Love won

Once upon a time a baby girl decided she wanted to see the world earlier than what her mama’s doctor had predicted. She got her way. She came early. She looked up at her mama and won her heart right away. Her mama kissed her nose and promised to love her all her life.

The little girl ruled over all in India – her enamored grandparents, uncles, aunts, neighbors, friends. Then one day, she had to leave all that was familiar and moved to a new country. She knew no one. Her mama was sick. Her daddy was busy. She had no friends. Then she saw ladybugs in their new house. She asked her mama if the lady bugs from back home missed her and had they come to visit? When her mama slept, she spent long time sitting with the ladybugs and remembering her home.

Time, however, is a great healer. The little girl went to school, made friends, slowly adapted. Her new country became home.

She did many great things. She played, studied, sang, wrote. Her mama continued to love her, tried to answer her questions, often got frustrated, was often unsure how to nurture her defiant spirit and channel her energy in the right direction but the love that flowed from the mama to the girl through that first kiss, remained a constant.

Childhood was sweet, teenage was tumultuous and finally at 19, the mama looks at her little girl in wonder. She is a woman. She is a person with a thinking, analytical mind, she has a certain depth that the mama can not comprehend. She is fiery in her demand for equal rights. She is a woman the mama wanted her to be when she held her in her arms.

There were times of doubt, there were shades that was disappointing in this whole process of growing up but all those moments of doubt, all those shades of disappointment were overshadowed by all the love that was showered upon the little girl. Love won. She accumulated so much love in her 19 years that she has enough to pass around.

Happy 19th birthday to my child. May love see you through all your life. May you always pass it on.


Last day in New Orleans and a broken promise

On Sunday, Sean went to church while I took my time with coffee and shower. After his return we took the street car to the World War II museum. It was a sobering experience to say the least. After seeing photographs of young soldiers, making the ultimate sacrifice to stop evil from destroying our world, after reading narratives, witnessing the devastation that war caused, we wanted to pack up the museum and send it to Washington DC so law makers can do all in their power to prevent another large scale destruction of life and property. As we walked back slowly, both of us were quiet and contemplative. The sights and sounds of war, something that happened years and years ago were still hard to absorb.
Lunch that day was surprisingly easy and delicious. We found Auction House, a conglomeration of restaurants, within a building. I had an amazing Louisiana crab cake and Sean had some concoction that included avocados. We shared a chocolate hazelnut banana empanada from Empa Nola. Instead of getting back to the hotel, we decided to go see the Lafayette cemetery. We waited for eternity, or so it seemed, for a street car to come so I put my time to good use. I watched Ryan’s baseball game on Game changer. You can take a baseball parent out of town for a vacation, you cannot take baseball out of a baseball parent.

But here is the most important information in this blog that you need to know. We broke our promise. We did not take a nap on our final afternoon in New Orleans. We just rested for a while once we got back to our hotel. After church, Sean went scouting for nice restaurants away from the touristy French Quarter, which, in retrospect, we should have done earlier. And he found an Italian restaurant in the downtown area, which, to him, looked promising. Domencina was fancy and delicious. We ended our stay with a truly sumptuous meal and we each ordered a dessert, which we never do. He ordered Cannoli, I ordered Crema cotta that had honey, blueberries and basil. Heavenly.

We walked back to the hotel and rested. No naps. As I said, broken promise and all. In the evening we slowly walked around French quarter absorbing the ambiance and the joie de vivre  that we felt on the first day and which, in my mind, is truly the characteristic of this city. After looking around several sauce shops, we bought hot sauce for Ryan, mask magnet for Sahana,  chocolate covered pecans for both and headed back.
We packed to go back home and watched Cavaliers  beat Celtics. Sean was grumpy and berated King James .

A blog about this trip would be incomplete if I did not mention what we found when we got home. The house was immaculate, my kitchen was organized, counter tops spotless, the lawn was mowed. Ryan did not miss a singe baseball game. Sahana kept everything in order.

The trip was much needed. A little break from routine. But the realization that our daughter was grown up, responsible was priceless.