Every time I write about my children, I think twice..I don’t want to be in a race.
For me, motherhood is a journey. My children have their strength and their weakness’s. I do not consider their achievements in their life is because of me, nor their failures.
They are who they are.
When I was little, every time I visited my maternal grandparents home, the one thing I loved to do when no one was looking for me was to climb up the thattumpuram ( attic). The process was a bit dicey. You climb up the wooden ladder when no one is looking and open the wooden slat that covers the entrace without making any sound while holding your breath because dust makes me sneeze and Amma will know where I am by hearing the constant sneezing. Once you reach the attic, then you have to close the cover or else anyone walking through the room will know that someone is up at the attic by seeing the sunlight streaming through the absent slat. I hate confined places, yet the attic held a lot of treasures. I was willing to endure absolute panic , just to go through all the stuff that has been kept in the attic.
There was a wooden easy chair..beautifully carved, along with e three legged round table ( 4 th leg missing) again intricately carved. The table was kept leaning on the chair and still had a table cloth covering. My mother had embroidered that cover in her teens. It was not the usual chain stitch embroidery. The stitches were big and how do I say, lifted from the fabric and when you run your fingers over the stitch, you can actually feel the bumpiness..
Each time I went to the attic, I regretted not bringing some old clothes to dust the chair so I could sit on it. ( the chair was banished to the attic because one of the wooden pieces at the back broke, but you could still sit on it.)
There were so many boxes of books, all eaten by termites. If you open the book, pieces of paper used to fall out like confetti..
And in one corner of the attic was the boxes that I loved the most.
You can’t really call them boxes..because the box that held them were in the process of total disintegration, thanks to the termites..
In it were my mother’s trophies..100’s and 100’s of trophies..all various sizes..those trophies at one time were shiny..and my mother often talked about owning her own home one day, so she would have a place to keep all her trophies..and I dreamt of polishing those trophies with valanpuli (tamarind).
My mother was well known athlete..She won all those trophies during her student days.
When I was in the 8th standard, my mother send me for badminton training at the YMCA..If you represented the state in any sports event, then you get bonus mark ( I think it was 50 marks) for SSLC. One of My mother’s desperate plans to get me pass the SSLC exams, the other was making me join girl guides. Her plan didn’t go well.. Let us just say that Amma’s sports ‘genes’ skipped me completely..Everyone loved playing against me..sure victory for them without any running!
The only game I know is cricket. But I never even held a bat in my hand. I watched the game on telly..
Unlike me, my sisters were all in to sports. We had a lot of famous sports personalities visiting our house over the years because my sisters were famous in their chosen sports field. It felt odd, when I had to tell all these people that, I, the daughter of famous so and so and a sister of famous so and so doesn’t like sports. It felt I was betraying my mother.
When I had children, All I wanted them to do was to be able to Cycle, swim and skate. I think every child should learn those three.. all three skills once you learn you will never forget. Knowing how to swim well saves your life , Cycling gets you somewhere and skating gives you a ‘cool’ teen years. ( I am weird, I know!!)
When I registered my children for swimming and skating, Yaya and Toothless were in the same group.
My son was flat on the ice most of the first few weeks, while Yaya was already skating. It used to break my heart each time he came out holding the arena ledge, his cheeks flushed and tears running down his cheeks, his hands encased in ice covered gloves and his pants soaked to the bone while Yaya skated as though she was born skating. Even at the end of that skating term, my son could hardly stand on the ice. When Yaya finished all the 10 levels, my son was still struggling in level 5.
But he did complete the full skates Canada program eventually..
I remember attending the cross country race at his school when he was in grade 5. children from each grade run 3 km around the school. My son still didn’t reach the finishing point even after the fastest kids in grade 3 reached there. My darling son didn’t run. He walked !!! He grinned and told me later “Slow and steady wins the race” when Yaya was screaming how embarrassing it was for her, when her brother walked to the finishing line!!
In between he was in to BMX riding. He used to go to the tracks nearby for a few months. Then he gave up. His free time was spend reading, doing maths puzzles, writing computer programs or making a super computer..
The only reason he joined basketball this year was because Yaya joined ( and he heard one of the cute girl he has a crush on is also playing basket ball in the same club!)
Until yesterday, he has played 4 actual games!
My son has been selected to play in the district team.. His coach tells me that he is an exceptionally good basket ball player..
May be it is my mother’s genes..
May be it is a fluke of luck.
I have no explanation..
My point is, I did nothing to get him to play basket ball. Absolutely Nothing.
I think, children will find their way..eventually..and that is the journey, I would like to be part of..