4

I’m not sure I can do justice to this but I have a big Abhay post pending and then we’re traveling to India so we need to be caught up in hurry.

When I think of you, the first thing comes to mind is wise. I try to push it back, because you’re also incredibly fun and smart and talented and all those things that could easily apply to a 4 year old girl. It almost seems unfair to tag this wisdom attribute on you.

It is true though so to give its due..you are such a seeing knowing perceiving child. I guess the rest are things I’d expected or seen in you raising you, but the wisdom still catches me by surprise sometimes.

And back to the funner parts that make you – the many Igi-isms which deserve another post..there isnt a day when Vin or I will catch each other during the motions of our day ..in the kitchen..driving back from work, at work and say something funny you mentioned. Like I said they deserve their own post so let it be.

You really like swimming and you alternate between enthusiastic and reluctant with the violin. We had a serious low last year about violin (or I did, you didnt even notice) struggling with the question of whether to keep at it. It isn’t that you dislike it but the daily practice and rigor of learning an instrument is too much at ..what 40 months? (yes to emphasize the smallness) We are over that trough though and most days you’re excited to show Acha what you learnt and of course you’re a happy performer. Practice sessions are easily masked as recital, audience and applause and all that included.

You’re super good with puzzles and you’ve just started writing. In fact the other day you made and illustrated a book for me – story all your own – called the happy turtle.

We finally got you all moved out to a Montessori and you’re thriving there. Really. But we dont have a lot of time for pause coz the elementary (school) question looms large. Anyway that’s our problem.

You are such a social kid. Part of that might be a function of how you’re growing up. Surrounded by friends (ours and yours..with many evenings that turn into late nights resulting in your getting a tardy mark for school next day) and with frequent visits from both sides of the family. Some of it is just you though, even at school you veer towards activities that involve one more person.

For the 4th birthday, we did a painting party at crackpot. This was the first time where the party was all-kid but even then we had enough of our grown-up group hang out and munch and help and then inevitably the party spilled into an after-thing at Fa’s which lasted the whole weekend. I’ve realized this is the most kiddie-party thing I can throw. Our grown-up group is too much a part of even your life that you aren’t in any luck of getting a pure kids-only party. Until some day you walk up to me and demand otherwise.

You continue to be good with food and I wont pretend that is a coincidence or make any surprised/ false_humble noises. I tend to eat (Relatively) healthy as well and I do still manage to put home cooked dinners on the table most days so you’ve grown up eating (again, relatively) healthy food. Almost invariably, you even pick fruit over candy when given that choice.

You’re pretty active and you really enjoy the outdoors. You’ve done a few hikes with us already and you get from Acha the need to finish the hike, get to the top, and hopefully you get some of the smell flowers and jump in the creek on the way from me. Either way that is one of the few things all 3 of us equally enjoy. You also continue to be Acha’s little helper – in the garden and around the house – and take a lot of pride in that role.

You’re also happily a lot more independent now. So the times and things for which you absolutely need a parent are lesser. And while on most days I’m happy that I can kick back and sip on my wine without running to change a diaper (last time was more than 2 years back..) one part of me does tell me I’ll start missing the dependence soon.

You’re a joy and delight my baby and it is such a privilege (well, check back in a year) to raise you.

 

4

10 (but I had you at ‘6th floor alright’)

I thought I should write about Igi turning 4. But I got here and realized I’d been remiss in recording another milestone. All things kid does tend to override all things couple so this is me making a feeble attempt at putting us first, for a change. Also, chronologically we did turn 10 years old (if you count from day of marriage) before she turned 4.

Also, another disclaimer. I cringe from spouse-praise especially when dispensed in public. However this being my private space and because the man despite his faults (many) has a few things going in his favor there might be elements in this post that are mildly praise like. Just saying..

So we did meet each other when we didn’t have a clue. Both of us fresh off of break-ups, if there were any sparks in the air I’m sure they said Reeebooound in red glowing letters. At 23/24 year old I wouldn’t trust me again, with such a big decision – despite one year of data. Heck, I barely knew what I wanted to eat the next meal, forget who I wanted to spend my life with! But just as I’ve somehow ambled along making decisions that in hindsight turn out alright, this was as well. I’ve said this before, with 10 years of data now I’ll say it again. I’d do it in a heartbeat, chose him.

Now – to appreciate the choice – you need to step back and examine the specimen itself. (See I warned you of impending praise :P) Totally not my type is how I filed him away once I’d been aware of Vin’s attention. Borderline arrogant (some people might call it confidence), and at least first glance out and out Bangalore boy (hence didn’t fit my has_to_be_mallu_pop_culture_cognizant bill). But scratch the surface (took a good long while to do that) and emerges this boy (now man) so tender so sensitive and most importantly soo bloody honest. I already feel like I’ve said too much, like I’ve laid out this very private part of us for consumption and let everyone in on Vin’s little secret so I should desist.

The years they went fast. We were pretty used to each other but living with the family (almost 3 years, pat on the back for everyone, won’t be doing it anymore in interest of all round sanity) was a learning curve. Another 3 of almost playing house, of the first owned apartment and setting it up..of many weekends spent playing poker and cluedo and of going to bed after it was already daylight. And then the reluctant (for me) move across the seas. And then the Igi years…

The relationship does change, doesn’t it, over the years..the passion has given way to a familiar comfort, where love and disagreement both are concerned. It could be interpreted as mundane but no way I’ll exchange that for the initial years..Vin is my safe place and no other person no other relationship in the world can give you that. I wanted to write this on a day when I wasn’t feeling entirely charitable to him (you’d think I have more of those, which I do, I just dont get to the blog in time)..so everything is objective as can be. And I’ll say this again here’s to a lifetime.

Despite :).

10 (but I had you at ‘6th floor alright’)