10. A decade. Double digit. Wow! Did nt I just sit down and write your 9th birthday post like a month ago? You have grown so much taller in this one year that its not funny. You have gone like three shoe sizes up and two clothes sizes up in this year. I think you will very soon catch up to my shoe size and your Aunts height! Whats the hurry, I ask? But you are so proud of that fact and can't wait to literally fill my shoes! We both have had a roller coaster of a year with you getting sensitive and grumpy about everything and me being angry and impatient. At one point, it felt that we could nt have a normal conversation at all. Every time you spoke, I thought you were being ungrateful and every time I opened my mouth, you thought I was lecturing you. Thank God for Hd and his sane advice, I learnt to take a step back and let it be. Also reading about pre teens and how they are forgetful, are affected by mood swings, etc... made me realize that I am not alone. But I did want to scream "Who is this temperemental young lady and what did she do with my sweet little daughter?"
You should be the poster girl for Miss. Congeniality. Especially with an indecisive mom like me, I am surprised you are so flexible and that you go with the flow. Eating out or not, watching a movie or not, going to the park or not,... most of the time you just don't care. This is even more noticable since your sister throws a tantrum a minute if things don't go according to her plan. It used to surprise me (until Antu came along!) when some of my friends say "my child did nt want to" for even simple things like going to the pool or meeting friends in a park. The only time I realize you might not be interested in something is when you say "If you want me to, Amma!" Where do kids learn to have such complete faith in ones parents? Don't they know we are just winging it? Every time you say "I like you, Amma" to me, my honest response is "But why?"
Except for the big bang family reunion trip to Srilanka in December, we did nt travel much this year. What with Appa's job change and house move, it has been a stressful year with lots of uncertainties. And not being able to visit India has kind of affected you and me both. Just like India trips are like charging batteries for me, they help you to completely be yourself, explore your relationship to the land and the people and generally unwind. You are not old enough to vocalize those feelings but I can see it from the way you talk to your grand parents. And also whenever you are upset with me and say "Thatha has said that its my house, Amma. I will go to India and live there!" I can be very mean and say stuff like "Yeah right! You will come back crying to me in two days!" But what I would nt give to run away with you? Keep the love for your country wherever you are, Ashu. Even if you don't have a house there anymore.
Finally you have reached the age where school has become synonymous with friends! Phew. I think back to my school days and you are not even close to what wild things I was up to nor do I want you to! But the constant "can I go to A's house? Can L come to our house?" and closing the door while talking to friends on the phone! Sigh! Guess the dreaded years of "friends are so cool" and "parents suck" is here! Your BFF is A, who also happens to be my BFF's daughter and you both call yourselves Twinnies and behave like one soul in two bodies. Now that Antu is also old enough to match every step and play with you both, you both have generously let her inside your circle and its heart warming to see that. Like I have told you a million times already, the way you treat your family in front of your friends is the way they will treat them, Ashu. Always remember that and keep telling your friends what a great mom I am! :)
We had a birthday party for you yesterday with a few family friends and as usual I was panicking over my birthday cake frosting disaster in the morning and I was cursing myself to have been so stupid! You hugged me and told me "You are not stupid, Amma. You are very clever!" I would nt have made this stupid mistake if I was clever, Ashu, I replied in one of my rare self pity mood. "You are clever, Amma. Because you always find a way to correct the mistake", was your reply. I was so moved by your reply and felt so guilty of all the times I did not give you the same reply. "How could you?" "It was your fault!" "How could you forget? "What did I ask you to do?" "You just dont care, Ashu!" - these are the nasty things I have been telling you. I am so sorry, Ashu. Thank you for growing up to be such a wonderful young lady. I wish you a fantastic year ahead. Rock the 10s!