On Friday you turned eight months old. We got the customary cupcake but you were in no mood for your photo shoot because you were one sick little monkey. Until now, if something upset you I could fix it. Hungry? I fed you. Wet? I changed you. Lonely? I cuddled you. Bored? I played with you. But the sick thing? I couldn't make it better. I could only hold you as you whimpered with a pained expression as if you were asking me to make it stop. And I couldn't. This is the first of many such instances isn't it? Where I'm a spectator in your life- where as much as I want to do it for you- I have to watch you go through it alone. This is hard Waleed so very hard.
Until the sick spell it was a good month. We went to DC for your Khala Aamina's wedding. It does my heart good to see you with your family surrounded by so much love. We don't see them nearly enough so when we do it just means that much more. Your Khala loves you so much- not a day passed despite her hectic schedule that she did not stop and kiss and cuddle with you. At her wedding I gave a speech and I told the audience what I'm about to tell you. She is not like my sister, she is my sister, she is the very definition of what a sister should be. And similarly she is not like your Khala, she is your Khala- she came to spend time with you when you were hardly three weeks old and she dotes on you every chance she gets. No matter what happens you can always count on her- she will love you forever.
You've always been active but this month you kicked it up a notch. You seem perpetually in motion. Everyone laughs wait until he's walking you'll be chasing him everywhere! I smile but I am a tiny bit anxious since you crawl everywhere. Especially on the kitchen tiles. We transfer you to the soft plush rug and in seconds you are back on the tiles smacking them with your fist and trying to stand. We bought a play-yard plus extensions. It covered our entire living room. Just the sight of it makes you scream hysterically. This perplexes me since you can sit in a tiny play-pen for hours gleeful and giddy- why does a play-yard large enough for a linebacker to cartwheel in make you feel trapped? Luckily, you've begun understanding when we tell you no. The bakers rack stacked from floor to ceiling with plates, glasses and other breakables? After we told you twice not to touch it, you've left it alone as with the wires in the kitchen that we simply cannot relocate to higher ground. It's like you get it- back off the breakables and the play-yard stays away. I don't understand it but I certainly appreciate your cooperation [and the fact that I'm engaged in negotiations with an infant does not escape me].
You also say Mama. To me. Not the dishwasher or the remote control or even your father. Me. And let me just tell you there is no word more beautiful in any language. It just reminds me, Waleed jaan, that you are growing up so fast. You are already eight months old. I keep waiting for this to feel normal. For me to take you for granted like my ears or my toes but there has not yet been a single day that I do not look at you and marvel that you are here and that you are mine. You are constantly evolving and growing and even the tough days, the days you won't stop crying or won't sleep, I am amazed and humbled to be your mother.
|Thank you Mamu Khyzer for a picture of|
Waleed with his Khala that I will treasure forever.