Saturday, January 17, 2015

What's your cage?

I distinctly remember from my childhood that my mother used to be a very cheerful and light-hearted person. She used to joke with us and even tease us. She used to share urdu couplets (poetry), jokes and instances with us from her childhood. She had many stories and incidents to share with us and we used to listen to her with much interest. Even till today, after it has been over 5 years that she left us to meet her Creator, we remember many of the things that she shared with us.
I do not remember her always acting like a grown up person and trying to maintain the discipline in the house. Even despite that we respected her and there was a lot of good governance in the house. She taught us not by lecturing around and scolding but by just being herself. 
I can remember the dignified way she dressed herself up, the way she walked and carried herself. I could never have guessed her age if someone would ask me then. She was smiling and cheerful and very child like with her children.

The same thing is happening to me. 

Yesterday night when my elder son said, "Mom! Everyday you tell us stories or read out to us. Today we are going to read stories to you." 
I said, "okay", and then my elder son started to read. 
The younger son is quite particular about grammar and the proper way of pronouncing words. He interrupted a few times and pointed out some mistakes. I decided to make him realize that first of all it is not polite to interrupt in the middle of something and secondly, it is sometimes just okay to ignore minor mistakes in others. 
When my elder son finished reading it was the younger one's turn. 
I decided not to point out his mistakes and signalled my elder one too about this. This was over. 
Then I offered to read one story to them. 
What I did was to make mistakes deliberately and that made them hilarious. This was something they had not expected. 
 I pronounced the names in the story backwards and used the opposites or completely different words in place of the words in the story. For example instead of saying the line as, "He rode on his horse and left."I said, "He rode on his cat and left. " This made them laugh so much that we really enjoyed that bedtime story session. I could not resist the temptation to put a lot of humor and wit in the process of reading the story to them. 
This served many purposes. First, it was a good experience with my children, second, I wanted to put the message across that it is sometimes good to ignore the mistakes and accept the person as he is. Thirdly, we must find ways to put a little humor and wit in our day to day lives to start and end it on a happy note. As mothers we must never be miserly in showing our love to our children wholeheartedly. Kissing, hugging, joking, teasing and becoming like them is what they enjoy most.
Age is nowhere to be seen. If I want to relate to my soon to be a teenager boy, and want him to be really frank with me and share his feelings with me without any fear or hesitation, then, I must be approachable to him. If I always try to "act" my age then I would distance him from myself and he would not feel comfortable with me. 
What's in an age? It is only the way you feel that determines how old or young you are. Nothing can stop you from being what you internally are. You like to play? Then play. You like to run? Then run. You like to eat ice-cream. Always do. You like to cuddle into your son's lap. Go ahead. You like to ask him to share his chocolate with you. Ask him. 
A mother is not just someone older and serious looking rather she is a friend and a companion all along for her children. 
What's your age is not a relevant question because it limits you to act in a certain way to a certain level. If you try to act according to your biological age and prentend looking responsible and serious you may not end up looking natural. The way you behave never determines your actual biological age. It only shows how you have learnt to behave over the years. What we have inside our hearts is our actual age. We all are sometimes the most helpless, innocent and loving creatures from inside but we try to wear a facade of position, relationships and authority to show that we have grown up. 
It is not our age but a cage that we confine ourselves in. 
This is one of the reasons why I am not keen into celebrating birthdays. The person puts a cut out of her biological age on the cake and blow it too, but in reality she is nowhere close to that age bracket. Can we not enjoy being that child like person in our daily life? 
She is much younger, more beautiful and more enthusiastic than what that figure shows about her! 

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