Sunday, May 15, 2011

K is for Kids...

"Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face. You really need to be certain it's what you want before you commit."
— Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

Yes, having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face. Your life, your identity, your outlook, the person you are, everything changes from that point. You are not you anymore. You are a mother. And the children consume your life, eating into your time, energy, money, health, sanity and even the calcium in your bones.

But, strange as it sounds, these children become the light of your life. Because even though they are depleting you of your reserves, they give back much much more than they take away. Here are some reasons why I think having kids is a good idea:

• Their laugh. Have you ever heard the sound of a baby laughing? It is the most beautiful sound in the world. When my baby laughs, it’s a piece of celestial music right here in my home. My son, Zaid, is so adorably ticklish that he giggles and gurgles when I bathe him, change his clothes and sometimes when I pick him up. He also bursts into gleeful laughter when he sees his impish sister dancing and jumping in front of him. I wish I could hold on to those moments and capture them within me. They seem to slip away too soon.

• Their innocence. It is humbling to see how we all started out as a clean slate. Unaware of the wickedness or cruelty lying just beyond our layer of perception. Oblivious to the hurdles life is going to soon throw across our pathways. Ignorant of the losses and failures we are going to face. Babies are pure, unadulterated goodness. A fragment of heaven. Revel in their innocence while it lasts.

• Their wide-eyed wonder. Zainab loves stories. And I love telling her stories. Because when I’m telling her a story, which could be just an event that happened at the dining table or the mall, or anything, I have her complete attention. And she opens her eyes and mouth wide with surprise at all the right places. She giggles at the funny parts and makes a sad face at all the sad parts. This eggs me on and I earnestly plunge into more animated story telling, with a lot of hand gesturing, facial expressions and voice modulations. After a while we are ‘in’ the story and she pipes in with her variations to it. We do this every day. Try it with your child. Trust me- it is a very enriching experience.

• Sometimes when I tell Zainab, “Sweetheart, you look so lovely,” she does the movie star act and says, “Oh thank you, my little mamma.” She then pats my check, twirls around to look in the mirror, smiles at her reflection and cat-walks out of the room, stopping at the door to flash me a smile from over her shoulder. While I gape with my mouth open like a 3-year-old.

• Sometimes when Zaid is busy playing with someone else at home and he hear my voice, he immediately sticks his lower lip out, ready to cry, his eyes scanning the room to locate me. Once he spots me, he extends his arms and whimpers. He has even started saying mam-mam-ma. I think his sister is giving him acting lessons. Because he does the sad-lil-boy act perfectly. And it melts my heart. I rush towards him and scoop him into my arms, cooing and rocking my beautiful little boy. Only your babies can make you feel like a super hero, super star, rock star, angel, saint and the most beautiful woman alive, all rolled into one.

This is Zainab drawing of her and her brother. Don't ask me why Zaid is sitting on top of her head. It was such a funny drawing that I just had to take a picture and put it up. :D