When Kids Paint a Yogurt Mess or Life Gives you Lemons…

Recently, I started documenting my kids at home in photographs – just as they are, amidst all the clutter and chaos, doing what they are doing, wearing what they wearing, completely unposed and in black and white! (You can check out a some of the images here!)

I consciously keep my eyes and camera open to capture their everyday moments – when they burst into laughter or have a meltdown or when they are quarelling or playing together… Always watching for those in between moments where there is so much life happening!

A few days ago, one evening, after we had a long tiring day, we were sitting in our drawing room. Kaity had just finished her dinner and her plate, with left over yogurt, was lying on the table. All of us were too exhausted to even clear the table!

The minute Krissy spotted the dollop of yogurt on the plate, she came, dunked her hand in it, ran to our mirror and started painting a mess!

Continue reading “When Kids Paint a Yogurt Mess or Life Gives you Lemons…”

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Be a Voice!

The following conversation happened last week –

KT : Mama, I want to be class leader. But teacher says only those who are quiet can be leaders!

Me : Then be quiet.

KT : Quiet is boring, mama!

*face palm moment*

I posted this on my Instagram account and one of my friends commented –

“Oh dear Katie. All that will change in a few years! Leaders need to talk. You’ll soon have your turn in the world out there.”

All of a sudden I felt enlightened!

“Leaders need to talk,” kept echoing at the back of my mind!

I have great respect and admiration for KT’s class teacher. So does KT. She adores her. The teacher telling the kids to be quiet is very understandable because tackling 25 five-year-olds is no easy joke! And I explained the same to KT – why she needs to listen to her teacher and pay attention while she is teaching!

I am just looking at the statement, “only those who are quiet can be leaders!” from a completely different, broader perspective as I type this post!

Not sure if it is a cultural issue or an universal one. At some point we all have shushed kids from voicing their opinions. Or we probably have not considered their opinions when they voiced it. And once the kids are bigger, they are expected to speak out and express themselves!

It is time we give the little people in our lives the respect and attention they deserve. Let’s let them know what matters to them matters to us. Let them know their opinions count. May we provide them the freedom to voice their hearts and minds out in our homes! Let them be seen! Let them be heard!

KT and Krissy,

Stand up!

Speak up!

Express yourself!

Ask questions!

When in doubt, ask more questions!

Never hesitate to share what’s on your heart to the people who really care about you!

Share what’s on your mind with the people whom you care about!

Speak up for those who cannot speak!

Never fear to question injustice!

Defend the voiceless!

Inspire!

Empower!

Be a voice not an echo!

Be the change!

Be a leader!

The First Gift of its Kind

It’s half past midnight. I am really really sleepy. But since the next two weeks are going to be super hectic, I do not want to put this off. I want to write about this right away when all my emotions are fresh from the incident!

So I turned 33 yesterday! Honestly, I wasn’t too excited about it! In my mind I knew I had numerous things to be thankful for! To top it, Hubby has gifted a 2N3D stay in a beautiful resort, which we will enjoy sometime next month; I’ve been given the honor of doing something quite important at a event in church; so many loving wishes from wonderful people. But deep down in my heart, I was missing something. I just wasn’t feeling good about myself – just the fact that I am getting older, my weight gain and that stinging feeling of purposelessness! It made me miserable on the inside!

However, I masked it all with a smile!

In the mean time, KT came to know that it was birthday day-before-yesterday. From that moment on she was filled with this kind of joy and excitement that she has never expressed before! It’s not that kind you feel when something good happens to oneself. It that kind of joy you feel when something good is happening for the one you dearly love! That feeling of exhilaration you feel for somebody else!

When it’s KT’s birthday, I have this habit of counting down days to her birthday by asking her, “Kattu, do you know what’s five days from now?” And just when she tries to figure it out, I will yell, “It’S YOUR BIRTHDAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY!”

I was about to hit the bed the night before. KT knelt beside me. Her eyes all wide in excitement she asks, “Mamma, tomorrow.. morning.. when you wake up.. What’s it?” I smile at her and she yells, “It’S YOUR BIRTHDAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYY!”

She ran to her Dadda, bugged him to bring the cake (which he was so unsuccessful in hiding it from me ;)), light the candle and  the three sang for me!

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It was a super moist, very tasty white forest cake! Each of us gobbled as much as we could!

Moments later KT snuggled into my arms and told me, “Mamma, it’s your birthday no.. So I am going to sleep next to you because I love you so much!”

The way she said it, I knew she meant every word! Her words were so genuine from her heart!

I was overwhelmed! I couldn’t take my eyes off her sweet face. The next few moments I watched her drift to sleep!

On the morning of my birthday, she woke up, gave me a hug and wished me! Soon she rushed to school!

When she got back from school, she was back in her excited state! She walked into the house and she frantically kept searching for something! I asked her what she was searching for and she replies, “Mama, I am looking for decorations for your birthday party!”

Later in the evening, she somehow dug out a couple of decorations I had made for her birthday. She arranged it on the table. She took a few nail polishes and placed it beside.

With a sad face she told her dad, “Dada, I don’t have anything to gift mama!” Vijay asked her to draw me a greeting card. She drew one and was still not satisfied!

All of a sudden, she ran and asked her Dada for a box. She went to a corner, put a few things in it, closed it and brought me the box along with an almost tattered old wrapping paper from the shelves and requested to gift wrap it without peeking in! I did! She placed the gift along with the decorations and instructed me to open it only after the guests come!

I had invited my parents in law for dinner. I was in one of those now rare cooking sprees. I had cooked mutton biryani, chicken curry and gutti vankaya! The food had turned out really well. We all enjoyed the dinner and were conversing with each other!

KT comes over and hands me her gift! I really couldn’t wait to open it! The minute I did, my heart melted! This is what she had kept inside – two candies, two bracelets and two rings beautifully kept inside a heart shaped box and a Barbie bracelet! All items that is very precious to her!

What I felt that moment is beyond words! Every negativity that was weighing me down just vanished! Like the Frozen movie quote goes,

‘Only an act of true love can thaw a frozen heart!’

I have been so blessed to experience what it is to be loved by my parents, my brother, my husband, my in laws and friends. For the very first time I experienced what it is to be loved back by my child. She has always been a very loving girl – very lavish with her hugs, kisses and compliments. This was the first time she went overboard in expressing it!

There are a few mothers I know who have grown up daughters. I remember them often telling me what their girls gifted them for their birthdays and anniversaries. Although I found those gestures very sweet, only now I realized the intensity of it!

Many parents say in the movies, talk shows, blogs and in person how all the years of hard work and the responsibility a parent shoulders feels so worth it in that brief moment when you are loved back by your child. It definitely is true!

So here I am, 33 feeling deeply loved, highly favored and greatly blessed!