Every morning, as I go to drop my preschooler off, we play the same scenes over and over again. She wakes up with ‘Aaj school nahi jaana. Mujhe Mumma ki yaad aati hai. Mein rona nahi chahti. Magar main roti hoon. Main kya karoon?’ (I don’t want to go to school today. I miss Mumma. I don’t wish to cry, but I end up crying anyways. What do I do?). Every morning, my heart melts, I curse myself for sending her but end up doing it anyways. That’s part of growing up. I can’t let her cling to me 24/7. But a part of me feels awful. I am the mother after all. I give myself due credit for everything that is actually a natural process; from carrying her in my womb, giving birth, loving her to raising her. But I seldom realize, this little being that I scold, yell at, try and discipline, love, think off as a responsibility, but mostly love, is the most precious gift of life. I could never imagine how much a mother means to a child. Yes, I love my own mother. But I have no memories of my preschool days and the immense satisfaction my cuddles and kisses would have given her.
This morning turned out to be quite the eye opener. As I threw open her bag to refurbish, I came across some sketches. They were all pictures of me. Very pretty looking; with cake, with hubby but always a happy me; a beautiful me (no wonder, they say, Beauty Lies In The Eyes Of The Beholder). I was almost into tears. When I asked my kitten what this was about, she told me she had figured a way out how not to miss me. Her solution was simple, she started to sketch me. Me, the picture of her love. The love, that gushes down her dreamy eyes like a waterfall when we part at school. The love, that flows through the lines of her pencil and that which is so full of colour. The love that makes her feel secure and makes her feel I am with her no matter what. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I felt grateful to be the most special someone in the life of my daughter. And as I scanned through all her free time artwork, I felt touched and moved and delighted in the most extraordinary way. This is that tiny little being that blankets my life with LOVE. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. She doesn’t judge me for being strict; she doesn’t stop loving me because I delay her gifts and chocolates; she doesn’t take revenge because I behave badly; she just loves me anyways. She plants kisses all over my face and calls my fat body Cuddly. She warms my days up like the first ray of sunshine with her radiant smiles. Her being around makes me Mommy; without demands, without asking for anything, but me. Her love has filled my heart with happiness. Isn’t that what we all seek?
This morning I realized, giving and receiving love is the single most important reason we are alive. It’s not the air we breathe or the food we eat or the water we drink; much less the material success we achieve. Yet as a part of growing up, all we build are expectations for material success and grief over loss or failure to achieve more than others. Little do we think about love, unconditional love. As Moms, we think we are love personified. As wives, we give ourselves credit for all sacrifices we make and we put ourselves on a pedestal. Sometimes, it’s important to step down and count our blessings. For lucky are Moms, they receive more than they give.
This morning turned out to be one of realization; that of awareness and of joy because of all I have been receiving. There comes a time in life when we begin to realize the underlined meaning of all phrases that have been making the rounds in books, restaurant walls, motivational speeches, schools and colleges. It’s like that precious minute when you say to yourself, Eureka!! This is what I was looking for, something I have been chasing all my life!! Only to discover it was always yours; there for you; within you. Yes, love is what makes the world go round. Well, everything else is an important part of the puzzle too. But the most important ingredients are all around us. I feel immensely grateful today. Do you?