As a new mother and also as one with a full-time job, I used to envy all those mums who I would see walking their kids to school or just walk back home....hand in hand....the child skipping along happily, maybe blabbering about everything except what happened in school. I would be passing by in my car with a sad look on my face knowing that someone else would be dropping my son to school....that someone else would be choosing what clothes to make him wear, what breakfast he would eat and someone else would be holding his tiny finger and walking him to his nursery. At first I would try and ignore all such feelings but then this started happening more often as if all the stay-at-home mums conspired to pass by my car ambling along holding their kids hands with a dreamy look on their faces. Then one day I just stopped my car right there (on the side of the road that is)
and had a quiet conversation with myself about what I really wanted. Did I want to rush out every morning from home all prettily-clad in a saree to attend another ''important'' meeting or did I want to savour every moment of motherhood, to stand and stare at my child growing up? This reminds me of a poem by W.H. Davies that we had learned in school. Its just one of those things that I haven't been able to forget, re-produced below for you:
Leisure - by W.H. Davies
WHAT is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?—
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows:
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass:
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:
No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance:
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began?
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
Well, I do have time to stand and stare now. Not as much as I would have liked, but enough to watch my kids grow each day, to give them a kiss before they catch the school bus, to hug them tight the minute they come out from school, listen to their days' banter, take them for their after-school activities, watch their tired faces turn into broad grins when I serve them their favourite dinner, teach them our values, our language, our beliefs, and at the end of the day watch these mini-replicas of myself rest their little bodies in their bed saying "I love you Mummy, Good Night"