Friday, April 27, 2012

16 years and a resolution!!!

Today my baby turned 16 years. All of 16 years, of age. I cannot believe 16 years have gone by from the time I held him first in my hands as a tiny little one, fair, with those shriveled reddish hands and feet. He is grown taller than me now but I still call him baby sometimes, much to his dislike especially if it happens to be in public and he tolerates the "baby" calling when we are alone.

The number 1 and number 6 candles on his cake reminded me yet again, I am a mother of a teenager, which I have grown to enjoy and its a pure joy being the mother of a teenager (when he is nice, that is) There are times when he has his bad moods and gives me terrible times, but that’s the deal right - Roses come with thorns.

It all looks so sudden - that he has grown up from the time he held on to me to the time now where he holds me or hugs me rarely and probably only when I demand it. He is infuriated when I accidentally step in to the dressing room when he is changing clothes and demands privacy in his room and ofcourse, he stands atleast a couple of inches taller than me.

I seem to ask myself now - when did he grow up? From that little naughty dynamite that he was when he was young (most elders in my family have at least a couple of horror stories about him being so agile and naughty), to a sober young boy... oops he prefers to be called a young man. In fact, this birthday, as usual, I wanted to pick up his favorite Jeans and T's and he said "I want a formal dress ma". Joe and I are still getting used to our little man in formals... the reason, he says, “for a wedding, I should be in a formal, now on"

There is a resolution my son has taken all of a sudden - is it all of a sudden, as a mom didn’t I see this coming from a very young age? My son has decided to be a vegetarian. Can you beat it? A Syro Malabar Christian, who is expected to eat anything that does not bite him back, ( In fact, my clan eats anything that moves, swims, runs, flies, crawls, slithers or hops) turning up to be a vegetarian !! My parents are shocked out of their wits. They just don’t understand this logic. If this decision of my son had a religious connotation or a sacrificial element probably, probably they might have been able to comprehend - but this, this just does not auger well with the our heritage or upbringing. Looking back I really dont have anyone in my family who has taken this decision. Not in J's family either. No vegetarians, of choice. must be a real shocker for my clan. My mom gave me a look that suggested, is this a way to bring up a boy?

I really loved the reason Dennu (that’s how I call my son mostly, the baby calling is rare) gave for turning into a vegetarian - He said he is not able to bear the cruelty to animals. And if he stops eating these creatures and if he can save even one creature, that will be good. Last Sunday when he announced his decision, I didn’t think he meant it. Though I didn’t say anything, in my mind I thought, if he lays his eyes on some non-veg food, his decision will change.

He proved me wrong - We had been out to a mall to pick some books (part of his birthday present) and went to the food court there. My health conscious husband took us to subway and Dennu had to choose. His choice is always between chicken salami or Tuna. This time he said a veg sub and I blurted out to him, so you are serious about being a vegetarian and he told me matter of factly “Yes Ma" and I told him, but you love tuna. His response to that just stumped ne - Yeah I love Tuna, but I love Mother Nature even more.

You know there are certain stuff that melts moms - like when I am doing some physical activity like cleaning at home, and Dennu would walk up to me and ask, Ma you want me to help you? and I melt like butter on a hot saucepan. He offers to bring my laptop bag to the car when I start for my job and I melt like Ice-cream on a tongue. This time I guess I vanished with a loud pop!

I had expected this from him - when he was barely 4, and we had moved into our new tiny apartment. He was particular about the bathrooms being clean. A wisp of my hair or some dirt on the floor, and he would not step in. On a hot afternoon, I guess it was a Saturday, he must have come back from playing, quite dirty and I decided to give him a bath. The bath almost getting over, I watched a small cockroach coming out of the drain, a really small one. I didn’t want him to step out of the bath looking at the cockroach and I thought he wasn’t noticing me; I swished that little roach with my feet and realized he saw it, just at the right moment.

And he started - Mamma, why did you kill that baby cockroach? Wont the Mamma cockroach be waiting for the baby cockroach? If I have to go out and not return how will you feel? Initially, remember the Mamma melting moments? - I did have one of those. But that was just the beginning... later, he persisted on this questioning minute after minute - I gave all kinds of explanations and he was not pacified. The ranting became crying and my melting became frustration and I remember cursing myself for killing that baby cockroach. He went on for almost about 3 hours about the baby cockroach and could be pacified only by Joe. Over a period of time, the mamma and baby cockroach has become a story we laugh about - Joe and I have not forgotten it.

Once when the AC at home in the same tiny flat, was taken out for a repair, the mechanic sent with the AC, a little rat (apparently as a bonus) without his or our knowledge. Luckily, I always had the habit of closing all the doors and the little rat was trapped inside the bedroom. Every evening when we returned from work, I saw the wood being gnawed and was wondering where this came from. It sure was the door, but we were wondering what caused the wood to come down into such nice scraps... we were astonished when this rat attacked our washing machine and started gnawing at the rubber parts of our IFB. Then we set a trap and we got the little fellow. Actually a cute rat. My husband, a very practical man suggested that we kill the rat; otherwise it might come back... Dennu heard this and he started begging, pleading and crying as if we told that we were going to kill him... and he made sure we went elsewhere and let that rat free in an open space.

My mom has told me a couple of times, that at my parents place when he used to spend his summer vacation, similar stuff has happened. Once my brother brought home a live fish (he was so happy he could get that variety of fish live) and he had allowed my son to play with it for some time. When lunch time came and my mom wanted to prepare the fish curry, he had refused to kill it. Remember I told you my clan eats anything that runs, flies, swims, slithers crawls or hops? So that particular day they had to sacrifice the fish curry. But the next day, they cleverly took him someplace when my mom completed the job neatly. The curry was served for lunch and my little one, probably all of 9 years old, sensing something fishy, demanded that he see the live fish, which my parents or my brother could not manage to bring to life, of course it was dead in a lovely Fish curry in trichur style, and Dennu refused to eat lunch that day and was angry with my mom for an entire week for killing his friendly fish.

So this was coming, becoming a vegetarian for the love of animals, and I guess probably a little late. In fact, he wanted only veg fried rice or noodles tonight for dinner and not any non-vegetarian food. If it is his decision, so be it. :-) I am a proud mom.

Its been a great journey the last 16 years with him, he made me a mother, and made me fulfill the deepest need in any woman - to mother a child and be part of god’s creation. No one called me a Mom, Mamma or Ma, until he did and in my case, no one else has. And to that, for making me a mother, and making me put my priorities in place, I am ever grateful.

His giggles have cast away many a worries from my life, his laughter has brought in sunshine and his pranks have made me smile, when the burdens of life, marriage and motherhood bogged me down and today for the memories of all those yesterdays, I am ever grateful.

I am so glad you are in my life and nothing else matters to me as long as I see that smile on your face and happiness in your soul. May God bless you and keep you in the palm of his hands. God bless!!

Our families (mine and Joe's) have yet another shocker coming their way. My husband formally announced that he has also turned Vegetarian. My son and husband's decision are mutually exclusive and their reasons for being vegetarians differ. :-) I am still weighing my options. I can’t give up seafood sob... sob...


  1. That is a very well written post! And my most sincere wishes to your little one! (If i can call him that! ;))
    A decision made with lot of thinking involved is definitely good and works well most times! :)
    Now, hoping you're posting after somedays about your full share of non-veg experiences! :P

  2. Thank you Jayanthy. I showed my son this blog and the first response after the first second was I dont like the way you address me. I told him to continue reading. He smiled at the end of reading this. and it had a myriad set of meanings :-)

  3. Ha ha!! Kids! :P
    Wow, that's very nice to read and an awesome feeling to imagine how this felt! :) Nice! :)
    A great mom u r Vincy! :)


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