Today’s inspiration comes from a parent’s blog where I saw tender emotions of a father towards his young son. Flashbacks of raising my own children rushed to me. I was thrown back to the time when my daughter was born. I was twenty and even back in those days, this was a bit too young for motherhood. Girls would be going to college at that age. Yes, I guess I was young but the minute my baby was born, maternal instinct took over me.
The painful process of giving birth, the stitches after birth and the breastfeeding sessions became lessons that turned me into a mother overnight. I endured the pain but seeing the young one at my breast gurgling away reminded me of my motherly duty. I was no longer the carefree selfish girl I used to be. I did not sing loudly any more. I stopped playing the guitar. I forgot my friends. Now this little life depended on me. Her source of life at that very moment, I realised, was the milk in me. And I was so naive. But my mother-in-law would be there to guide me. ‘Don’t eat chillies, it will hurt the baby’s tummy’. ‘Yes, drink lots of chicken soup with the special spices that we’ve prepared’. So it was chicken soup with rice thrice a day.
As the child grew she was protected from all odds. Her needs were met. The love felt for the child was unconditional. When she fell sick with fever lasting for some days running into nights, I would cry along with her in panic. I would harass the doctor so much that she would say, ‘Don’t worry, a child in this part of the world develops his/her immunity slowly. They won’t give up that easily. But one needs to take care of them until the age of five after which they will survive at any cost’.
But my child wasn’t five yet and that made me worry more until the fever finally subsided. The child woke up early one morning and played with my hair giving me that angelic smile. She had survived. And the woes of tending to a sick child vanished.