Before I start the actual post I want to say something. This taking long breaks in between posts and then claiming a comeback seems to be a vicious cycle I have fallen into lately. So I’m not going to do that anymore. I have a million things that I need to take care of every day- a kid, a husband, a home, family, work, reading and the millions of other things that I need to tick off of my growing to-do list on a daily basis. So writing is often neglected or relegated to the sidelines. Today I found some time and the inspiration to scribble and so here I am. 

Its been almost three years since I’ve been home. I was someone who always believed that home was all about people. And to a large extent that stays true. Home for me would be my parents and my family. Any place they are at would constitute home for me. But the other day, I chanced upon this quote and it got me thinking – “We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.” (Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon)

It suddenly hit me then that I miss home- not just the people but the physical place as well. And not home in the sense of the place I live but also the myriad of other things that make home.. well home for me. I don’t just miss my room or my books or the trees outside my window. I also miss the well-trodden paths, the familiar sights, and sounds and smells of my neighbourhood as well. I miss my Amma’s and Achan’s ancestral homes. I miss the temples and temple festivals and ponds and caparisoned elephants. I miss the rituals and chanting and the smells of sandalwood and camphor. I miss the ringing bell of the newspaper boy’s cycle and the loud cries of the fishmonger. I miss the morning cacophony in homes and on roads as mothers hustle to get kids off to school and their husbands off to work before they themselves head out for the day. I miss the smells of cooking- from piping hot idlis and puttu and vada to the smell of frying fish and banana fritters.

I miss the chatter that wafts from tea stalls and roadside shops that range from economics to politics to movies. I miss the heat and the dust and the occasional respite that untimely showers bring. I miss the cawing crows and the street dogs. I miss the green of paddy fields, the backwaters carpeted with water hyacinth, the coconut groves, and toddy tappers. I miss the scorching hot stones that pave the temple walkways and the sun-warmed sands that kiss your feet. I miss the serpent groves and the theyyam and the theeyattu. I miss the familiarity and sense of belongingness that comes from hearing your mother tongue spoken by people around you. I miss the feel of those words on my tongue. I miss the craziness and confusion and noise that characterize the place I call home. I miss it in spite of its faults and flaws. I miss it even though I know I will want to leave once I’m there for a while.

And now, with the wisdom that comes with age, I know that I miss it because I have left parts of me there. There are parts of me scattered in all the places I’ve lived and loved, in the paths that I’ve walked, the things that I’ve seen and experienced that have made me who I am today. The much younger, very naive me that believed that I didn’t belong at home is still party right. But so is the older, somewhat wiser me that feels there’s no place like home. Perhaps this yearning is for a place and time I can never recreate or go back to. Perhaps this is a yearning that comes from being away from home for so long. Perhaps this is a yearning that has taken root as a result of seeing my son speaking a foreign tongue and forgetting his own. Perhaps it comes from the fear that he will never know the beauty of his language or his roots or the rich tapestry of the culture he comes from. Perhaps it comes from knowing that whatever I try to do, my son might never love my home the way I do.

I remember these lines I read ages ago that made perfect sense to me since it explained who and what I was perfectly.


And I fear that is what my son will be as well- too foreign and never enough.



Competitive Motherhood

We had a PTA meeting at my son’s school the other day. And by school, I mean preschool. And I don’t know if I should be ashamed to say this, but I had no clue preschools had PTA meetings. Anyway, this being the offspring’s first official meeting and my first “school event” after D’s official entry into the hallowed portals of an educational institution, I was excited about going. I thought I would meet some lovely parents and I would finally have people to maybe go out with for a cup of coffee or crib about our kids.

But, within minutes of arriving at the school and meeting my first parent, I was disabused of that notion. I had conveniently forgotten something I had first experienced while I was pregnant- competition. Well, I was acquainted with competition much before, but the fact that the notion could be attached to something like pregnancy was news to me till I was carrying D. There was competition in everything- from getting the best doctors to putting on the least amount of weight, to having the least or worst morning sickness and to even the sort of childbirth you had. Natural birth with a midwife out of the confines of the hospital scored you most points, while cesareans were the lowest on the rung. (I should clarify here that I am in no way against natural childbirth. In fact, one of my closest friends did just that with both her babies. She found an atmosphere without the beeping of machines and the “hospital smell” perfect for her. I, on the other hand, cannot imagine having a child in a place other than a hospital.)Then came everything from breastfeeding to child-led weaning to hitting all the milestones. While I was shielded from most of that because I was with my parents, and I followed their example in raising my child, I was subject to all kinds of unwanted advice on how to raise my child (which I considered or rejected depending on the person who offered it or based on its merit).


(Image Courtesy: someecards.com)

But I digress. The comparison started when I mentioned whose mother I was. The minute D’s name left my mouth, the lady went, “Oh! The really tall boy”. While I might qualify as a midget, my son seems to have taken after his father and is pretty tall for his age but I’ve never had someone address him as the “really tall boy”. She then went on to tell me how her son was small and didn’t seem to be putting on weight or height no matter what she did. I tried to change the topic saying I was the same way and so was my sister and we both turned out ok and that each kid had his own stage and time and pace of growth but she didn’t seem satisfied. She went on to say how me and my sister were girls and how shortness in boys wasn’t a desirable quality. I didn’t want to tell her how misogynistic that was. Anyway, the said lady’s friend arrived and I was again introduced as the mother of the really tall boy. I resigned myself to the moniker and waited for the meeting to begin so people would finally stop the comparison. The meeting started and the school started talking about their teaching methodology. I was pretty impressed with what they were doing and in any case, my primary aim in enrolling the offspring was to get him to socialize and make friends and get him out of my hair for a while so I could get reacquainted with my brain and sanity.

But evidently, I was wrong in being impressed. When the teachers mentioned that they often had activities and studies for kids where they were grouped together based on interest and not age, some mothers took offense. Their major concern was that while younger children might benefit from interacting with older kids, the grouping was unfair to the older ones. They might not pick up things as fast, and might be late in meeting their milestones of reading, writing etc. The questions and arguments went on for so long, that after a while I zoned out. I’m sure I might have come off as an uncaring parent or a zombie masquerading as a mother, but I was at the point of not caring anymore. I don’t disagree with the school for one. My sister is five years younger than me, and she’s definitely the more accomplished of the two of us and I’m constantly learning new things from her. I also believe interacting with younger kids teach the older ones virtues like patience, sharing, compassion, and adaptability- qualities I believe will serve them well in life. When one of the teachers mentioned a much younger kid who was a whiz at math, I swear I could almost see some mothers turning green with envy.

'She's already gotten a job offer from Microsoft!'

(Image Courtesy: cartoonstock.com)

Competition is good, I agree, and in today’s world, it is pretty much unavoidable. But my parents always taught me to compete with myself. It was always, “We know you can do better than this. You’re capable of so much more”, and never, “You can do better than him. You have to.” There was never any comparison between me and the sister. We would compare often, but never our parents. We compare even now, but we’ve both come to realize we have our strong suits and are perfectly happy with the way we turned out. And I try to impart the same philosophy to my son. When he talks about a classmate who read them a story I ask who it was, and what story it was, and if he also shared something with the class. I don’t attempt to grab the nearest book and get him also to read. I know my kid is smart. He is curious and sensitive and tells silly stories and likes only happy endings to any story he reads; so much so that we often rework stories with somewhat sad endings to make them happy. He cares for trees and animals and those smaller than him. He is shy but I can see him slowly coming out of his shell since he’s started school and started being with other kids. And for me, those are accomplishments enough. I don’t want my child to have a Mensa-level IQ, or participate in all sorts of extracurricular activities the school offers, or read Wordsworth and Kafka when he’s 6. I just want a happy, well-adjusted child. The rest will come when he feels its time. If I’m branded a bad mother for this, then so be it. I’d rather be a bad mother than have a child who’s scarred for life because his mother was busy training him to be the best at everything that she forgot to let him be a kid.

And I try to impart the same philosophy to my son. When he talks about a classmate who read them a story I ask who it was, and what story it was, and if he also shared something with the class. I don’t attempt to grab the nearest book and get him also to read. I know my kid is smart. He is curious and sensitive and tells silly stories and likes only happy endings to any story he reads; so much so that we often rework stories with somewhat sad endings to make them happy. He cares for trees, and animals, and those smaller than him. He is shy, but I can see him slowly coming out of his shell since he’s started school and started being with other kids. And for me, those are accomplishments enough. I don’t want my child to have a Mensa-level IQ, or participate in all sorts of extracurricular activities the school offers, or read Wordsworth and Kafka when he’s 6. I just want a happy, well-adjusted child. The rest will come in time. If I’m branded a bad mother for this, then so be it. I’d rather be a bad mother, than have a child who’s scarred for life because his mother was busy training him to be the best at everything, that she forgot to let him be a kid.

Ergo, dejection.

Some days, you wake up fully charged and ready to take on the world. Some days, you need a little nudge in the form of a message from a friend, or a kiss from your little one. Some days, you feel like you need a dozen shots of espresso to get you through the day. Some days, you need a swift kick up your posterior. And then, there are those days when you wake up, and halfway through the day, you wonder what prompted you to crawl out of bed in the first place. Although not belonging to this last category I could do with a few espresso shots right about now. Pfft!

Waking up after a long night in which the offspring, who I’m thinking of renaming as the “Karate Kid”, practiced his moves on me, and getting through an early morning breakfast fiasco (the idli batter seemed to have a mind of its own), I somehow managed to hustle my boys out the door on time. I went out on the patio to water my plants and realized that some of them were afflicted by some kind of bug. I’d already gotten rid of one and now I have another one to contend with (cue dramatic eye roll). After that disappointment and some research into ways of getting rid of it, I managed to sit down and restart my job hunt.


With the son at school, I can finally entertain the idea of being a paid member of society. He’s been at school for a little more than a month now, in which time I managed to finish a course I had to leave halfway through because I couldn’t juggle the son and my studies, and brush up my resume and draft a cover letter and send them out to every single company in the country. I had to put that on hold last week because the son came home with a bug, and I was busy nursing him back to health (read trying to get him to sit still for ten seconds so I could shove medicine down his throat). Today, I’m finally back to my schedule and after spending five hours hunched over the laptop and reading through a gazillion job descriptions that the job board thought “matched” my profile, I managed to apply to a measly five. And when I really started to feel that crick in my neck and my eyes started to water from staring at the screen too long, and my brain started to feel woozy from the long hours, is when I started craving those espresso shots.

Dejection is easy to get and difficult to get rid of. I know it isn’t easy to find a job when you have very little experience, and when you’ve been away from the workforce for well over three years. None of the companies I’ve worked for are big names and that makes it harder to convince any recruiter to pick my resume out of all the others they receive daily. Ergo, dejection. And I don’t handle dejection well. I get frustrated and angry and unsure about myself and my skills. And since I don’t have a large sweet tooth, and I don’t consume copious amounts of alcohol, I try to drown my dejection in coffee. The catch now is that it’s been almost a year since I quit coffee. In an effort to reduce caffeine intake I’ve switched to black tea in the mornings and green tea in the evenings. And the house has been pretty much cleansed of all forms of coffee.

So now, I’m sitting with a crappy cup of green tea while my brain is yelling obscenities at me for having given up coffee, and feeling all mopey and sad. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better, or maybe I’ll break down and head to the nearest Starbucks to get me a double shot espresso. God knows I need it today!

Back to Blogging (yet again)

Life is a waiting game. Like in the case of me and this blog. It has been almost a year since I posted anything on this space. I had planned to post more frequently and it was not like I had a shortage of things to post about. It was more like me planning and the prodigal son disposing of all those plans with a flick of his wrist. I’d often jot down ideas or compose posts in my head. I’d read a book and want to review it and would do so often albeit in my head. I would read a piece of news that affected me profoundly and think of sharing my views here but would never get around to doing it. Being a full-time mom to a hyperactive toddler far from family and without any help, my world sort of collapsed to an ironclad routine that revolved solely around the pint-sized dictator I birthed. My days were a blur of cooking numerous meals, cleaning the house only to turn around and find it messier than before, doing innumerable loads of laundry, reading the toddler the same books over and over again till I could recite them in my sleep, and honing my diplomatic and marketing skills in supermarket aisles and checkout counters.

With the toddler giving up his afternoon naps, my days became even more tightly regimented. Since I was also determined to raise a toddler who wasn’t always glued to the television, I had to come up with novel ideas to keep the son engaged. I wasn’t successful completely. If I needed to do any kind of work around the house, I had to put the son in front of the television; but I did manage to keep his afternoons and part of his morning television free. My days became so mundane that I could feel my brain cells dying. Granted, getting to spend time with my son and being able to shape his character and be a part of his likes and interests was rewarding; but I wanted some time for myself as well. And that was well nigh impossible with a husband who was work-obsessed and with no family or friends nearby. I managed a bit of reading on and off but that was about the extent of my “me-time”. My writing was ignored, keeping in touch with friends suffered, I didn’t cook as much as I would have liked to. I was neglecting myself.

The son started school sometime back and now I have a lot of time on my hands till he gets home. It’s been a huge change for him and it has been accompanied by its ups and downs. He has his moments of crying and distress and doubts. I have my moments of heartache and the sense of loss and the fact that this is the first in a series of goodbyes I’ll have to wave my son in his life. But I’ve been glad to reclaim some time and the house to myself. I finish my cooking in record time without him there to interrupt me every five seconds. I’ve finally finished a course I had abandoned halfway through because the son wasn’t giving me enough time to finish my studies and assignments. I’ve started reading more. I’ve been able to get back to my journal. And soon, I hope to get back to work as well.

And today, as I was making a list of the things I wanted to finish in the next month, and jotted down “write more”, I realized I hadn’t gotten back to this space in ages. I checked the blog and realized that my last post was almost a year ago. I’ve made a lot of comeback posts here before, but I’m hoping this one will be different. I’m hoping this time I’ll be able to stick to my word of posting more. I’m hoping I’ll be able to keep up the momentum and not give up like I did. I’m hoping this will be sort of a revival for this space that has been grossly neglected in the past few years. So here’s to new beginnings and better things and hopefully better writing as well.

Of Shapes in the Clouds and other things..

The other day, me, S and lil D were on a drive, and since it was a long drive, and D was being uncharacteristically quiet, and it being a glorious day, I was staring at the sky. Azure blue with clouds floating by languidly, it looked like a beautiful canvas to me; and then, my brain started to find patterns in the clouds and I was transported back to my childhood.

It was the time before mobile phones and gadgets, before even cars had the mandatory “entertainment consoles”, back before automobiles had air conditioning in India. Our family had a zippy little blue Maruti 800. I was around seven and the sister two. We were stationed in Kozhikode back then, but for every vacation or long weekend, without fail, we’d head to either Achan’s or Amma’s ancestral home. It was quite a long drive- almost 7 hours if I remember correctly. And making the journey with two kids without many avenues to keep them occupied was even harder. These days, with D only being two, I still have to pack a myriad of things to keep him from getting bored on even the usual grocery shopping expedition.

But my parents made the journey back then, without anything to keep us kids occupied other than their wits. We’d sleep for a while, then wake up, roll the windows down, feel the wind in our hair and face and then the incessant questions would begin. When would we reach? Where had we reached now? How many more places to go before we reached? We’d play with each other for a while and then boredom would set in. And then Amma and Achan would come up with fun games for us to play. We’d sing songs. We’d spot things along the road and talk about them. And then sometimes Achan would casually look up at the sky and say, I see a rabbit in the clouds, can you? And then me and the sister would me mesmerised by the sky and thus would begin a competition to see who could spot the most outrageous shapes on the horizon.



The sheer joy of doing something so inane, and trying to outdo each other doing i,t is something I find hard to describe now. We’d scream with laughter and giggle at each other’s descriptions. During the monsoons we’d look up in awe at the grey black clouds and watch in wonder as it poured. We’d trace the water drops that trailed down the glass. We’d make bets on which water droplet would make it down first. And the smell that wafted in when you rolled down the windows after the downpour, was sheer heaven. Or if it was only drizzling, we’d roll the windows down and lift our faces up to the spray. And in all these little shenanigans, we wouldn’t even notice when we got to our destination.
These days, with the advent of technology and air conditioned cars and mobile devices, all this is lost.  The inside of the car is always at the perfect temperature. There are too many things to keep you occupied- music, movies, your mobile phone, your kindle- you name it. And in the midst of all this who has the time to look up at the clouds or the trees or the rain? I’m guilty of the same as well. But the other day made me more aware of the fact that I need to get my son more interested in these. We do sing songs, and spot our favourite colour cars and big trucks, and watch for trees and rivers and what not when we go out, but his pleasure in it is all fleeting. Probably it is because of his age. Or probably it is because he’s already used to technology. I’m also guilty of using technology to keep D from acting out when we are out. So maybe I’m to blame as well. And I guess to an extent, society has also become less tolerant of kids acting out in public? Anyway that’s matter for another post.
As of now, I’m going to try and teach him to spot rabbits in the clouds and play with the raindrops.
(Image Courtesy: Your’s truly, taken on my iPhone) 

The Cost of Conflict

When I was asked to draw a picture of my home, and I drew a series of chaotic loops, because chaos was all I had known in my short life, you wept. When I sat among the ruins of a railway station, my mouth open in a silent scream for my mother who’d never come, you wept. When my blazing green eyes bore into you from the cover of a magazine, reflecting the horrors I’d been through, you wept. When I crawled my way to a mouthful of food, naked, emaciated, trying to escape from the jaws of a patiently waiting death, you wept. When someone pointed a camera at me to take my picture and I put my hands up because I’d only seen guns being pointed at people, you wept. When in my quest to escape the horrors you inflicted on my land, my tiny frame washed up on a beach, you wept. And you weep now as you see me, bloodied, motionless and emotionless on an ambulance chair. 

What you see are a few, but there are millions like me. Millions whose voices you do not hear, whose pictures do not get to you, whose lives you do not know. Millions like me who have lost families, homes, limbs and life in our quest to survive. There are also millions who have had weapons thrust in their hands at an age when they should be holding teddy bears and schoolbooks. Millions who are asked to fight, but do not know what they are fighting for, or whom they’re fighting against. But that is another issue altogether.

I am tired of the world and all of you. Every time you see one of me, you weep, you vow to change and in a few days you forget. There are a few of you who fight tirelessly, but the most of you are secure in the knowledge that something like this would never happen to you. You are easily distracted. My problems and me are too much for you to handle. You do not know where, or how to begin. And even though I’m tired, this makes me angry.

I was always told that you people are intelligent and sensible; that you always learn from your mistakes and never repeat them. But you somehow seem to have forgotten to rectify the many mistakes that have made it impossible for me to live in this world. You seem to have forgotten all about the innocent millions like me, whose innocence is being sacrificed at the altar of your greed and your senseless every day. 

You make excuses of lofty ideals like “greater good of mankind”, “protecting the freedom of the individual”, “destroying terrorism”, “rooting out extremist elements” and what not. You fight in the name of religion, ideals, resources, beliefs, politics. You exhort people to war with entreaties of patriotism, and service of mankind and the like. You forget that all this makes sense only to you and others like you. 

For me, it means I get to wake up to bombs falling. I get to go to sleep to the sounds of gunfire. I get to see my family massacred in front of my eyes. I get to live a life without fun, without joy, without toys or even a place to call my home. I get to live a life maybe without limbs, or eyes or ears. I get raped and assaulted and killed. I try to escape and I die in the process. I stay and I get killed. If I do manage an escape, its months, years before I get to a place I can call my own. I sleep on forest floors and swim across oceans; I travel in jam-packed containers where I might suffocate to death. 

And sometimes, when I do get to freedom, you tell me you can’t have me in your country. That there are too many of us already, and we would upset the fabric of your country. I don’t understand. You deem it alright to destroy my home or you condone someone else’s destruction of it, and then you won’t have me in your own. You worry about your homes and your children; their right to be happy and run unfettered and unaffected by anything. While there are millions like me who have never known a day without war, not gone to sleep without the noises of destruction ringing in our ears, who have not known what it is like to be free, to not worry about waking up the next day, to not worry about their next meal or if we will lose our parents. 

I don’t understand how you can look at my face and not see your children’s faces there. I don’t understand this war or this conflict. I don’t understand the killing and the bloodshed. I don’t understand the terms you bandy about so casually to justify what you do. All I can do, is implore you to stop. To leave for me, a world where I can sleep in peace. A world where I will never be hurt by anything, in any fashion.  A world where I won’t be relegated to yet another iconic photograph..

(Images, Courtesy: Google Images)

Motherhood Woes

Motherhood is a choice you make everyday, to put someone else’s happiness and well-being ahead of your own, to teach the hard lessons, to do the right thing even when you’re not sure what the right thing is…and to forgive yourself, over and over again, for doing everything wrong.”- Donna Ball, “At Home on Ladybug Farm”
You assume motherhood to be something that comes to you naturally. That you’ll know exactly what  needs to be done, when it needs to be done. That you’ll hear your baby crying, and know if its because he is hungry, or sleepy or what not. Believe me when I tell you reality is far from that. Right after I became a mother, I had a nasty case of what people call “the baby blues”. I was lost, confused, crying. I couldn’t bond well with D. And I was left wondering if there was something wrong with me, and if I had made the biggest mistake of my life by bringing him into this world, when I didn’t have the smallest clue on what to do. Thanks to amazing parents and a wonderful spouse, I pulled through. I started bonding well with D, I started to understand when he was hungry and when he was sleepy. I started to realise what set him off, and what calmed him down. Things were starting to look good. 
But then, the thing about motherhood is that nothing is constant. Just when you get comfortable with a certain routine, and you think you have your little one all figured out, they change. Routines change, likes and dislikes change, sleep patterns change. And being ready for all that is a challenge. I had returned to work after having D, when he was around six months old. He seemed to be happy with my parents, and he seemed to be coping well without me during the day. I was happy to be able to do my own thing and being independent. But that lasted all of four months. D started getting fussier. He wasn’t happy when I left in the mornings. It got to a point where I had to sneak out of the house without him spotting me, and then I realised I had to put him at the top of my list. So I quit. 
As D grew, so did the things I had to handle. His tantrums, his rough play. When he got too excited, I had to learn how to calm him down. When he got physical, I had to get him to stop without using force myself. When he wouldn’t eat, I had to learn how to coax him. I had to learn to pick my battles. I had to learn to manage by myself when S was travelling and wasn’t home. I had to learn when to put my foot down. And all the while, I had to battle self doubt. Wondering if I was doing the right thing and what the right thing was. 
Motherhood is the hardest thing I have done without a doubt. It is fulfilling, granted, and even the smallest of your child’s accomplishments make you swell with pride; but there’s a downside to it as well that no-one talks about much. It’s a journey of doubt. You question everything you say and do. You wonder if you’re teaching your child the right things; if you’re equipping him with the right tools to face the world. You wonder if you’re giving his self, time to develop and bloom. You wonder if you’re crushing his spirit, when you tell him “No” to something you feel is unacceptable. Some days you break down and yell, and the instant you see their face, you turn to self-flagellation. You hate yourself for what you’ve done. You try to say that its ok; after all you’re only human. You wonder if you’re a horrible mother, and if you’re messing up your child for life. 
Every time your child throws a tantrum, or makes a scene when you’re out, you cringe, you turn apologetic and you wonder what you’re doing wrong. Aren’t you following everything every single parenting book and article says you should? Then why is your child such a terror? You wonder, and you read more, and worry your child has behavioural issues, and you read some more, and you freak yourself out to the point of tears. Trust me, I’ve been there. I’ve done that and I’m still doing that. 
You talk to friends who try to reassure you they’re going through the same, or have been through the same. And you reassure them on their bad days. You compromise on whatever time you try to keep to yourself in a day, to spend even more time with the offspring so he behaves better. You try different things to hold or spark his interest. You need him to behave better. And you utilise every single resource you can, to make it happen. 
And then, one day, realisation strikes. You realise you’re dealing with a child. A child who knows nothing much of the world. Who’s still discovering the sky, and the grass, and the birds, and the flowers, and what not. Who’s discovering who he is every single day. Who’s understanding a little more about himself, and you, and the world around him as the days go by. Who’s being faced with so much information, from so many quarters, every single day, that he finds it difficult to process and file away everything. Who gets so excited about certain things on certain days, that even eating seems like a distraction. 
And then you feel, maybe all these routines and all the things you wanted to teach your child, or are expected to teach him don’t matter all that much. Maybe you should only ensure that your child is happy, whatever he is doing. Maybe there’s still time to teach him all the social niceties and acceptable behaviours. Maybe you’re not messing up completely. Maybe you should just cut yourself some slack, and not be so judgemental. Maybe you shouldn’t lose it when he’s being too energetic, or too difficult, or just too much. After all, he’s going to grow up in the blink of an eye, and you’re going to be with him every step of the way guiding him, as long as he needs. 
Like I read somewhere, “Behind every great kid is a mom who’s pretty sure she’s messing up.” I’m hoping all my messing up turns into something amazing. 🙂 
(Image Courtesy: Google Images)