“Yen vaazhvil sarkkarai nimidam…”
Worked from home today. Called N at 5:30 pm, at the end of a super busy work day. He was still knee-deep in work, and said that he would maybe start for home in another half hour or so. As I stood in my kitchen stirring the venn pongal I was making for dinner (super yum!), I looked out my window at the pitch dark evening. “How can people possibly bear to still be at work when it looks like midnight”, I wondered. I, personally, have been incredibly fortunate to be home when the kids come back from school for more than 10 years now (while working full-time, thank you very much).
Little N was at an event this evening, and little A was working on something in her room. The house seemed strangely quiet and empty for that early evening hour. That’s when it hit me – this weird sense of pre-emptive nostalgia. I wondered if this is how it would be when the chickis leave home for college. “Would I continue to come home from work at 3 pm?”, I wondered idly. To answer that – I first thought “yes” (after all, have completely lost touch with sitting full day at work). But how crazy and aimless would that be? Suddenly had a clear vision of future self – Standing in the same kitchen watching two school buses whizzing by at 3 pm; Pining for the munchkins to waltz in through the front door, fling their backpacks carelessly on the nearest chair, and hungrily demand Maggi noodles, candy, and other such nutritional horrors; and Missing the evenings spent on never-ending homework, and rushing to one activity or another all the time. Sigh!
Earlier this week, I was in NYC for work. Crammed all my meetings into the morning, skipped lunch, worked and took calls on the ride back, and made it back home by 2:45 pm before little A’s school closed for the day. It’s all self-inflicted, of course. The munchkins are old enough, and do quite well on their own. Plus, my neighbor S was home and had offered to keep an eye out for little A if she came home before little N did. But that wasn’t enough for me. I have somehow always felt an intense need to be home when the girls are home. All this huffing, puffing, juggling, and scrambling make for some super busy days sometimes. But to me, it’s the only way that I want to do it.
November is supposed to be the month of gratitude (who came up with that?!). Honestly, haven’t had a single thankful thought so far this month (v. bad). But, as I stood alone in my kitchen, sipping my hot masala chai (dude, needed my chai to deal with all these feelings), I felt a rush of gratitude. And realized that it is true – these are indeed the good old days. Precious times – in the guise of the mundane and the routine – to be savored and cherished.
For this season of sweetness in my life, I am truly thankful.