When Ashwin was born and he fit my arm perfectly, I found myself wishing that the moment would last forever. What could be better than holding a baby designed just for me and perfectly complementing my family puzzle?
And then when he was a few months old and we used to snuggle in bed while he was breastfeeding, he would position himself just right by kicking my thighs and moving up. I wanted to freeze this moment - the serenity, the contentment, the comfort of the baby's touch and his budding intelligence and motor skills. My world was full.
A few more months passed and he started giving kisses - those moments had to be frozen too - what can give greater pleasure than sloppy wet kisses?
He started walking by holding onto our hands and I feared that his independence from us was growing. Since I was still too dependent on him (and still am!), I wanted to freeze that moment - the threshold of his needing us and exploring the world by himself as a person.
He started speaking gibberish - he would have long phone conversations that go "yakka dakka yakka dakka yakka dakka" in all seriousness. He does not remember this anymore, but somewhere I have frozen this moment too because he was absolutely delightful when he discovered that he could make speech.
He started speaking some more and I could actually understand him. I learnt his language and I could understand him although the others could not. I wanted to freeze this moment and savour my exclusivity with my son.
He would prefer me over the others for most tasks - be it putting on his shoes or taking him to the loo. Knowing that he will become a teenager who wants to have nothing to do with his non-fashionable, totally out-of-date parents one day, I wanted to freeze this moment. I was the most important person in someone's life at some moment. This means more than it can seem to mean.
That night when I went to the bathroom and he called out to me "Ma? Ma? Ma?" until I came back to bed and then finished with a totally contented "Ma!" - Totally a moment to be frozen.
When the lady at Kings park playground said "what a clever boy" and he nodded in agreement? The cuteness was so overwhelming that the moment had to be captured and frozen.
At the airport in Perth when a big boy of about 6 was playing with him and pointed out his parents to Ashwin, he in turn pointed at Raghu and me. He understood that we were his parents and was in his own way, introducing us to his friends. We were present in the background of his social interaction. We were acknowledged, yet he was by himself. I was so proud of his social development, so proud to be the mother of that boy, I wanted to freeze this moment.
As every word in his vocabulary becomes clearer and clearer, I want to freeze the prior moment - Childish talk to which there is no coming back in future is priceless.
When he holds onto my finger as we walk, those baby fingers wrapping my adult ones, knowing that I will protect him from all danger, placing trust on me and exhibiting this in a simple grasp of my finger, a must-be-frozen moment.
Today, he is two years old. He is a lovely, lovable, loving boy. He is gentle with children and animals. He brings joy to all around him like the old chinese lady whose face brightens up when he shakes hands with her and gives her a flying kiss. The fat chinese guy who he introduced to Raghul as his friend on Deepavali day. The stranger in the opposite block who pays for his bike ride and buys him a bun and sees the happiness this brings him. He is intelligent, understands where his limits are but at the same time checks periodically if he can push them. He sports bruises on his knees as a proof of his toddlerhood and sense of adventure. He is happy and healthy and that's all I ask for him. My life is perfect with him in it. I want to freeze this moment.
Instead, I will let this moment go, as I have let all those previous moments, knowing in my heart that the future will bring with it numerous such moments to savour.
Happy birthday Ashwin baby, boy, mini-man! I love you!