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April 27, 2018


Dearest Ashu,

13. 13. 13. Give me a second. Let it sink. THIRTEEN. Fine. I have officially a teen living in my house. There. I said it. You are celebrating your birthday in Basel for the first time after you were born here so I am extra nostalgic and emotional this year, if thats possible. We both went shopping yesterday to get you some summer clothes and when we got back home late evening, I had this acute deja vu. How thirteen years back, your grandma and I were coming back from grocery shopping and I was lunging a heavy bag and Paati said I don't look like I will deliver anytime soon. But of course, you arrived the same night proving her wrong. This wee little thing I was expecting to meet. I get the possessive mothers and the arrogant fathers now. How this little thing we gave birth to can make independent decisions? How can they talk back to us? How can they tell us what to do? How can anyone be more important to them than us? I am so glad I don't have sons. I would make a horrible MIL. Just keep me in check and warn your future partner, Ashu!

This year was very hard for you since we moved to Basel from Zurich and you hated us for that. You have not made a single friend here in the last 9 months and it is very worrying. When I bring up the topic you have a very clear answer. "I have friends. They are in Zurich" and of course the eye roll and the groan and the accusing glance all accompany that statement. Sigh. But you say you are happy and ask me not to worry. So I won't for now. You have become super independent.  You wake up on your own, dress up and do your hair, pack your snack and your lunch and cycle to school which takes 6 mins. You take trams and go to your various classes. You even took a tram and went to a shopping mall to buy a gift for your friend (zurich friend, of course!!) when I did nt have time to take you. You really wanted to go to the USA on your own and see your uncle and aunt. But baby steps, ok? 

Even though you hate to step out of the house, you like to see new places especially the food! When I was looking for photos of you from last year, the only photos you let me take of you were the ones with food! Crepes with nutella and banana, Ice cream sundaes, cakes, any dish with paneer in it, nachos, pizza, pasta,... Now that the summer is almost here, I am making banana milk shakes for you every other day and sometimes I feel the only reason you even tolerate me is because I cook! You have this fiercely independent streak right now and you can't bear it that I am bossing you around and you have to be dependent. That you can't binge watch season 2 of series of unfortunate events. That you can't eat read all day and all night long. That you don't have a mini fridge in your room!!!!! Slow down dude! I would like to be alive and kicking at the end of your teens too, ok?

We made a big deal this morning. You got a denim jacket, the harry potter illustrated book, cash, your father made you nutella crepe for breakfast and I made you lunch and dropped you at school. You were all smiles and thanked us so many times and looked so happy. It pains me that you are so grumpy most of time and thats mainly because of all that we expect from you. Growing up sucks. One wants all the freedom that comes with it but not the responsibilities. When I was a teen, I remember all I wanted to do was skip physics tuition and watch Doogie Howser MD (from Doogie to Count Olaf, I see a pattern here, Neil Patrick Harris!) But now that I am the parent, I have to police you. Its hard for me too. I hate to have become this monster mom. I will try to tone it down though. I promise. Anyway, welcome to your teens! Happy 13th Birthday! Enjoy the best years of your life. You will always be my baby girl, Kutti!



Me said...

Happy Birthday Ashu!

Anonymous said...

Time flies is such a cliche statement !!! cant believe Ashu is 13 !

My very very best wishes ..

Boo, you moved back to Basel? no post I guess :(

Good Luck !

Sujatha Ramesh

B o o said...

Thanks Me and Sujatha.

sujatha - I did post!
and here -

Anonymous said...

Oh Boo really !! cannot believe I missed your post !!!


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