I gave thanks..

I spent Thanksgiving Day alone this year. It was by choice. I wanted a little separation so I could fully look at what I have. Being entwined always does not allow me to fully ‘see’ and value my treasures. I also needed to unclench the muscles at the back of my shoulder and put my feet up while I wrote this.

My family drove up to Sean’s hometown to give thanks for the wonderful people who nurtured him, loved me and then the little ones who came to us later. And I stayed behind to spend Thanksgiving day alone. Sean made it happen!

Everytime I thought of Thanksgiving day this year, between chores, I filled up with a sense of happy anticipation. I felt a little smile creep up on my face at the prospect of being alone. I asked friends what they would do if they were given a day to spend however they wished. The responses were delightful. How would I want to spend it, I wondered. I thought about what I would do on the day. I thought a lot. And finally came to a decision. I would own the day, I would take off my watch which generally dictates my life – for a day. I woke up on Thanksgiving Day and left my watch on my bureau.

Sage and I went for a long walk and talked of squirrels and dog pee along the way.
I wrote an actual email to a friend instead of quick messaging.
I Skyped with my parents and tried to solve an issue.
I folded a basket of laundry, not because I had to, but because that is what I wanted to do.
I actually sat on the couch and LISTENED to my favorite songs, focusing on the lyrics as the tune rained gently on my soul.
I played with Sage in the backyard. He thought mama had gone crazy.
I read on the couch under my brilliant red blanket.
I watched a movie.
I did a home facial and took care of myself.
I sat in the backyard with Sage for a while and luxuriated in the quietness surrounding me and my aloneness.
I drove over to an Indian take out to get both Chicken and Mutton biryani for lunch AND dinner.
I felt the love of a friend as I broke my fast with delicious soda bread that her husband had baked.
I wrote.
And I let my body and soul dictate me.
And I kept thoughts of next day FOR next day.

I gave thanks too for this gift of a day. The day became a gift only because I knew my family was happy and enjoying the company of loved ones. The day became a gift because I knew my aloneness was temporary and my family will be back soon bringing with it, all it’s chaos, confusion, need for me, and love. And because I had this gift of a day by myself, I would be better prepared to deal with that chaos, confusion and routine.

I thought about my husband and my two children with an overwhelming sense of love and sent up a prayer to the universe to keep them healthy and happy. I prayed for my parents and the work they are doing for the community. I thought about my sisters and brothers I found by marrying Sean and prayed for them and their family. I had the day to truly thank, wish and pray.

Sometimes one just needs to step away and love oneself. I did just that. As I try to keep up with the fast paced life we led, I put myself way below the totem pole. On Thanksgiving day, I realized I needed to love myself more. While saying thanks for others, I thanked the universe for myself too, for my life, my love, my opportunities and for who I am.

The sport that shall not be named.

I later found out Sahana’s high school friend is responsible for this. He suggested to Ryan that he should play football in high school. And Ryan, who had finally accepted that his mother will not support him playing football, and moved on, suddenly got inspired to try his luck again.

‘Mom, I want to play football.’

‘Sure, I will sign you up for flag football next session if you give up swimming or baseball!’ I responded right away.

‘No! I want to play tackle football!’

‘You know my answer to that! Why bother asking?’ I was calm, assertive channeling Cesar Milan energy.

”Whyyyyyy? I want to!’ And so it started. Back and forth, back and forth. I clung on to my calm assertive energy but felt it slipping away – fast.

Ryan tried tackle football when he was seven. He did not seem to be made for it physically or, more importantly mentally. Towards the end of the season, when he was not put in many plays, he started making excuses for his coaches.

‘They don’t put me in because I am not that good!’ He reasoned.

After that disastrous season, I gave him the option of continuing football or becoming a USA swimmer. And waited for his decision with bated breath. The choice was swimming, hallelujah!

Now after two years, the ghost of football returned with a vengeance.

As my calm, assertive energy completely evaporated, I used a threat.

‘If I hear you want to play football one more time, you will lose your iPad privilege! Your choice! I have had enough!’

He tried his luck with dad, who tends to remain quiet on these issues, playing the good cop. I certainly don’t mind being the bad one. My reputation is beyond redemption so why do I care? I heard him whispering ‘football’ with dad.

‘Do I hear the word football again?’ I shouted from the other room.

‘Noooooo!’ Came a slightly worried response.

The next morning, I woke him up with usual hugs and kisses. While cleaning up he said, ‘So mom, will you get me some books on rules and regulations?’

Football was the last thing on my mind, so I asked, ‘Rules and regulations for what buddy?’

‘You know?’ He said.

‘No, I don’t! How will I know?’ I was perplexed.

‘Well I can’t say the word. You will take away my iPad privilege!!’

And then he mouthed ‘FOOTBALL!’