Saturday, November 26, 2011

The First 12 Months

The memory of cradling my newborn in my arms just after she came out of the womb is still fresh. When the nurse asked me to hold her and I held her, I could sense her looking at me –although biological facts suggest that newborns cannot see or focus on anything. Its been a whirlwind of a time since then. Time goes so fast and time goes so slow. There were times when we all wanted her to turn over in the bed and there were times when we felt she started walking too early and crawled too less.

But each month and each day has been a great and fun filled experience. Not a day passes without her giving us something to laugh about. Her innocence is so fresh. The other night, I was sitting on the sofa watching her run from one end of the wall to the other end where there is a glass partition that separates the living room and the balcony. She does this stretch about 100 times a day – tirelessly and with great gusto. This particular night as she went near the glass partition, she saw the headlights of a car on the driveway that faces our second floor balcony. Sensing the car to be coming near her, she came running to me in fear with outstretched hands! She used to do the same for a long time when the cooker started to whistle but she has grown out of it. She used to laugh whenever I yawned but she has grown out of that too. Such pure innocence!

I wonder what makes her categorize actions as ‘Something to be scared about’, ‘Something to laugh about’, ‘Something to cry about’. If there are raised voices, it makes her cry. Even if you are telling loving words in a raised angry voice. If you laugh looking at some comic scene on the TV, she looks at you and laughs with you. No one teaches her this – yet she is able to recognize The Good and The Bad. Seeing this itself is such a marvel.

Looking at one’s child grow makes parents realize how they were during their own initial days of life – and of course how much trouble and joy that they would have given to their parents! Its never boring and its never tiresome. Perhaps it is because of the immense love that the child entrusts the parents with. The way she comes running to parents calling with just-learnt syllables “amma”, “papa” filled with such unconditional love – a love that is not based on looks which is common amongst college-goers. Whatever be the physical appearance of mother and father, a child will always love her parents.

In 2005, my first year in an alien country, I saw many new things. Now, I am experiencing some of those things – all thanks to my daughter.
-In Ashland temple, I had seen the priest taking infants inside the sanctum sanctorum to the idol for the Lord’s blessings. Few months ago, the priest took my daughter inside the sanctum sanctorum, and I felt blessed.
-I had seen infants sitting on the shopping carts while the parents shopped. Now I play with my daughter, sitting on the shopping cart, zooming through the aisles while my wife shops.
-I had once sat in a colleague’s car after clearing the colleague’s child’s toys from the passenger seat. The other day, a colleague who sat in my car had to clear my daughter’s toys from the passenger seat!

Always wanting to be tickled, wanting to laugh, wanting to play peekaboo, wanting to run in that tiny legs away from mom’s feeding hands (although hungry and want to eat), wanting to be read books, wanting to be told rhymes, wanting to hear songs, wanting to go outdoors, wanting to know and do so many things in life which adults think is monotonous. She adds such freshness, such a desire of ‘I-want-more’. I realized that all human beings are created with such desire, such "wantingness"! So much is talked about in religious themes about "desire" being a bad thing and to be happy with what one has, but how can this be achieved when the basic DNA of human beings itself is created in such fashion to keep desiring more and more!!

Each action of hers necessitates a snap or a video. The 11th of every month had become a milestone activity for my wife and me to share her development and progress. It was fun to pick amongst thousands of snaps and write captions. It was fun to share the joy and read the comments. Its been a year (and more than a month) already and so much happened – with so much to happen yet in her life.

Here’s wishing a very Happy Birthday to my little one, and best wishes for many, many more fun-filled years to come! Love you, Tontu!


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