The night is dark. The lovely, old trees seem ghost-like with large shadows dancing across their branches making them look eerie. The fire in front of me is crackling. The wood slowly turning to ashes but giving it all just before the life goes out of it. Staring into the glowing embers, my thoughts turn to my younger son. He is turning 10 tomorrow.
We are sitting in the lovely hill station town of Coonoor in a mesmerising setting enjoying this little getaway. Surrounded by lush greenery, we are energized. The last two days have been spent lazing around. Just this evening we played some games especially foos ball, frisbee and carrom, fishing for the bottle and housie after ages having forgotten how much fun these simple games are. This is precious family time. The mind and heart is at rest; the soul feels satisfied. And tomorrow will be the younger son’s birthday.
We’ve planned a little surprise with the participation of the hotel. Hope he enjoys it. You know birthdays are fun only with children. Their excitement, their expectation and then the look of pure joy on their faces is worth going the extra mile for. Else, we adults have become so jaded that I no longer even know what to give for gifts or what to do to celebrate.
He will be 10. No longer the cute, cuddly toddler that he once was, he is still as naughty and very affectionate. I can see him growing older, maturing slowly in how he talks, reacts, observes and absorbs yet still continuing to be the baby of the family and cherishing it. He is still a fabulous companion if you are running an errand. He still loves cars and reads everything he finds about them. And he really has a mind of his own. It is tough to convince him to do something he doesn’t wish to do. Sometimes, it is just the parent card which has to be used.
He loves Coco to death, sometimes almost strangling him in his fits of love. He still warms up slowly to academics. With him, it is about being distracted. If in the mood, he studies and studies well. Last FA, he maxed his Maths test. But if he is not in a mood, he is distracted and cranky while studying. I am not too worried. I believe every child comes into their own, and he will have that tipping point too.
But today, I think of all the precious moments with him. It is not easy raising two kids. There is the amazement as to how these two children with the same genes and upbringing are as different as chalk and cheese. That they come with an immense ability to connive against the best-laid plans of the parents and drive them up the wall. Also the joy to see them stand up for each other.
The challenges, the opportunities, the hopes and fears are different the second time around. With G too, we have had our ups and downs and will continue to have them.
But, one thing I am sure of, life would not have been as exciting and beautiful as it is with G. My sincere wish is that he is able to explore everything that he has born with the potential for and that we as parents facilitate him in every manner possible.
Happy birthday, son. May you stay blessed.