Friday, August 26, 2016

If we were having coffee .... 4

Picture courtesy: PIXABAY



If we were having coffee… 
I’d invite you home today because I’m feeling a tad down. That perfect cup of coffee served by a professional on a neat little tray is tempting for sure but today I need the comfort of home. I need to curl up my feet on the sofa for a long chat, no matter that the cup is not designer or that Marie biscuits don’t measure up to the brownies. Maybe I’d invite you to my kitchen and we could take turns at beating the coffee. That’s your favourite kind, I know, and mine too.

Once it is poured, sweet and frothy, we could settle down to our conversation.

I’d probably ask about your days and tell you about mine. It has been a long and exhausting fortnight, with the maid on leave, the kids on holiday and husband home too.

I’d tell you, a trifle guiltily, that much as I love them all, I cherish my alone time. I’d tell you how I savour the silence. The absolute quiet as I tap at my laptop. The single cup of tea on my side table. Or the mindless chatter of FM (that no one else seems to have the patience for) while I go about my chores. I miss all of that. I need it to get me through the craziness of the rest of the day.

I’d tell you about the twin’s academic pressure that seems to have suddenly multiplied many fold and hangs like a dark shadow on me, always. Somedays, I’d tell you, I cannot sleep from worrying about them.

Mercifully (?) the kids seem completely unaware of it but that makes me worry even more.

How can they not care? Is it okay for children to be so completely unconcerned? Are they too young? Am I expecting too much from them? I look at the mums around me. I see how they urge their kids on and I feel hopelessly inadequate. I am just not capable of pushing mine. Am I doing enough to help them? Or am I letting them slide into laziness by expecting too little? Am I taking away their chance at a better life by not egging them on?

It’s hard. This not knowing. Like walking blindfolded.

You don’t have an answer either. I know. But simply telling you how I feel lifts my spirits just a bit. You’d probably smile away my fears telling me I was over-thinking. ‘They’re just ten’, you’d laugh. And you’ve no idea how that would reassure me. Yes, they’re just ten. They’ve just started secondary school. They’ll settle, their grades aren’t bad.

We’d lift our now cold coffees and smile at how that always happens - how conversation takes over coffee. I feel sorry for having monopolised it all the way today. 

And yet long after you've gone and I'm getting on with my day, I remain grateful for your presence. I send out a tight mental hug for friends who let me voice my thoughts and fears no matter how unfound, how stupid they might be.

34 comments:

  1. If we were having coffee, I'd listen to all of this and give you a warm hug. I understand and I think it's fine not to know and self-doubt. Know that you're already doing a wonderful job as a parent and the twins will do well.

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    1. Like I said the reassurance helps Uma. And I hope what you said is true.

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  2. I would hug you and agree with you over many cups of coffee. You will need it as it is the beginning of another exciting phase for the kids and you. My younger one is 11 and I am trying to cherish every moment before he grows up and will not need me much.

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    1. Thanks LS. It's s strange age isn't it - they're grown up and yet not quite. You're right though, we need to cherish these years.

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  3. We should definitely have coffee. :) At some point we all need this coffee conversation to cope up with the daily troubles, and like CCD's caption goes, "A lot can happen over a coffee". :)

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    1. Oh yes coffee and conversations help.

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  4. Have that cup of coffee with me and then allow me to pour you another cup :-) Parenting is overwhelming from time to time - don't be so hard on yourself - you are doing as wonderful a job as you can :-)

    Have faith!

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    1. Thanks Divya. Ot sure is overwhelming. There is always something left undone or something you could have done better.

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  5. Awww Tulika hugs my dear. My girl child is ten as well ๐Ÿ˜€ Parenting for sure is one tight rope walk blind folded.

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    1. The not-knowing is scary sometimes, isn't it?

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  6. I too would say they are just 10. Drink and coffee and take a chill pill :) I guess you should be worried if they take everything seriously :)

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    1. Hmm... now that's a thought. Though the stage that we are at now I wouldn't mind some seriousness.

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  7. Oh yes, we all need some alone time. It's only natural for mothers to worry about their children, but it sounds like you have plenty of time for that, yet! Enjoy your coffee! Have a good week. ☺

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    1. Thanks Debbie. Me time is a life saver!

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  8. Hugs. Tight ones for you! You are worried for 10 yo? really? Come on. I know they are going to pick up just fine cos they have you as Mum. They are already getting values, lessons from you, school is giving them the education they need. Trust me. Just perfect. :)
    Alone time? We all love that. Don't we?

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    1. Thanks a ton Parul. Some days the worrying gets me down. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for them.

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  9. Tulika, you know we're in the same boat, pretty identical at that. Gy is ten too but it's only now that she's taken a shine to studying because she enjoys it. I think it's a rite of passage and it happens at different times for different people. Don't worry. Don't stress. The kids will settle before you know it. And the best part? I'm here to hug you through it all. Every single time.You're not alone.

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    1. All I can say is touch-wood or you and Gy. We're far from there yet. I'm hoping the kids get serious before I go completely crazy.

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  10. ohhh and i so wish to have that cuppa with you. And you know exactly that's what we would have discussed with bit of my anxieties too .

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    1. You have no idea how much I miss you since you went off.

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  11. I feel as if I am having that coffee with you. Some day you and I certainly will. I have those same questions. The elder son is in 9th and I see parents around me going nuts while I am trying to salvage some sanity for me and the son. Luckily the support at home is great. The kids keep egging me that I am doing a great job. Of course, I do reiterate that academics are important. The elder one studies on his own and is quite a fabulous boy. The younger son is still very natkhat. He prefers outdoors, biking and friends to sitting and studying. He gives me high BP every single time there are FAs. But I think that he is only in 4th grade. I am sure he will be more methodical when he is older. Though we try not to say it at home, I know he must be feeling the pressure of a super achiever elder brother. Oh, so all that rambling just says that despite the doubts, I have bouts of them too, you are doing just fine. One way or the other, you guys will figure out what is best in a few years. Oh, and you already know about cherishing the silence and wanting the kids to go back to school. :) Won't repeat it then.

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    1. Thanks for sharing this Rachna. I can feel for you younger one. I have quite a disparity between the two of mine too. Being in the same grade just makes it worse for them harder for me. I hope what you say is right - I hope they realise the importance of academics. Sometimes I wonder if I've done right by putting them in a school that stresses co-curriculrs. I wonder if that has taken the focus away from academics.

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    2. The school my kids go to also have a lot of CCA. I think it is good. It makes for a well-rounded personality.

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  12. :) and Thank you for the lovely cup of Coffeee and sharing all that you shared .. takes a lot of guts to share everything ..

    and I am sure it will all be fine :) Take care

    so when do i have my next cup of coffee then .. white two sugars :)

    Bikram's

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    1. Ha ha.. you can have as many sugars as you please. When we do meet I hope we talk of nicer, lighter things and leave all the worries far behind.

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    2. Hmmm well I am sure ..

      You ok now..๐Ÿ˜€

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    3. Hmmm well I am sure ..

      You ok now..๐Ÿ˜€

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    4. Thanks Bikram. Yeah I'm fine. Nothing has given me as many highs and lows as parenting.

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  13. Aww! A big hug to you, Tulika! Reading this made me remember the day we had our tea (not coffee though) and chatted for so long. I so understand your need for that Me time and to chat with friends about our fears and doubts. It's ok to feel this way sometimes. Let me tell you that you and the kids are doing great. Have another cup of coffee and relax and smile! ♥

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    1. Yes I remember Shilpa. We must do it again. Talking about one's fears somehow diminishes them. Thanks for those comforting words :-).

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  14. You could ask my mom how many times I've told her that I love love love the way you parent or I could make it simple and tell you that I have told her at least a dozen times. H and N are awesome individuals: smart, fun, creative and kind. They are gonna do great in life! I can see it! It is ok that they don't care about math as long as they can tell the right amount of change you should expect when you go shopping the next time. It is ok that they don't care about science if they squeal with joy the next time you go on a trail and they identify different kinds of plants, bugs and birds. It is ok that they don't care about language as long they can concoct a preposterous but entertaining tale the next time you catch them red handed. Instead of saying they're just ten, I'd say they're a ten! Now pick up that cup and enjoy your coffee!

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    1. Thank you Anitha. I hope all that you say comes true for the kids.

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  15. What a thought provoking post, Tulika. I am only reading it today. Can't believe how I missed it. Your concerns over your kids' achievements and successes in life are something we can all relate but I wonder sometimes if it's just us trying to impose our insecurities on our kids because what they do and how they do it reflects on us and how we raise them. I certainly feel that way about myself sometimes. Worth thinking about, no?

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    1. It is that of course. But it would be wrong to say is is ONLY that. When it comes to the kids there are many feelings all interwoven together. What they do certainly reflects on me, the upbringing and all of that but there is also the thought that as a parent I am responsible for making them aware of the importance of hard work and persistence and a sense of purpose, that letting them be is perhaps the easy way out. It's tough to define boundaries.

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