My upbringing was done in quite a unique manner perhaps – it has always been a perfect blend of everything – and when I say everything I mean all the rights and wrongs, all the Easts and Wests – never was it one straight road to simply walk on. Obey the rules but dare to go against the fray; don’t harm anyone in any manner but be crazy sometimes. You know, very oxymoronic (not sure if that’s a word). Thanks to a job well done by my parents, that’s quite the way I’ve lived so far – spontaneous decisions and mostly madness – no regrets. Surprisingly, some major decisions of my life were taken in the spur of the moment – for instance, let’s study law! eeermm why?…. Well, because everyone else seems to be doing BBA! You see, the simplest answers are usually the right ones.
So that’s how it’s been – just jump into a random idea and then explore. Some of my mental rantings have actually either shaped into my professional career or a successful hobby (such as blogging…. ‘let’s just start a blog!’) while some ideas took a backseat midway. But one thing I know for sure today – staying within the given limits or going by the book is not at all conducive to one’s growth and learning. You must dare to take up spontaneous ideas and make them your own. Sometimes you will fall right down on your face and sometimes you will feel an adrenaline rush. Rest assured, you will look back at the madness and be happy about it.
In my father’s words, there are certain “ground realities”. Lord knows how much I love this term! He uses it often and I really like it when he does. It reminds you of your core – it reminds you of where you are anchored. As life goes by, no matter how rebellious you may be, certain rules become set. A basic foundation is laid inevitably and deep within you also become content with it. You have a profession – you have a few set hobbies – you have a certain bunch of friends – you have a favorite color – you have a life which has some ‘ground realities’. And it’s all going good. But then one day, you have a baby.
You see, having a baby is not just ‘you having a little funny thing to take care of and love endlessly’. No sir. Having a baby also means that now you are someone who that baby is constantly looking up to – more like awkwardly staring up to. So all of a sudden – you become super self-conscious –going from a carefree dare-doer to a role model; an ideal; a mother. Obviously, no one wants their baby to get hurt or go all crazy with life right?! But at the same time we want our children to experience everything that the world has to offer. There are certain facts about the world that you, during the course of your life, have learnt the hard way and would want your baby to trail away from. So what do you do? You aim to become what you want them to become.
Unknowingly you become conscious of your own self and your surroundings. You watch your words, your actions, the way you dress, the people you meet, the way you eat – basically the way you do, think or say everything. You reassess and recalculate each of your decisions because every single thing is being imprinted onto your baby’s fresh canvas. You make sure that your baby sees you as a sorted, strong, civil and composed individual – one that is heard and respected. Someone who knows who they are and what they believe in.
Often, after Z, I have questioned my capabilities and even my values and beliefs. I found myself doubting my thoughts, my feelings and my decisions. I want nothing less than the best out of my Z. I want him to be kind and thoughtful, strong and determined, successful yet well rooted and for him to be all this – I have to be an example who he can look up to. Inevitably you start to hide all your negative or weak traits because in the form of your baby – life has actually given you one more chance to be who you idealize.
There are many things that I have always liked but I never really dwelt into enough. With Z I have had the opportunity to dive into a few things and explore its wonders. I’ve always loved to read and so I try to read to Z almost every day even though I barely get to read on my own any more. He has always been fond of his books and flash cards and I hope he will become an avid reader one day.
I was never too good at geography but I remember when I was back in third grade I really enjoyed learning about continents and oceans and islands etc. So my husband and I decided to cut out the continents and oceans using our amateur drawing skills and some colorful chart paper and turn one of the walls in Z’s room into his world map. He now recognizes almost 5 of the continents and its super cute the way he calls Australia – Austray-lalalalallalala! This way I also get to brush up on some geography myself!
I absolutely love travelling and so did my mum and dad which is why I’ve had the chance to visit quite a few countries. Z has been a traveler too – he had his first road trip when he was only 5 months old! There’s still a whole lot more that I wish to show Z – we still have to travel a lot more – so that he can explore and experience the wonders of different places and learn to appreciate different cultures.
Music is another favorite of mine. But as I mentioned in my earlier post, so far Z and I have been doing all sorts of nursery rhymes. In fact, he knows a few jingles by heart now. Just yesterday when we were on our way home Z started humming a tune and I asked him, are you singing for mama? He nodded. And I requested, can you please sing for me again? And there it was – his adorable little hum again… Hopefully, he will love singing as much as I do.
Art. Alright, I must admit, I can appreciate art but when it came to painting, coloring or drawing myself, I have always dilly-dallied with it. I did do a pencil sketching course once and completely enjoyed it but then never really built up on it. But since I want Z to have a feel of everything and be able to explore all the adventures of life – for the first time, I decided to buy a few paints and a paint brush – not for myself but for my little Picasso.
I really want Z to know the importance of art for I believe it gives you a perspective which is not commonly known to all. He needs to see beyond what appears to everyone and what better medium than art. I still don’t know if painting will be one of the things that Z will excel in but I hope, I really hope that he grows up to appreciate the relevance that art offers for the heart and mind. Hence, it was time to finally embark on a creative journey with Z and do something which I had always loved only from a distance.
So my husband and I planned an activity for Z to do day before yesterday. We got some old newspaper and pasted it all over the floor. Then we cut out an apron from a grocery bag (just Z’s size!), set out three bowls each with a different color of paint and got a few cardboards to act as Z’s canvas for the day! Ta-daa!
Z was absolutely ecstatic for his painting endeavor. He loved his apron and very gracefully wore it throughout the activity. He placed himself right in the centre of the newspaper sheet we had laid down for him, picked up his paint brush and off he went on his colorful journey. At first he carefully marked a few strong strokes of red and green on the cardboard sheets but eventually he realized; ‘what’s the harm if I paint my arm?!’!
My husband and I sat back and enjoyed watching Z explore the colors and the magic they could create. Neither of us can paint but we surely felt therapeutic just watching our little Picasso enjoying himself so much. All three of us wrapped up that activity feeling very accomplished. You see sometimes, even though you have spent all your life in a certain manner, it takes an adorable two-year-old to teach you that it’s ok to color outside the lines.