19 years ago, a little baby came into our lives this month, I remember the daze of full term pregnancy, the faint worry that would seep in, breathlessness and the wild waistline –
you don’t get to see your toes, and you don’t care. 24th of October, she arrived, red faced and without a neck. A baby with no neck. We panicked. My doc sis patiently asked us to go check out other babies’ necks. Newborns do NOT have necks. We checked her eyes, nose, ears, pulse, her finger nails – were they normally that tiny…
today she is almost 19, stands taller than me, beautiful, talented, I can never recover from that 5.24 am morning light in which our lives met for the first time. I still stand and stare with amazement at her : our teenaged first daughter… unsure how to end this post. Just blinking amazed…
your first cry, first yawn : we went wild…
which feature was whose : which family did you take after ? Dads or mine ? Soon this became ‘ ours’ . Our family. Oh wow. Hmm but you always were/ are the best of us, and your very own person. The first words you said sounded like a combination of Dad and Mom.. but more Dad. I was jealous, worried, even a little upset with you. Were you going to be the typical daddy’s girl ? ( But ofcourse !) Hey but why say ‘Dadda‘ first ? ( Cuz know what, I was saying 24 x7 ‘ say dadda- say daddaaaah’ )
Oh sure every parent has these stories. You were born after 7 years .Is that something ? It was a lot. It was a miracle. Doc said not to worry,we’ll wait another two months before trying out tests. She was right. How did she know? How did your Dad know 1994 there would be this new addition to our home ? Don’t worry, he kept saying. We will have our baby.
I was underweight, not a strong kind of woman. Scared of motherhood. How on earth did people have babies ? I mean didn’t they just tear … wont go into details here 🙂 We went thru ‘ Lamaze classes. Bought every baby book we could find. I was dripping info on safe food/ stay away from smokers, from lorries, from stray dogs, from too much this and that , wild TV Progs ( just in case it affected her mentally see?) what not to think. what to dream. You surpassed every dream, every prayer. I enjoyed the delivery, the labour room was my kingdom. Dad was there with gloves and gear and mask head to toe, everyone burst out laughing. We were into this, serious. No messing with these two. I was breathing thru’ the 23rd psalm, and no nurse, I mean NO Nurse dared massage my abdomen, I asked for three pillows. ” No, why ?” Doc Mathias ( She’s the best in Mumbai and the world) .
“ Because that’s what we were advised at Lamaze classes… “ I replied loudly.
” What’s Lamaze ?” a new very young nurse asked looking with fear at Noe and me.
Dr Mathias nodded and asked for the pillows. I had some sippy lime, and Noe to rub my back down, unheard of in some hospitals.
Vihan ( meaning – early morning glory in Sanskrit – I had a Promise from the Bible – ” as sure as the sun rises..” ) arrived at 5.24 am without any fuss ; I was shocked it was over. “How many pushes ? ” I asked Doc, ” Hardly one.. “
Tiny, so tiny, on my tummy, uncut cord. Without my glasses it all looked like an impressionist painting. Noe and I were laughing crying in a silence , waiting for our baby to cry. She was soundless staring at us, quiet. Hey why isn’t she crying ? She got a little tap on her bottom and wailed so hard, so long, so loud we even called her leather – lungs. The whole building heard her when she cried. Dearest Lord, I prayed, I pleaded, please let her be gentle, soft and kind, please ?
Sometimes I wish leather lungs would be heard again – she is gentle as a dove… ( though today I heard her record a maniacal laugh and unbelievable voice recording for her college radio assignment. Yeah yeah Ms Leather – lungs is alive and kicking ( is in a rock band );
thank you God that she just tries to growl though. Our girls can’t be all too gentle and soft in this day and age uh.
Got a Text from her. “ Ma, I’m at Opus. The Play will finish around 10.30. My friend’s getting a cab to drop us all home… “
I freaked, ‘HON I”LL WORRY ABOUT THE CAB !’
No reply. Yet. Not till I send her 24 worried texts. 🙂 Look at this kid
Thank you Vi for inspiring me every step of the way, to be everything I had stopped being, to still reach out when my arms hurt, for the gift of laughter and creativity that you keep restoring, for the music, for the miracles you seem to bring in, and esp. for the presence of God so rich in You, it touches every thing, esp us..
( to be contd )