Saturday 7 November 2020

Y turns 12

A round dozen since our little princess made her grand entry and it feels like yesterday. Just like in 2008, it is yet another historic election here in the US and we have been glued to the TV, which is burbling on mute throughout the day. We are spending this week on the beach. The kids are busy with online school but I have an easy schedule. S and I have been walking on the beach, taking in sunrises and sunsets. The beach is empty after the summer crowds have come and gone, and we happily share it with a few fishermen, birds, and some late tourists like us.
We picked up some yummy pastries for Y's birthday and had a low-key celebration with cake and pizza. It's been an eventful week! Atleast we are lucky enough to be in a gorgeous place.

Friday 6 November 2020

12 years a blogger

It's been exactly 12 years since I started blogging. 588 posts in 12 years and the math says I've been writing close to 4 posts a month. A post a week, not bad at all. I've never been this consistent in anything in life, be it exercise, or eating well, or any of my other hobbies :) 

I started blogging for two reasons. One was to have a daily record of my life as a mom, and my kids' milestones. The other was that as a sleep-deprived mom of two, I knew writing fiction or poetry or anything remotely creative would be well nigh impossible, and blogging would be a way of being consistent about writing. 

Along the way, many bonuses appeared. I made friends, other mommy bloggers who were in the same chaotic boat. The fellowship we all created together was an unexpected and beautiful gift. Even now, a few of us email each other on our kids' birthdays. A few became good friends in the offline world too. One mom even sent me science books for Ads all the way from the US to Bangalore. 

The blog gave me opportunities to write for a larger audience, as a parenting columnist on a few websites. At some point, we were doing so many holidays that it morphed into a travel blog, and I decided to spin the travel tales into a separate blog. A reader at the point advised me not to "split my audience", a comment that amused me no end. What audience? In its heyday, I had 60 followers, and about 20 of those used to comment regularly on my posts (this included my parents!) 

Why do I keep writing? Because we forget. The minutiae, the trivial pursuits, the humdrumness of our daily lives is special, whether or not it appears to be so in the moment. We remember the big milestones, the highs, and the lows but often neglect the banal moments. I remember when Ads got the best bowler award in a 2019 cricket championship but the day in 2010 that we bought a plastic bat in Pondy Bazaar and threw a rubber ball at him, was a special day that I wouldn't remember if I hadn't recorded it in these pages. I am happy when my younger friends and cousins tell me they scrolled through the tags to find a specific post that is relevant for their much younger kids. Or when a regular reader drops a personal note to say how much that post about my grandfather, jogged some very fond memories of her own grandparents.

My writing got better because of this blog, even if the progress has been minuscule and painfully slow. I write because it is therapeutic and used to give me a sense of accomplishment on days when I felt like life was at a standstill. Blogging gave me not just an outlet but a medium to distil and clarify my thoughts. 

But ultimately, I write for my kids. I write so that one day they can look back at their childhood and use these posts as an intimate window into the past. I write so that we, as a family, don't forget all the incidents, activities, arguments, and conversations that made up the fabric of our life. And sometimes I write, not about Ads & Y, but about myself and my childhood and the incidents that shaped me. By doing so, I offer them a window into my personality and my values, in the hope that these will shape them and help them understand me better. So, another bonus feature of the blog is that it is often self-serving! 

A few days ago, Y was reading my posts from 2009/10. She couldn't stop at one, and kept scrolling, exclaiming things like "That's so funny" and"I was so cute, Amma!" 

Mission accomplished :)