Motherhood

I won’t be able to protect you from the bullies at school.  I won’t be able to stop you from skinning your knees, or stop that jerk from breaking your heart.  If you get cancer, short of taking you to treatment, there is nothing I will be able to do.

All I can say as I push your stroller is that I will care for you better than I care for myself, and that if something happens to you it will be because I couldn’t prevent it, not because I didn’t want to, or didn’t try.  If I hear a gunshot I will lie down over you.  I can’t stop the car from crashing if we are driving–but tumne jab bhi hoegaa, wo mujhe bhi hoga–whatever happens to you will happen to me, too.

I look at your chubby little hands and remember how last year, as per the Hindu duty, I initiated my father’s cremation.  It crosses my mind that if I live to old age, you will be my parent and care for me.  And that with those chubby little hands, one day you too will consign my body to the flames, and visit the funeral home to carry me home in a paper bag, ashes and bones.  It will be a long ride for you.  It is an eerie thought.  I try not to dwell on it.

That is the gravity of what I signed up for, when I created your lives.  My life isn’t about me any more; I had my turn in the sun–and I didn’t even realize it was going on.  Now it is about you.  Being a family, the responsibility for your well-being, and (as someone said) to have my heart live outside my body for the rest of all of our lives.

“Time keeps on slipping…

…into the future…”

I guess if I had to summarize the last few months in a quote, it would be that one, from the Steve Miller band.

I haven’t felt like blogging.  First I feel guilty taking the time away from my work/kids/health, and second I log on and see all these posts about my father and feel sad.

I pull old clothes out of the closet, and they make me sad because they are from the Before.  I sometimes feel like my dad is “with” me, and then I guess it is just the projection of my own memories and longing.  And then I realize I’ve forgotten what it was like having him with me, and what life was like having a father, and I feel sad for having forgotten.

Also, what is it with Asian women at work asking really personal questions?  “How much weight did you gain when you were pregnant?”  “Did you plan your baby?” Etc.  Boy does it get on my nerves.  It’s not just one of them; it’s three or four.  Lately work gets on my nerves; it’s a total rat race with everyone hoping to get ahead.  The strange part is that I used to be like that once; I used to be really ambitious.  These days I just keep to myself.  I don’t really know what to do with myself…I spent 14 years pursuing academia, another five in an unrelated job, and then on the mommy track.  At 36 I’m in an odd place where I feel it’s too late to start something new, yet I have nothing to build on, or go back to.  I don’t feel like my job is worth the time away from my kids, and yet the time with my kids is exhausting.  My husband is never home (last month was a particularly bad rotation) and so I can never feel safe that if I want to stay late one day, or leave early one day, he will be around to pick up my slack as I have to do for him every single day.  I resent it.  I wouldn’t mind it if we had both taken a career hit, but it seems to me that he gets to focus on his ambitions and career, whereas I fall farther and farther from my dreams.

I am down to within ten pounds of a “normal” BMI, for the first time in many years.   It has taken a huge amount of effort and low-carbing.  I’m tired.  I Disappointingly, my blood glucose does not seem to reflect my weight loss, and I hover on the edge of prediabetes as I apparently have been for a while without knowing it.  I miss the time when I was normal, when I could enjoy food.  Yesterday we had our work holiday party and there was almost nothing I could eat.  Asian Lady of course pointed out that there wasn’t much on my plate.  Thanks Asian Lady.

I feel better if I am working toward some things.  So let me write down my short-term goals:

-Write a poem for my kids.
-Lose 10 more pounds and achieve a “normal” BMI.
-Work on my research project.

And I guess that’s it for the time being.