My very special 11 year old girl! What do I say? You are almost as tall as me and wear my shoes. You are so independent that I wonder why you need me at all. You are so cheeky and so full of attitude that this is the first time I ask myself, she is only 11? I can tell you lots of things now and sometimes even ask you for relationship advice! This one time, I was ranting about someone and wondering how to deal with them and you interrupted me and told me, "Amma, you are not their parent. Its not your job to teach them a lesson or give them consequences". I was shocked. And only yesterday when I was upset with your dad for coming home so late from office, you said "I know you are mad at him now, Amma. But don't be mad at him tomorrow, ok?" Sigh. How did you get so mature, Ashu? Certainly not from me!
Of course that does nt mean there are no meltdowns, fights or arguments! Life would be so boring then, would nt it? The bone of contention has been the iPhone, of course! For a year, every other month you would begin a conversation with "All my friends have one..." and I would counter that with the age old, "If all your friends jumped off a bridge..." and the end result would be you shutting yourself inside your room and me trying to find my iPhone to google - why iPhones are evil! I get it, Ashu. I get it. Dealing with peer pressure is not easy for kids. For one, you are the only Indian kid (other than your sister!) in the school. You don't speak like them, you don't look like them and you don't eat like them. And when your mother would nt even let you have a bloody phone like them, it does hurt. Especially when your father can be swayed either way, Mom comes across as pure evil. I have sat with you and explained. I have yelled and screamed. I have asked you to read about the dangers of it. I have given you the classic, "Because I can". Sorry Kid. I hope you understand one day.
You and your sister! Where do I begin? Im wondering which will come first - you ending up killing each other or you together killing me! Argh! The fighting! The curse of the sisters is up on me and I cannot wait for this phase to end. If its a phase, that is. "She took my book. She ate my cookie. I was sitting here first. She is looking at me. She is breathing." Why do you do it, Ashu? Little Sisters are annoying, I get that. But why are Big Sisters so bossy? Please be kind to your sister. She adores you and would do anything for you. You only have to ask. Nicely. That said, you both get along fabulously well when I am not in the picture. So I guess the problem is me! As always. You have a select few friends you are close to and of course your grand parents and uncle and aunt are the most special people in the world. Thatha and Paati were here for 3 months last year and you just blossomed when they were here. You were the happiest when a friend left her little dog with us for three days and we took care of him. I guess you are waiting for the phone in hand first before going on a food strike to get a dog!
You have become even more quieter than usual these days. All you need is a book. You started writing a list this year and proudly announced that you have finished 100 books even before January ended. Even though I swore I would never be that kind of a mother, I have been telling you to cut down on reading and to get out and talk to people. Please find a balance, Kiddo. You are interested in many, many things and I wish we had the time and the energy to do all the things that you want to do. You went for a few sewing lessons and you love it. You took to snowboarding this year like a pro. You spend hours on rainbow loom to create amazing things. You came up with such a clever treasure hunt for my birthday this year that I was blown away. You don't do hugs and kisses that well but you touch our souls by being thoughtful and kind. Happy 11th Birthday, Kannamma. Always be true to yourself.