Wednesday 4 March 2020

This is 14

This is 14.
Long long legs and arms.
Size 10 feet.
Feet that need new shoes every few months.
Smelly feet.
Smelly socks.
Grunts and mumbles masquerade as conversation.
(He used to be more verbal when he was 2!)
Big hands.
Clammy hands.
Taller than me.
Taller than dad.
Doesn't want you to enter his room.
Or clean up his room.
Does laundry.
Can chop vegetables.
Doesn't know how to open a milk carton.
Doesn't listen.
Hears every word when parents are whispering about him.
(Damn that Vulcan hearing- for fans of Big Bang Theory!)
Armpit hair.
Face fuzz.
Hates it when you hug him (you give too many hugs!)
Needs that big hug from you.

This is 14.
Selfish. Careless. 
You lie on the couch in high fever and he steers clear of you.
He doesn't need you. 
When he's hungry (always!)
When he needs new pants (every month)
When he needs a ride 
When he has a small corn and my goodness, the pain that he's in!

This is 14.
He wants to know if you've saved enough money for his college.
He has trust issues.
He is aghast when you threaten to join the PTSA.
14 doesn't tell you the names of his friends.
Now you are clueless.
You are uncool 
and embarrassing. 

This is 14.
Heartbreakingly handsome.
You wonder how many of his schoolmates have a crush on him.
You'll never know.
Your deepest desire is to be a fly on the wall as he goes about his school day.
He lounges on the couch.
For a second you mistake him for his dad.
What is going on in that brain? 
Neurons firing, hormones raging.

This is 14.
More bewitching and confusing than you ever thought it would be.
The awkward entanglement of boyhood and manhood. 
Those terrible twos and threes?
You laugh at how hard you thought it was then.
When you thought they were testing your patience
and your strength.
Those were just little hurdles.
Mere prep
for the teenage years.  
In 4 years he will leave this roof. 
You swat that thought away.

For now,
It is enough
That he walks a few steps ahead or behind (never with you)
That you can watch him while he sleeps
That you can still impress him with your cooking 
That he will bike to the nearest Dunkin Donuts
and buy you a doughnut for Mother's day
and eat it all by himself 
That he will draw 3 balloons, write Happy Birthday, and call it a card
This is 14.
This is beautiful. 

Tuesday 3 March 2020

Goals for 2020 and 2019 report card

Since last year, our family has had a formal goal-setting exercise every December, for the New Year. My goals last year were fairly ambitious, and a few weeks ago, we had a family meeting to revisit how each of us has done, and what our goals for 2020 should be. 
My own performance has been patchy. Of course, I blame myself for setting the wrong goals, not for underachieving on them :) How did I do?

Report Card 2019
Exercise everyday - Yes yes and it, with my yoga and walking and now swimming, I feel good about this. Feeling chuffed at having kept up the fitness regimen, even during the winter, anything above 1-2 deg C and I am outside. 

Meditate everyday - 20-30 minutes of deep breathing exercises and just sitting still. This has been a daily practice and now looking into doing a meditation retreat when I go to India next. 

Read a Tamil book - So hard! I'm halfway through a novel, hope to finish in a few months. Yes, that's the speed I am at :( 

Learn some Spanish - This has been difficult. I simply haven't been motivated enough. Part of the problem is that Ads speaks reasonably well now so when we travel in Latin America, I just fall back on his ability instead of trying to navigate on my own. I've dropped this from my list for 2020. Maybe later!

Craft a family mission statement - Hmm...we have discussed this and none of us is convinced we even need this :) So dropped. 

Learn ice-skating - Big fail. 'Nuf said. Dropped! Life is too short to learn stuff that is completely useless :) 

Learn swimming - Yes! In adult swim classes now. Progress being made. This is actually going on my bucket list (separate post)

Teach S how to cook - Lots of progress on this because I have a motivated student. He can make a mean omelette, dal, and with the instant pot curries have become super-easy. He rolls out parathas and rotis very well, and dosai has been mastered. 

Teach Ads to iron clothes, cut veg, make Maggi - So far we have been doing a lot of veg chopping. I taught him how to use the washer and iron. Practice practice practice :) 

Get on a nonprofit Board - Yes! Joined one Board, and talking to a couple of others.

Goals 2020
Learn swimming 
Teach Ads some life skills - same as last year 
Join another nonprofit Board
Work on Ads' college plan 
Paint more - Plan is to have 3 more artworks complete by the end of 2020
Write more - On this blog, and Linkedin/Medium 

Fairly confident about these goals. Lessened my ambition a bit this year, so they seem very do-able.