My big 8-year-old!
I can’t believe it has been eight years since I first laid eyes on you at Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore, where we locked gazes in an intense and unwavering bond to each other. I thanked my lucky stars that you were happy and healthy, despite a gestating journey wrought with extreme emotional pain. I remember being so thankful that I survived the harrowing journey of my pregnancy in the U.S, where I hit some of my lowest lows, drowning in isolation and misery, all the while trying to stay afloat amidst a whole lot of chaos. I said a thousand prayers the night you were born, thanking the universe that both you and I got the finish line in an entirely different location – back in Singapore, at my home, with Mumumma, Thatha, and Chithi, in a space that was so much more comforting, nurturing, and safer.
The suffering I endured during your pregnancy was unacceptable, and to this day, I can’t seem to forgive myself for the turmoil you would have felt inside of me as I battled through. But I hope you know I was helpless. It was not my body that let me down, or my health, but the toxic home environment we were nesting in. Those nine months when you were inside of me… oh, I was happy enough that I kept you safe and protected. As for myself, I’m happy I managed to survive. The story has a happy ending though – as I always believe stories should – because on January 23rd 2010 I was gifted with the perfection of you.
And now, we are already 8 full years into the wonderful journey of us. 8 years of calling out “Amma!” as soon your eyes open every morning, of asking me to help brush your teeth and feed you breakfast (even though you very well can do it yourself!), of drop offs and pick ups at different schools (your Lincoln playschool, Alphabet, Sishya, Cambridge East, and now, Rototuna Primary), of country-hopping chapters, of infectious giggles over shared secrets, naughty behavior, and happy holidays, of frolicks in the salty ocean and cuddles up in the misty mountains, of endless bedtime stories that I spin out of my imagination (“Mouse & Mole” being the all-time favorite), of tireless homework-ing, of numerous afterschool activities, of countless fun playdates, and most of all, of being my main co-pilot, my teamplayer, and my inspiration for every single step of the adventure.
So much has changed now. Your world is now pieced together in a way that is unrecognizable to you. Homes have doubled, things have multiplied, but you have been halved. It isn’t ideal (of course it isn’t) and it isn’t fair (it definitely isn’t) but it is what it is. These are not the cards I asked for, but this is the hand we have been dealt. I wish I could do more to ease your pain and soothe your worries, but it isn’t all in my control. That doesn’t mean things are hopeless. If anything, we finally have the safe space to recreate our world, our time together, and piece together our haven. Of course it hasn’t been easy – the transition has been so difficult for you and Shiv. My spirit breaks into a million pieces during drop offs, and my heart is in my mouth when waiting for you at pick ups. But I have the faith that we will work through this (blood, sweat, tears and all) and come out on the better side of things. Soon enough.
Meanwhile, I sit in complete awe and swelling pride of your unwavering courage, your smart adaptability, and most of all, your resolute resilience in accepting these new changes. I know how terrifying it is for you, but you trust me when I say that it will all be okay soon. I know how difficult it is for you to be brave for Shiv, when you’re trembling inside, but you hold his hand and you give him strength to face all of it. He is okay because he has you. And you will be okay because you have me. We are all in this together, and believe me when I say, we will be okay.
I wanted you to have a very happy birthday this year, regardless of what was happening at home. I planned a jungle-themed birthday party at the FunShed and ordered a Jumanji birthday cake for you. You invited your friends (Devon, Mahmood, Zaid, Jeriah, Mandla, and Josh) and they came along with their mothers and littles (Oliver, Rita & Tabang). The party was a roaring success – lots of play, lots of food, and most of all, lots of love. When I saw you smiling and laughing with your buddies, chasing each other around, I was delighted. When I watched you all dig into the food, with you seated at the head of the jungle-y table, each one of you lost in animated conversation, I was happy. When the boys lifted their “goblets” of juice to give you a birthday toast, screaming “Cheers!” in giddy excitement, I smiled big. Hamilton has only been our home for less than a year but we have good people around us, and I am eternally grateful to the universe for allowing us to cross paths with them. Your birthday party this year was extra special, not just because Mumumma (our ever-trusty rock!) was there, but also because of our new friends who have embraced us wholeheartedly into their lives. We are so lucky for their companionship.
My brave 8-year-old Krish, your birthday has ushered in hope for a good new year, and I am confident we will keep chasing the light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t worry how long it takes; I will be holding your hand through all of it.
Enjoy the beginning of Year 4; in time, you will not only take flight, but you will soar. This, I know for sure.
I love you, more than the universe.
Your biggest cheerleader,