Tuesday, July 28, 2015
The Last Time
I read this poem a couple of years ago, when Puchku was just a little baby, and it made me really sentimental (of course) - and reminded me of when I was a girl and had this tradition of 'Tuckkoo' with my dad. He would scoop me up in his arms, like a little baby, and carry me to my bed, and tuck me into bed by cocooning me into my 'coshi rajaai' (cozy quilt) and kiss me good night. This ritual lasted way longer than you imagine. I remember being 12 years old and running to the furthest corner of the house so that my 'godi ride' would be as long as possible. And I would stiffen up my body and straighten out my legs to make it difficult for my dad to get through the doorways - he would angle at diagonals to fit me through. My mom would rebuke me 'शरम नहीं आति - इतनी बड़ी हो गयी है, अभी भी डैडी से गोदी में उठवा रही है?' (Aren't you ashamed of yourself? You're so big and still having your father carry you?) My dad, always the out-of-box thinker that he is, would laugh it off, and tell her, 'करने दे. और कितने दिन कहेगी? एक दिन ख़ुद ही मना कर देगी।" (Let her do it, how much longer will she ask for it? One day, she will stop asking for it herself.") He went on to promise me that he would give me 'Tuckkoo" for as long as I asked for it, and would never say no.
As he predicted, I did stop asking for it. We moved to a new house when I was 16 (yes, it lasted THAT long) and it was two storied, unlike the other homes we had previously resided in. I remember thinking that I could ask Daddy for tuckoo, but then thought it might be a bit much with the stairs and all. And I figured, moving to a new house was a landmark enough occasion to stop asking for it.
Reading this poem made me think that I will never say no to 'godi' to my little boy. He's 33 lbs now, and well over half my height, so I look ridiculous carrying him - but pretty soon I'll have to stop carrying him godi bc it just won't be physically possible, so I try my best to carry him whenever he asks for it.
But the reason I decided to write this blog post today is because I'm remember that Puchku always used to cry whenever he would see his nanny, Delmi, on Tuesday mornings. He would cry, cling to me, my legs, make excuses of 'ninni' or anything else he could to get me to stay with him. Wednesday the crying would taper to a whimper, and by Thursday and Friday he was fine with her arrival. Then the weekend would happen, and the same would repeat on Tuesdays all over again.
I noticed in the last month or so, that he wasn't crying on Tuesdays anymore. He would see Delmi, and conversely start saying to me 'Bye Mumma! Mumma chakri korchhe!' (Mumma's working now). To the point that I would be making up excuses to linger around the room a little bit longer. I realized, that 'the last time' of him crying may have already happened, and I don't even remember when it was.
I made myself feel better by remembering that we would be going on a 3 week cruise with the whole family, and upon returning, he would surely cry when he saw Delmi. I know - how evil is that - WANTING him to cry when he sees his nanny!! And so today the day arrived, and I prepared him by telling him that Delmi was coming. "No! No more Delmi!" The signs were looking promising for a waterworks outbreak. And then the moment arrived, and Delmi brought her 7 year old niece, Valeria with her - who Puchku just adores. "Smart move!" I told her when she came in, and we both laughed. Puchku didn't shed a tear.
It was a bittersweet moment. I was, of course, happy that he didn't cry, and was looking forward to his day with friends. He's growing up so fast - it feels even faster than before because it's not the physical growth that's accelerated, but the mental growth. I'm grateful for all the time I get with him, because I know not all mothers have the luxury that I have - of half the time with a nanny, and half the time with me. It's a balance that keeps me sane with my own life and ambitions, and lets me savor the time that I do have with him.