Sometimes you learn so much more from your children.
It all started with a scarf. A beautiful olive green Cashmere scarf that Yaya and I found in Nordstorm rack. It was going for 40$. ( Normal price for the same scarf is well over 100$) Yaya picked up the scarf and told me, “Oh, mom, this is E’s ( her best friend) favourite colour and it will be an awesome gift for her, May I please buy it for her, ’cause I want to buy all my friends something from here”
( I was really annoyed with Yaya, I don’t own a money printing machine and if she is buying something pricey for one friend, she will want to buy something pricey for all her friends and that is 14 friends we are talking here, plus the fact that she thought of her friend than me..my favourite colour is green and I love Cashmere scarf !)
“But your friends too travel overseas and they don’t bring anything for you !”
She looked at me and asked in the most annoying tone “So? Since when did what other’s do for me matter? Weren’t you the one who taught me at the end all that matters is how I lived my life and what I did for others?”
In a split second, I realized, how much like my mother I am turning out to be. Everything in her life was a balance scale. If my neighbour gave us a plate of Biriyani for eid, then we gave them a plate of biriyani for Christmas. If we gave them Biriyani for Christmas and they didn’t give any to us for eid, we stopped giving them Biriyani. Amma never did anything because she wanted to be nice. She never gave anything to anyone without some ulterior motive. ( She once gave a parker pen to the lab technician at my sister’s college. It was early 80’s and parker pens were a real luxury and she gave him the pen, so she could demand later that my sister be given an easy experiment for her practicals, for he is obligated to her for giving him such an expensive gift!)
I let Yaya buy the scarf for her friend and I learned from my 15 year old that not everything in life ought to be balanced in a scale of equality.