The soul is healed by being with children wrote Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I for one second that with conviction. The first kid that came into my life was my elder daughter. She turned a spoilt somewhat selfish only child into a mom. Looking at her for the first time I felt a surge of abundant love of the kind I had never felt before. We both grew together one day at a time as I tried to teach about life and she taught me what life was all about. Till today she is my most articulate critic and my most reliable advisor. Even though I sometimes resent her counsel, I know it is in my best interest. The second child that came into my life was my second born. She taught me that I my heart had an overload of love, and that a mom's heart was so made that it had different compartments for each child. This little one taught me compassion and empathy and the importance of reaching out to those in need. She is the one who made pwhy happen and brought into my existence the smiles of so many children. Boy my soul was healed!
Along the way came two little boys: one that had lost everything and needed me to reassemble his broken life and the other who had it all and made a grandmother and taught me unconditional love.
These two fellows do rule my life in more ways than one and delight me in the most unexpected way.
Skype is a magical invention for nanas whose grandchildren are in far away lands. Wish it existed when my kids were growing up and my parents were still alive. But in those days it was still booked trunk calls with infuriating operators. But now we have Skype and my grandson and I chat every morning and evening. There is an almost 12 hours difference between the two cities so it the morning here and night there and vice versa. My little fellow has a lovely way of explaining the situation. Every evening when the sun sets in St Louis, he sends it to me in Delhi! When we are on line, we play games or I tell him a bedtime story just before my day begins. I must confess that these are very special moments. Time and again he delights me with a new expression. To try and explain me that he had forgotten his Hindi he simply told me: Nani, my Hindi is broken!
My other little fellow is with me only when his boarding school is shut. For the past few months I have watched him surreptitiously building bonds with everyone in the family. It is happening very slowly and one step at a time. One cannot rush this fragile effort. A single slip can take us back and cause irreparable damage. I observe his every move with bated breath: his wanting to sit at the table when he earlier preferred eating in his room, his attempts at conversation with those he never talked to earlier... each step going a long way in building his confidence and filling the huge gaps life threw his way.
I am blessed to have so many children in my life.