Yesterday was the day I truly felt my FIRST EVER PANG OF JEALOUSY and I know now, there are many more to come!
Flashback (3 years ago):
She for some strange reason never warmed up to her pram and I would always carry her in my arms, walking in the parks, right after work. That memory of me carrying my 8 month old in my arms and walking her in the park is so vividly etched in my heart. As she grew heavier in my arms, I started to notice other younger children running around and my arms began to ache for the relief and at the blink of an eye I saw her running in the park with me running behind her! Both of us squealing with glee. I was happy that she was growing well.
As my days and nights slowly began to fall into a routine, the pile of books on my bedside table rose and the smell of books intoxicated me. By now, I had started to carry my books to the park, with elaborate plans. I was going to “chill” in the park. After all, what could be more satisfying than having your child play in front of you, while you have the comfort of your chai and a book!
Clearly, I was getting too ambitious!
Each time I took my little girl to the park for her evening playtime, her insistence became stronger and she refused to play with anyone else but me and I saw my towering ambitions dash. I began to envy the mothers who could sit or talk with each other and just do their own thing while their children played with each other. My efforts to convince her into playing with other children lasted for months but all in vain.
By now, my books had started to catch dust and my nerves had become weary. I worked hard on myself and overcame my state of “self-despair” and began to play with her and even before I realized it I started to love it!
However, there still were days where I tried to wipe the smut, time and weather had left on my books and my soul. Motherhood made me so happy and content, yet it drained me and showed me lows I could never imagine existed.
Back to today:
Time ticked away and yesterday my daughter (now 4 years old) and I went to the park. It was such a glorious day. It was a day where I was feeling the happier side of being a mother. Courtesy the “Vaayu Devta” (god of winds), we hadn’t played badminton for weeks now and I was looking forward to playing badminton with her. I carried our park bag to the bench on the sides of the park and took out our badminton rackets and was shuffling through the bag, looking for the shuttlecock. I couldn’t find it! I looked back to ask her if she knew where it was. She usually knows everything!
She was gone!
In my utter state of panic, I looked around and after a couple of minutes, I spotted her outside the park. She was talking to my neighbour’s child! I called out to her and asked her about the shuttlecock.
Her black hair catching the wind behind her, two red cheeks, she calling me out, came running to me, as fast as her two little feet would allow. My heart was beaming with joy and pride.
Before I could say anything, she took both the badminton rackets from my hand and ran away saying “mumma I will play with my friends today” and my heart sank and I felt so lost!
I thought I knew what “envy” means until this day!
While my brain screamed that its a natural course and I must let her grow up to be independent and celebrate this “milestone”, my heart kept graphically etching out the future in my eyes.
A future where my child needs me no more. But now, never mind the heaviness, I want to walk the park with her in my arms. And, I now no longer want to read in the park! I want her to play with me. I requested her to play with me for 5 minutes before she goes and plays with her friends and she said “mumma I am big now! You only said big children play with friends.”
Just as a wave of sickness rode over me, through my blurred and teary vision I saw her “chilling” with her friends and I smiled.
I guess my grey cells were right but my heart is revolting right now!
After all, this was my FIRST EVER PANG OF JEALOUSY.