It all started with admiring glances. While I put on jewellery or make up, little Sahana stood by me and watched in awe. A pretty little face, surrounded by a halo of brown curly hair, looking up at me like a sunflower. She sometimes said, “When those earrings get small on you, can I have them?” Her face lit up in anticipation when I promised I will save all my stuff for her so she can have them when she grew up. She grew up to be a tom boy, comfort over style was her mantra. She was happy in a baggy sweat shirt and sweat pants for a long time. I had to remind her to put a brush through her hair before going out. She was my wild child.
An almost imperceptible change started in middle school. Some days she still wore ‘comfort clothes’ to school.
“Sahana, you can’t go to school looking like that! I do NOT like the sloppy look?” I would yell.
“This is not sloppy, I have an image mom, this is me!” I guess that was her image then, sloppy sweat pants and grungy sweat shirts. The image must have changed since we are going on a shopping spree a little more than usual. And we are spending a little more time choosing clothes than we used to. The shirts are getting a little tighter, sweat pants are making way for jeggings, sneakers with two different colored fluorescent laces are being replaced by black boots. And, mama’s mascara and eyeliner are being ‘borrowed’ often. She doesn’t LOVE my sense of style (who would?) so I don’t worry about those being pilfered when she starts fitting in them, except maybe, for an occasional sweater. But shoes….I don’t know about that. She ‘borrows’ my earrings and necklaces and surprise, surprise, those never find their way back to my jewellery box anymore! Oversight?
The usurpation doesn’t end there. I turn on my computer, click on my account, go to google. Guess who is already signed on? Bingo. I let out a sigh of frustration, switch accounts and sign myself in. While I am working on my stuff, the skype icon at the bottom of my screen constantly tells me which seventh grader just came online. She switched my skype account to hers on MY computer. She does projects on my computer, she needs to have the skype on to ask friends questions about the projects. Ahem! Too bad, mom has passed that age too, Sahana! Only thing is, mom didn’t have skype in her day and age:)! She managed to customize the google on my ipad as well, which I guard from her jealously. It may be good to mention here that she has her own netbook and her own itouch, yet nothing is safe from the clutches of the dreaded little woman.
Although, I complain and ‘fake’ yell at Sahana for taking my stuff, never returning my necklace, customizing my computer, secretly I like it. This is a sweet phase of a little girl growing up to be a young woman. She will be gone in a few years and when she has flown the nest I will ‘probably’ yearn for that anguish I felt when I had to do the difficult job of switching accounts on google, or looking everywhere for my necklace that never found its way back to my bureau, after being ‘borrowed’.