Mom is Home
…for now. My dad switches between News channels to double-check the reopening date of Government schools. We hope for some last minute changes so that mom can stay with us for another week. Nope, no luck yet.
Mom is home but she will have to leave soon in, say, another four hours. I take over the kitchen chores and let her play with baby D as long as she wants. The chair-ball game, one of their many acts of sheer folly continues with blasts of carefree laughter.
“This woman has funny bones too”, I stand still letting my thoughts hastily dwell on the past. Our ideologies never synchronized during family discussions. We always fought, argued over trivial matters and did ourselves a slow burn that made people wonder if we are siblings by birth. Rifle through our histories high and low, there wouldn’t be a day that is marked squabble-free. We have always been each other’s archenemy ever since she succeeded speech-training me.
I mull over the times we spent together this Summer and realize how our relationship has recast itself with the passage of time. Not that we keep out of each other’s hair but lately the two of us have learnt to skirt around the fuss and move on towards our common goal – looking after baby D (italicised to emphasize the literal meaning of it).
I don’t want her to leave. But how do I ask her to stay? I am no more a toddler after all. Privileges to cling and bawl are barely mine. All of a sudden, I feel over-burdened with a multitude of emotions creeping up from within. Fear, nostalgia, love, anguish, and a whole lot of gratitude. I want to say thank you and detangle myself from this weird state she’s put me into. But then, there is also no point in me thanking her once for the infinite times she’d anchored me from twisting in the wind.
“Take care of your mom, okay?”, she softly orders baby D but fixes her gaze up on me. “Not funny, lady”, I promptly reply to cover up the anxiety I’m feeling. She stares at me, mumbles stuff to herself, kisses her grandson and in a couple of seconds, whizzes past the street.
I move back to the kitchen when the phone vibrates with a WhatsApp message from mom.
” I will soon get back home”