Thursday 26 May 2022

First job!

We spent a lot of time thinking about how Ads should spend his summer. Typically the summer before senior year is important. Kids are expected to either do a pre-college program, volunteer or find a job or internship. S and I felt quite strongly that working in the service industry would be very helpful to Ads in terms of learning some great life skills and also pushing him beyond his comfort zone. 

So I have been helping Ads apply to jobs. He was adamant about not wanting to work in food service so cafes and ice cream shops and restaurants were out of the question. We applied to the big retailers - Target, Whole Foods, Barnes & Noble, Michaels, Harris Teeter, Wegmans, Old Navy, etc. He got a call back from Old Navy, attended the interview for a "Brand Associate" and walked out with the job.

As easy as that :)   

His orientation was last evening and he starts work next week, just after getting back from Atlanta where he is playing in a Minor League tournament (U17). We don't know his schedule yet but looks like he'll work 16 hours per week. This summer will be busy with work, cricket, and writing his college essay.

Thursday 19 May 2022


Another milestone...another opportunity for the progeny to look down on me :)

Armed with lots of theoretical and very little practical knowledge, Ads has evolved into an effective backseat driver/commentator.
"Your hands are supposed to be at 9 and 3, you know that right?"
"Amma, can you stop driving with one hand?!!!"
"Did you check the speed limit?"
"I don't think you indicated for exactly 4 seconds before you switched lanes"....and so on and so forth.
My funny remarks about other drivers on the road are funny only to my own ears, I guess. I am anticipating being canceled by my own kids, very soon!
Ah, what's life without being patronized by our teenagers?
It's ridiculous to allow 16-year-olds to take the wheel, but that's a rant for another day!

Wednesday 4 May 2022

Some thoughts (before Mother's Day 2022)

Where did the years go? Almost 17 years as a parent, and I am still stumbling and fumbling. Amazed at other parents' confidence that they have it all figured out. NO. A hundred times no. This parenting thing is humbling and emaculating. 

The days are long but the years are short. This cliche has never seemed more real than now when the days seem to be rushing by with indecent haste. He is driving. He is shaving. Soon he will start filling out college applications. 

In a little over a year from now, I will not know things that I have known with certainty every day for 17 years. When he woke up. When he left for school. When he had lunch (did he have lunch?!!). When he returned home. What he did in the evenings. What is his weekend schedule.

This one thought terrifies me. Knowing that millions of parents face the same choices some time or the other is irrelevant. I read that sending your kids off to college is "bittersweet" and I think - "How is it sweet? There is nothing but bitterness."

I take solace from these lines from Gibran.

"You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable."

NOW they tell me I have to be a stable bow, whatever the hell that means?

I have, however, been an excellent potted plant. Some years ago there was an article in the New York Times citing research showing the psychological benefits for teens of having at least one parent around in close proximity. “Importantly, the studies of parental presence indicate that sheer proximity confers a benefit over and above feelings of closeness or connectedness between parent and child.....Quality parenting of a teenager may sometimes take the form of blending into the background like a potted plant."

I have loved that metaphor and unreservedly shared this pearl of wisdom with all and sundry. I can be a potted plant, no problem! Our teens may act like they don’t really need us, and they often ask us to get out of their rooms, but they do need our simple and silent presence. I know it when Ads comes up to my bedroom every night and silently nuzzles me and I know we are communicating even though I'm not exactly sure what's being said :) Probably (I hope!) the things that have no words- I love you. I'm fine. Thank you?

Oh well. Thank goodness for potted plants and stable bows :)