It was this day, 16 years prior when the hints of child crying rose in the tranquil room of the Operation Theater. A lovable kid with pink cheeks, gracefully dressed in blue, transformed me into a mother. My eyes are wet even before I have put my words down. I can now feel what my mother felt when she told me, Wait, till you become a mother! Aarav, you're 16 today and I'm having a hard time believing it. The boy I had just delivered has sprouted beyond me. You are and you'll always hold a significant space in my heart for being my firstborn! Hey, don't you dare tease your little brother with my statement? I admired to see you both fighting over to hug me, Mumma is like a bag of chips that we can both share" you had quoted. It was hilarious but amusing to my ears!
I'm sorry that I was harsh on you on many occasions, and you've preserved the letter k incident in your subconscious for eternity. It was when I went mad at you over improper handwriting. Parents make mistakes too, just like you do. We also learned our way here. I hope you'll cherish the memories from our road trips and excursions in your heart as you age. I love how sometimes you relate with songs to the trips and for once, Shawn Desmond's songs remind us of having Ayan.
As you're turning 16, I reminisce about the good old days. You dancing with the laundry basket on your tiny bald head, running across the living room in circles, giggling and singing on the tunes, you had just learned to walk then. I am sorry that I always overstepped, I wanted you to walk fast, talk fast, and learn fast. My world was within you, I wanted to above and beyond. There was once when a random guest questioned you at 18 months, What's your name and you fiercely responded, Aarav from the back of my shoulders, leaving him stunned and me with pride. By 2, you could talk 2 languages fluently. I remember our neighbor, you were just about 2and half that I need not worry about your future and that you'll create your destiny.
I recollect, your expressions from the first concert in Kindergarten bedazzled in the slug costume. Brown overalls with bunny ears and red cheeks. Your teacher exclaimed to have compelled by you to have applied the makeup 4 times. She did that coz she adored you. I recall, your eyes scanning the whole auditorium in search of Mumma. I was wiping the tears of joy when I waved at you from the back of the seats. I hark back to the time; we were standing amidst the crowd after the end of the Kids Fashion Week. You had finished your rounds and engaged in play. All of a sudden, your name was announced on stage as the winner, we seemed to have missed that, but you made it to the stage professionally and grabbed your prize. We were startled.
As I take a trip back to memory lane, I recall the day you decided not to proceed with dance at school anymore. That evening, I snuggled in the blanket and watched all the old videos with water running through my eyes, an era of your life came to end that day. I remembered how I whistled and cheered in your dance shows and we drove far and beyond for dance competitions. It was your dance competition that booked us on an Emirates flight to Scotland to cheer you up.
I'm glad that I was your Mary Jane once after we watched Spiderman on repeat at least 20 times a day. You wanted me to leave your dad and marry you. Years passed and you'll now be at University in 2 years. It's like you're breaking up with me slowly, I already get very little of you but I know, I've to adapt to it.
There's good and bad in everyone, recognize your flaws, and work towards eliminating them and getting better at things. Learn the basic livelihood, it will help you when you move out. Learn to cook and clean, make your bed, do the laundry. As you prepare for college, make sure you get perfection in the basics of life, it will teach you discipline. We cant be hovering over you to get things done, you've to own it one day. Even if you get people to do it for you, you need to know the basics to guide them your way.
As you're slowly reaching adulthood, these are my suggestions for you to follow.
Just know that we love you a lot and you can always count on us whenever you need it. These 16 years have flown by so fast; I still remember your first birthday party. It took a few men and us ladies three days of decorating for the grand party we had on the white sandy beach of Mombasa. On this birthday, I want to tell you that I and your dad are proud of you. We'll pray to God to help you succeed in every step of your life and bless you with everything you desire! Amen!
Happy 16th Birthday Arv..
Vandana your stories are filled with joy and love ❤️. Thank you for sharing them. It is wonderful to peek into someone’s life for a few moments and experience other cultures. You are a beautiful woman, inside and out. Sincerely, Diane
Wow nicely written. Your feelings and emotions is memorising ....Parenthood is a beautiful journey and you did a great job we are always proud of you..Aarav is growing up I know he will understand all the things whatever you have written this.. don't worry He will be a kind and Good person. Too.. I wish his all dreams come true...Love u keep shinning