young but they carry so much wisdom in their acts, especially when it concerns love. Their idea of love is so pure and innocent. They don't see colour, creed, race, status or seek recognition for their deeds. They feel with their heart and are not worried about wearing their hearts on their sleeves. They are not afraid of rejection and would ask, over and over again, only to be rejected once more. To live with children is all about learning to live like a connected being and not a single entity.

What did you learn from your children today? 

Thank you for stopping by at A cuppa for my thoughts

Lets get connected:

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Real time connection

It was a tempestuous year that taught me a lot about life, people and karma. It churned me to be a little better and wiser too, or so I would like to believe. It showed me the importance of being present and to appreciate all the good I have in my life - health, environment, wealth, people and animals.

Every day I see my own reflection in my children’s eyes, is a blessing and an opportunity bestowed upon me to try out something new or to repeat something old.


At the stroke of midnight every 31st December, I used to exclaim my resolution. It was a tradition I picked up and many I knew were doing it too. However all that has been forgotten over the last decade. I stopped making resolutions because I got real with myself. My resolutions always got swept under a dusty rug either because I don’t have the sustainability in me to keep them or they were not properly thought through. So when my tween asked what was my resolution for 2015, I fell into the same trap of trying to make one up. I had to because she was just too young for my cynicism in relation to resolutions.

Ha! So here I was, in the middle of February with a new year's resolution. A resolution nevertheless even if it was made to feed her curiosity.

Little did I know, that I had actually made that resolution sometime in December, (which was why I was quick at responding to my tween) looking back at the valuable lessons I learned over the past year during a trying time in our family (my mom-in-law’s battle with cancer). A time which brought many of us together and forced us to set our differences (or indifferences) aside. It had taught me to appreciate everything I had in my life, good or bad. To be thankful and to be present. To be grateful for each day even if I dreaded it and wished it to end soon, because her words have etched themselves forever in my mind. "I am sad that I had to suffer this illness to see my family back together, but I am grateful for it."

I learned to accept people for who they are and accept their way of life, no matter how different or weird it may seem to me. I learned to be comfortable at being just me and not change in another person's company just to fit in.

Seeing the amount people, from near and far, that stepped up to offer support at my mother-in-law's funeral was an eye opener. Flashbacks of another funeral long ago began playing in my mind. I remembered seeing as many people for my dad’s funeral too but I was too young to understand the significance of it, I do today.

Both my dad and mom in law must have been very good community people to receive such an overwhelming send off at their funeral or was it that people in the past were more connected than the generation now? I wondered.

I am no exception. I too had become too preoccupied with my little family that my world shrunk and revolved around only a handful of people. Life in my little world was comfortable and it made me feel like I was the greatest mom ever, by placing all of me - my every waking moment, into looking after their needs and wants.

My family became my top priority and I turned down many requests or invitations for weddings, reunions, dinners, parties or meet-ups because these inconvenienced the setting's of my little world. I always had an excuse up my sleeve whenever any chance to reconnect with others interfered with my children’s nap time, play time, feeding time, school, music lessons and so much more. I had grown accustomed to my new mundane routine life and I liked what I had or was too lazy to change it.

I turned into a desperate housewives who craved for some connection other than my virtual connection and that's when I realised, I had my mothering (not parenting) all wrong. Although the past cannot be erased or rewind, I learned a lot from it and I am grateful that I did sooner, than later.

My realisation came the day I started believing in enough is OK. It was easy for me to believe that because I was never a go-getter, chasing after the best in everything but somehow, without me knowing it, I became exactly that in my mothering journey - always trying to ensure that my children got the best of the best; meals, a spick-and-span home, and safe environment, just to name a few.

All that is history and my kids are still happy and alive! They’re happier now that we are going out more often, meeting more people and learning new stuff. They did not turn into little gremlins like I thought they would if they had missed their nap, food was served late, they had to dig out their clothes from my piled up laundry basket (I am cringing as I confess to this) or had to wear pyjamas, all day long.

Children are amazing! They adapt so much easier compared to adults. They have proven to be survivors and fend for themselves without my meddling.

They occupied themselves while I learned to adapt to connecting, face to face, with other people. Touchy, feely, breathing, smelly with no screen protector people! Feeling people’s emotions, laughter and sorrow in real time, without any delay or buffering. I learned to do it the old-school way, how it was and should be. I slowly, brick by brick, built my own (real) community, the way my dad and mom in law stayed connected with their community. It is a slow progress because without my keyboard to communicate my thoughts, I feel handicapped. Luckily no one has come up with some smart label for this or else there would be one new disorder I would be belting up.

I am not erasing my past, I am simply rewinding it and adding important details to it. Details which I had forgotten in these past years.

Happy New Year, even if I am late by a couple of months but lets celebrate because every day above the ground, is a good day.

Thank you for stopping by at A cuppa for my thoughts

Lets get connected: