(This post is by Sandeepa of Bong Mom's CookBook)
The Parents left over the weekend after a long stay, leaving both me and S miserable. Don't know about D though. It's amazing how guys never crib about their in-laws and yet lead a peaceful life, thus leaving no opportunity for serials like "Sasur bhi Kabhi Damad Tha"
More than me missing my parents I was worried about S who was extremely attached to them, more with her Dadai, my Dad. So whole of last week I kept explaining to her that Dadai & Didun are going back to Kolkata, because they have a house there which is also missing them. She took it nicely after my Mom promised to come back after taking care of the house. At the airport I told little S it's ok to be sad, even I am sad and she said she was "6" sad. Rating sadness on a scale at age 3 is pretty amazing I thought when I cannot even rate my pain in 1 – 10!!!
We gave her constant company over the weekend but grand parents are on another level and we can never achieve that. She used to almost bully my Dad and even tried teaching him Ballet !!! I really feel sad for little S. She is the kind of child who loves talking nineteen to a dozen but needs a patient listener who will also respond and ask the right questions. My mind strays many times during her chatter, especially in the car when I want to sit quite and think while she wants me to actively participate in some inane conversation. With my dad & Ma she used to spin stories, imaginary ones and have great time play acting.
Since S knows that her Dadai & Didun are not going to come back soon, the first thing she did after coming back from airport is call up her Thammi (my Ma-in-law) and she asks her when we should get tickets for her to come here. Thammi agreed to come soon but poor thing has had a knee replacement surgery and is in the healing stage. So we have to wait for her to recuperate.
This is when I feel "What am I doing so far away from my own country". The distance is so much that it’s not possible to hop on the next flight for a quick visit.
On the other hand I am amazed by the tenacity that grandparents seem to garner. The way my Ma would keep little S busy by doing little projects with her, teaching her Bengali Rhymes and Bengali Letters is amazing. I don't think I will ever make a good grandma. I can never do for my grandchild what S's grandparents (both sets) do for her. When I think of retirement I hardly envision myself sitting and playing with a 2 year old in my daughter's home, no I think of lazing in some private island with some good books in tow!!!
But both my parents and D's parents love spending time with S. They agree though that being close would have helped, then they wouldn't have to stay here for a long stretch and abandon all other aspects of life they have in India. But even then they are ready to pack their bags and come to spend time with her
Grandparents also have a very positive influence in the kids life I feel. I think they feel more secure and safe and learn a lot about our culture from them, especially the immigrant kids. When S's school was teaching family, she used to come and tell me about her friends’ Grandma and Grandpa. This time around she was very proud to have them visit her school too.
On a funny note, yesterday during afternoon tea time I was telling D, that tea time was more fun when my Ma was here because it was she who would make it when I would get back from work and we would sit around the table and chat over tea. Hearing this little S went away and came back with one of her cute play tea cups and offered me some wonderfully brewed make believe tea !!!