I’ve got butterflies in my tummy today! And I am not talking about an occasional butterfly here or there that lazily flaps its wings as it smoothly sails against the still blue sky. Today I am talking about hordes of butterflies, all eager to escape! madly scrambling for a way out of my stomach.
As I sit down to write this two little girls in my life are preparing to take big steps into adulthood.
M, my Eight year old daughter is scheduled to leave tomorrow for Delhi. She is representing her school in an inter school competition and will be traveling with her teacher and older school mates for the same. As I look at the itinerary, I can’t help feeling nervous. It mentions two seven hour-long train rides, a stay at a hotel, two meals on trains, the other two unplanned! I glance at M as she sleeps peacefully, her brow unmarked by care. She spends ages over her morning milk! Is a rice eater and hates chapatis, unless they are served with lady finger! She doesn’t know how to tie her ponytails! M gets cold easily! She is fussy about using unclean looking public toilets! Dear God, I feel like I am sending my little doll alone and unprepared, into the Big Bad World. How will she manage?
On the other V, my sister-in-law is 30. Not a little girl by most definitions. But, she was when I met her the first time. Only four, as she slept all curled up on a couch next to me at an aunt’s wedding. Neither of us knew back then, that fifteen years later we would meet at another wedding. In which her brother would be the groom and I the bride. There is so much I remember about “little V. “I still remember the warmth with which she welcomed me into her ’15 year old’ world. Even though she was taking her class tenth exam that year, she danced in the “geet”. I was proudly introduced to every friend and filled in with every detail of their teenage life. She became my anchor in an unknown house and family. Not only did she help me unpack and settle all my stuff. She told me little details about how the family functions – how to win mom over, or where the bone china is kept. She introduced me to the family dog and the many friends and acquaintances who dropped in to meet us. She was my constant companion at formal dinners and parties ensuring I didn’t mix up people’s names and knew the appropriate way to greet them. She even did my hair and make-up (As an older bhabhi that should have been my job, but lets just say I sucked at all that) and helped decide what I should wear.
As time rolled V had to make her own decisions. I remember us agonizing over what classes to help her pick? Which college to choose? I look back now at all the trips we took to strange cities – trying to judge if it would be the right place to help her pursue her engineering dreams. We must have done something right. Because it all worked out eventually. V completed her MBA and got married to the most amazing boy! And today all of us wait with bated breaths to welcome their first baby into our family.
My little V has grown up. Sometime tonight she will be a mom herself! I am nervous. Nervous because I know how many things can go wrong. Nervous because being a mom of two, I know how challenging motherhood is. Nervous because I want only the best for the baby and V and nervous because I know my wanting something, no matter however badly is not going to be enough.
The two little girls in my life are growing up. And all I can do is hope that they have it in them to face whatever challenge life throws at them.
Just as I got ready to hit the publish button I got the happy news that my dear V has been blessed with a ‘baby girl’ . It was an arduous delivery! but V came out with flying colors! And now we have another little girl to watch and hope and pray for!
PS: I had meant to post this, but stuff happened. Meanwhile M has returned from her trip. She and her partner stood second among sixteen teams. But what makes me prouder is that when we went to collect her from the railway station, M was beaming! She introduced us to all the didis and bhaiyas who had accompanied her and from the way they bid adieu, it was clear. M’s first solo foray into the Big Bad World had been a happy one!
My little girls are growing up! and guess what they are doing just fine 🙂