Mother’s Day Special: ‘I am not three any more’ writes Shefali Shah
My son is not three anymore. This information was imparted to me by my very grown up son (he is 17, while my older son is 18) as I kissed and hugged him while I was waking him up.
Of course you are not three, my darling.
You can’t be and it’s my loss.
If you were three, you’d have searched for the crook of my neck before you opened your eyes.
You would have snuggled into my embrace, lingering in sleep a little longer as you clung to me.
If you were three, you’d have begged me to lie down with you and woken up to my kisses.
You would have raised your arms and waited for me to pick you up.
You would have replied to my ‘good morning’ with your eyes closed and a delicate smile, in a mumble of gurgles and broken words that only I understood.
If you were three you would have asked me to brush your teeth and giggled as I shampooed your soft hair.
You would have relied on me to choose your clothes and then worn them with pride.
If you were three, you would have held on to my dress, following me around as I cooked breakfast for you.
Of course you aren’t three, my love, because if you were you would have insisted I feed you with a story I made up along the way, which you would listen to wide-eyed in a rapturous silence punctuated with chuckles.
Your wounds could’ve been healed with my kisses. Your fears banished by my hugs. At three, you would have felt safest in my arms.
If you were three, you would climb into my lap, showering me with kisses without an occasion to commemorate.
If you were three, you would have stood outside the bathroom door as I showered and waited impatiently till I got out to hold you again.
If you were three, your life would revolve around me, my baby. The way mine will always revolve around you.
Yes, you are not a three-year-old anymore.
But you will always be my baby. No matter how old you get, whether you are three or thirteen or 30.
While I will always be the mother who has not grown up since the hour you were born.
P.S. Everyday in the smallest of ways I’m reminded what I choose to overlook. My babies grew up too fast. And I was reminded of it by my younger son in this instance as well. I wrote this not for him to read, I wrote it for myself to accept.
(Author bio: Shefali Shah is a National Award-winning actress who is known and appreciated for her powerful performances on the big and small screen)
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From HT Brunch, May 10, 2020
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