Why can’t I have my cake and eat it too?

2nd April 2016

It’s Pratham’s summer break and he was packed off to his favourite aunt’s house in Mumbai on 23.3.2016 for the remaining holidays. My younger one, Diaa, was told that her brother had gone on a school trip with school friends or else she would have been inconsolable about being left behind and not being included in this trip with an aunt and a little cousin sister who happen to be her favourites too!!
On 28.3.16, my mom-in-law whisked her away to join her brother leaving just me and my hubby behind. They planned to return after 4 days. With both my kids off my radar and having full four days to myself, I was already planning on how I am going to make the most of these four days. Lot of things were on my mind, the movies and books I would like to catch up on, friends and relatives I would meet, of course not to forget, 2 afternoons were booked with my beautician in advance. The anticipation of being back to my carefree leisurely days was making me so happy that I could hardly contain my happiness when I bid goodbye to my daughter.
The next three days were absolute bliss. I was doing everything at my will, without any interruptions, without worrying about having to check on my kids, without being answerable to anyone, without being responsible for anyone. I was so relaxed that I didn’t cook even a single meal at home. My hubby was so accommodating that he told me he will eat lunch in the office canteen and for dinner we can order online whatever I wanted to eat!! In fact for someone who has to have a good hot breakfast every morning and who doesn’t like eating out unless its unavoidable, this was a very lovable gesture to make his wife feel loved and to become a part of her happy days. So to return the love, I did make him his favourite breakfast everyday and lunch and dinner happened as per agreement.
Then came 31st march 2016. My kids were going to return today with their grandma. I knew that my carefree leisurely days are coming to an end but I was still happy about my kids coming back. It was also my daughters open day in school. I was full of pride after hearing all the good things told to me by her teachers. I was very eager to share them with my daughter because I knew she would be happy to hear all the accolades showered on her unlike my son who is least interested in report days. By the way, it was his report day too on 26th march 2016, when he was busy holidaying in Alibagh and he has not bothered to ask me anything about his marksheet.
I was thinking about what they would want to eat for dinner when my hubby’s phone rang and he announced that the kids want to stay longer and are in no mood to come back. So the stay has been extended by 2 more days. At this point of time, I thought I will be overjoyed about my vacation getting extended and I will start planning about what to do in those 2 extra days that have fallen in my lap out of the blue, but nothing of that sort happened. I became sad and disappointed. I was really very eager to see them after so many days, give them a tight hug, listen to their stories, their complains, their adventures(ok, this is a little far-fetched, they just went to their bua’s house not some hiking trip!!) I wanted them to come home, running to me and fight among themselves who is going to reach me first!! I wanted them quarrel about whose stories am I going to listen first!! But on the contrary, they didn’t want to come back to me. They didn’t seem to miss me as much as I was missing them. I didn’t want to be the carefree young girl anymore. I just wanted to be the mother of my kids again!!
While I was trying to explain myself that it is just two more days and they will be here sooner than I know and my phone buzzed. I got a Whatsapp written by a mom. It talked about how she as a mother cribbed about her kids habits, messy house, toys on the floor, clothes on the bed, books out of the bag, lights never turned off, doors never closed, half eaten lunches, noisy arguments, etc, etc. But now that her kids were grown and leading their own lives, independent of her, she missed the same things around her. Somewhere, reading this post I got a feeling as if its me who the lady is talking about. I got a taste of what my life would be once my kids grow up, decide the careers they want to pursue, choose the person they want to date or live in or marry, whether we will be in the same city or not or maybe different countries with totally opposite time zones, depending on Skype or Whatsapp or whatever the technology may have to offer for communication!! My house would be clean, everything in its rightful place because the inmates would be no longer living there. No shouting or screaming because the ones who called out for me would be gone. Dinners would be peaceful because the ones who cribbed about the veggies or the spices would be eating elsewhere. I realised I have just another 10 or 15 years with my first-born and a little more with my second born before they also embark on this journey called life. It’s not that I wont be happy for them but suddenly the realisation that they wont need me as much as they do now, is making me feel lonely already!!
On the 5th day since they were gone, I went about all my daily chores, the same chores which were so boring a few days back and I was so happy to not do them. I packed lunch for my hubby, folded the blankets, ironed the clothes, and to my surprise I was enjoying being a wife and a mom again in spite of having the choice of being a i-am-as-free-as-a-bird, maiden again for a couple of more days!! The few days off that I got was definitely a welcome break and I always crave for such opportunities to unwind and get the spring back in my step. But at the same time, I wish time would stay still and I can just start from where I left without losing anything in the bargain!!! I guess this is what they mean when they say,” you can’t have your cake and eat it too!!”
At the time of writing this post, both of them are back in my life and I can’t seem to have enough of them!! Right now they are sound asleep and the calm on their faces brought back the peace in my life!!