I am sitting at my desk, waiting for the laundry to get done. Before A gets back from his Target jaunt with his dad. Laundry in progress causes him a lot of anxiety, and makes of a simple task what my friend E calls Mount Laundermore. So especially now, during the shutdown, my husband and I have the sequence of events timed like a dance choreography. They leave, I whip into action, and they come back when the coast is clear and Bounce-sheeted.
Speaking of coasts, have I ever mentioned that in my head, I imagine us having a small beach house? Okay, that was a lie. I imagine us in a BIG beach house, with one bathroom for each of us, and lots of window seats, and ocean views even from the kitchen. Salt air blowing on every breeze, and a shady outdoor seating area that miraculously looks out on the water but doesn’t have any dive bombing seagulls, at least none that notice us, or care about our haul from Mithaas.
In this scenario, we are always just us. I have become so accustomed to that reality after all these years. I suppose this fantasy must also come with a caregiver whom A adores, and with whom he has boardwalk and arcade adventures.
In my dreams, A succumbs to the wonders of the seaside life, and becomes something of a beach bum, his skin tanning a deep cocoa, and his arm hair getting all golden. He walks hand in hand with R to the water, where they enjoy some boogie board time, then collapse on the sand to build a lopsided little castle. They return home ravenous, where I ply them with home made yoghurt and cut fruit (which, by the way, is a joke about Indian parents, because we are always insisting our kids eat fruit; I can personally vouch for this being how I was raised, and how I am behaving as a mom myself).
Summer turns to fall, and then winter, and still we inhabit the beach house. We magically avoid all hurricane damage, and watch all the magnificent storms from our windows. We tuck our feet under velvety throws, watch Indian movies and reruns of Gilmore Girls, and time passes as if in a dream. We want for nothing.
It’s my birthday today. I like to dwell on good thoughts on my special day, and while it may seem difficult to do that during a time of global and national turmoil, I believe that part of resisting uncertainty and injustice is in the pauses we create so that we can remember to breathe. Love our messiness. Dream of stubborn joys that refuse to diminish. Honor our own desires and demands. Pay heed to our own griefs. Listen to people telling us in quiet ways that they love us. Hear their words (which are often not words, but actions) and allow them to sit in our hearts, turning resignation to exuberant dynamism.
May I always delight in cuddling my inner child. She spins the dreams that make of all my words a festival, that give to my quietest moments the burnished gleam of gold. Today I adorn her with fragrant blossoms, for she is the child of June, a season of plenty, and her visions give to the storms of life the belief in sunshine that will dapple the earth again, and the openhanded sense of hope— that abundance, and simple pleasures, and long days of enjoyment will once more awaken our blood and draw us out to commune with the rhythms all around us.