Monday, April 23, 2007

the woman who is cuckoo

i stood in the middle of the crowded footpath at t village with my eyes all teary. g walked out of the shop with a big packet of diapers and looked at my quizzically.

how do i begin narrating why i had tears. all those who know me know that i am unabashedly weepy. even karan johar movies/reality shows can make me cry.( they make normal people like g cackle in the most evil manner) i just need to see someone else with tears and i let loose the taps.

but here the provocation was a sublime smile.

sanah was driving me crazy because she saw a huge porcelain horse in the shop window. she wanted to sit on it and i was trying my level best to keep her away from that grossness. to distract her i pointed to a baby in his mother's arms. it always works. she willingly came into my arms so she could be at the same level as the baby. i said casually, sanah, say hi to this beautiful baby. and there was the sublime smile, the mother's. she looked at me with such breathtaking softness.

a complete stranger calls your baby beautiful and it makes such a an impact - i guess all the months of being in love, the feeling of pride, accomplishment... it all bubbles over in the momentary smile.

most of the time we are all so matter of fact, blase'... most often embarassed that we are so smitten with our babies...and completely closed about that feeling of achievement that each new day brings ( i ofcourse shamelessly asked people to congratulate us as well on sanah's first birthday- hey we had completed a whole year of being parents! i chickened out of demanding gifts)

a stray comment by a stranger can bring down all of that.

she smiled. i smiled and realised to my horror that her smile had brought tears to my eyes.

i had to turn away or she might have wondered if she had encountered a woman who was cuckoo!

i find that my child has forced me to confront vulnerability in a way that i never have. not even falling in love or fear of losing my loved ones has ever made me feel so vulnerable as i feel when i look at sanah sad/in pain/afraid.

and once again tears well up when i read tmm . clearly a spunky, calm mom but the hint of a tough life ahead for her baby and she melts. most likely the baby will not have a tough life- surely the parents will be able to deal with any problem that might crop up. and ofcourse in the face of real and large problems people deal with it brilliantly. so many mothers have responded to her post with how they have dealt with their babies' health issues. the issue is not how real or imagined the problem is, nor is the issue how crazily or spunkily one deals with the problem. its about what that moment of doubt can do to you- the devastaion one feels - the helplessness.


Poppins said...

Oh that's beautiful.. These are things you never know before you had a child and can never explain it to someone who hasn't had one.

surabhi said...

yeah, i am finding it so hard to put into words this strange experience of pride/vulnerability all rolled into one tight ball waiting to burst in the pit of my stomach

The Mad Momma said...

yes yes yes... you're the one that got seperated at birth from me!! It is truly about the helplessness.. and you know I do the same thing.. when I see another baby I always tell the Brat to look at the pretty baby or something and he responds with affection and the mother looks stunned that another mother called hers beautiful... the truth is some of us just respond that way to all babies ..isnt it?