Over the years, I have learned so much from my children.. some were pretty simple, like my son teaching me that gaol and jail are pronounced the same way, which I had no clue. But some of the lessons I have learned have made such a huge impact on me !
I have always been very fair in my dealings with my children and since I always picked up the older two from their school when they were in Primary school, I do the same for my youngest. It is no way an easy job, but because I have done it for her siblings, I will do it for her till she graduates grade 7.
As soon as she got in to the car, she asked me “How is Yaya?”
Yaya has been sick and didn’t go to school yesterday.
“Must have slept all day” I said and we both laughed. Both of us know, if Yaya isn’t reading, then she is sleeping.
“Mom, Can you take me to Coles?” She asked.
I don’t do weekday shopping, so I asked her “Why?”
“We could buy some pastries” she said.
Pastries are my weakness. I can and will eat 4 to 5 Apple Danish in one go.
“Sure” I said.
While she went to get the pastries, I bought some fresh salad and corn. I had already marinated the chicken before leaving home and I smiled happily thinking the dinner is going to be pretty easy. Boil the corn in the microwave, salad is already prepared and I just have to add the dressing and fry the chicken..I had borrowed Sidney Sheldon’s ( he died, someone else is writing using his name) latest book The tides of memory and couldn’t wait to get home to read.
We got home, I wanted to see Yaya and see if she has any fever, Quickly I took the grocery to the kitchen and just as I was leaving the kitchen to go to Yaya’s room, I found a note on the kitchen counter, “sorry mom, burned the kettle”. ( Obviously, she switched on the kettle without any water inside!). I was mad, so I counted to 100 in dutch, then in German and my anger didn’t dissipate, so I decided to make myself a cuppa and while I was getting my cup is when I noticed that my youngest had arranged all the pastries in a plate and was making lemonade ( from concentrate). It also occurred to me that usually, she finishes most of the pastries during the drive back home and this time, she actually didn’t eat any.
Then I watched her take the pastries and the drink to Yaya’s room.
I followed her a few seconds later.
I found my oldest and youngest sitting on the bed, sharing the pastries and drinking the lemonade.
I felt so bloody ashamed..that I have three sisters and never once have I shared anything with them. Yaya is no way a wonderful older sister. She is the pain the butt older sister. She has two sets of rules. One for herself and one for her siblings. For eg, No one can enter Yaya’s room or take her stuff without her authorization, but Yaya can enter her sibling’s room and take their stuff and use it without their permission. ( She even took my son’s headphones to school without telling him, while the poor guy turned the house upside down looking for his missing headphones, not to mention the grief he got from his mother for misplacing his headphones!).. It takes a lot of love to overlook the faults of an overbearing sibling..I failed in that..but my baby, she succeeded..
I envy you for a lot of things Sarah:
– For not accepting defeat in life at any point (I mean at ANY point).
– For not loathing in self-pity after a scarred childhood.
– For being the best mother of 3 with very practical /logical parenting concepts.
– For being so intelligent.
– For your thirst for travelling.
– For being a wonderful cook…. The list is endless..
Now I understand why some people are so jealous of you and your children, which made u moderate the comments and publish their IPs.
I sure do envy you, but I understand the diff between ‘envy’ and ‘jealousy’.
Reading this, I added one more thing to envy you – when I read, “I found my oldest and youngest sitting on the bed, sharing the pastries and drinking the lemonade.”
Don’t you realise, from where baby got that caring trait ? ***Remember the butterfly clips you bought from ladies corner?***
Swathi: the truth is, I have changed so much..My sister send me a photo of her baby few weeks ago. When I looked at the photo, I felt nothing..it was just a photo..no connection..nothing. I also didn’t feel like writing a reply..aval ayi, avalkku kutti ayi,,life goes on..But the sister that I was to them, no longer exists..
Sarah: I understand this not feeling ‘connected’ during normal period. But i do believe in your heart of hearts there is still that invisible connection. It usually comes out strongly, at moments of their(sisters’) neediness – i have seen it with some one close to me with 7 siblings. They fight like cats and dogs even thru phone – but just anyone else try to tell one of them , bad about another… God!! they will fight furiously with the intruder(who might have seen their regular rows), in favor of the sibling with whom they think, ONLY they have the right to fight. I never understood that phenomenon. One of my friends openly admitted, “No one can hit my brother, only I have the right to hit my brother”.. 🙂
Swathi: you are right that if my sisters ever need me, I will be there and I know if I really need them, they will be there for me as well..
So what happened to the anger? Dissipated after seeing them sharing pastries!! 😉
MS: The anger increased 100 fold when I took my cup to make tea..I realized that I can’t use the kettle..but when I saw them talking and enjoying the pastries together..I stood there..cherishing the moment..my anger long gone..
I didn’t know how to pronounce gaol. May be I should let my kindle read a book to me once in a while. Or at least watch some TV.
URT: how can a word that spelled gaol is pronounced as jail? It still make no sense to me
Loved this piece. My children are the same.
Padma: Thank you
Aww…am writing this teary eyed…may god bless those kids and the wonderful sisterhood that they share….love you guys.
Lux: Thanks Ma…It felt so good to see my children enjoying each other’s company and I do wish so much that Amma didn’t turn us against each other..