Category: Buzz

You – Through My Eyes

Dear Buzz,

There are some days when the need to write just takes over. Today is one of those days, so I dust up the cobwebs of my memory to dig up the password to this now rarely visited place.

There are so many things I want to capture, so many little things you do and have been doing, so many ways you are growing and learning, so many reasons you give us to be proud and happy.

This past year has been a year of emotional learning for you. You have this deep seeded kindness in you, where you are unfailingly nice to your classmates. Due to this, people come become friends with you. It’s a slow process, but in the end without you trying, you always have friends around you. This year though, you learned that not everyone does and goes about friendships like the way you do. You learned the grays of friendship. It was a hard lesson to learn, one you struggled with. Why would you do something that is wrong, was a question you asked me over and over again. Through endless drama, lots of tears, and repeated struggles – you finally found your footing, and stood strong for what was right, not bowing down to the popularity contest at school. You in fact, want to stay far away from the popular kids at school, and if not that, then not behave like they do. As much as I worry about what higher grades, and different schools will bring, this gives me peace that you will find your way and be stronger for it.

This past year has also been about you going deeper into a sport you love. You have always liked swimming, and had wanted to join a swim team for a while. The bottle neck was of course me. I did not know, if we as a family were ready for the time commitment it would require. One day you came back from school and asked me to search for ‘x’ swim team, call them and ask them if you could join. If you went that extra mile and found out about the place, well who was I to stop you. And so now we are a swim team family. You swim, I feel, non-stop. I sit, I feel, non-stop at the pool deck. As much as it gets too much for me inside the muggy pool sides, you love it so much. There is no time when given a chance you don’t want to go swim (or play in the water). Walking down the mall, sitting on the couch, while doing your homework – you suddenly break in to some stroke that you have been working on. You love to compete, swim meets are fun for you. You have times you want to improve and are so excited when you do make them, before of course moving the target forward a little.

Your love for books is going strong. You finish 500+ pages books in about a day, so yeah you read about a book a day. But more than all the books that you read, it is interesting to watch you re-reading parts of book. You always have a reason on why you went back to a certain part of a book, and your reasons are my ahaa or oh wow moments. It gives me great joy to watch you reaching for the classics as well. You current favorite is the “St. Clare’s” series by “Enid Blyton.” Apparently the “Malory Towers” series is good, but not as good as the “St. Clare’s.” That these books are set in a school, with issues between friends and other classmates, and how different people deal with them, and what their motives are, resonates deeply with you. Your biggest gripe though is that you don’t get presents, only books – books from tooth fairy (as you pointedly look at me), books on birthdays, books for Christmas. Listening you complain over and over again, I asked you to let me know what present you wanted for Christmas. You though and though, came up with a number of ideas, went over their pros and cons, and in the end decided on a couple of books you really wanted. I put my hands up in the air, and gave up.

Your one big love-hate relationship is with Skiing. You love to ski, you hate the cold, and the fact that Bugz is never cold, while you are freezing, upsets you no end. You are a confident skier, but are a caution one too. You stay watchful and go ahead where you feel confident, unlike a certain someone who goes full throttle and worries about the consequences latter. If we could sprinkle powder all over the mountains, but made them a balmy 50 degrees – you would be in heaven. This past year we have been to so many different ski resorts and you have enjoyed them all. From having waffles at the top of Whistler Mountain, to seeing -18 degrees at Jackson Hole; from skiing fluffy powder at Alta/Snowbird, to skiing under wast blue skies of Big Sky; from the fanciest ski lodges at Sun Valley to skiing 12 inches fresh snow at Squaw Valley; from skiing 45 degree steeps on our local mountain to skiing the volcano of Mt. Bachelor – You have cried from the cold, been bribed by promises of hot chocolate, you have kept going, and skied with speeds that I have given up any hope of catching you while on the slopes.

Over the past year, you and me have started our little talks. No more the little baby talks, but heart to hearts. Every time you are working on some emotional issues, you ask for my time. We find our little corner, some times in a quite room, most time it is the kitchen counter while I do meal prep. You lay out your thoughts in front of me. I give you a different perspective (sometimes), or advise from my experience, sometimes I just listen. We had a rocky start to this, because you thought I did not understand, but we are getting to understand, and that helps. Now every time a friend is in trouble, your biggest advise to them is to go talk to their mom. “Mom’s do understand, and have the best advise,” you tell them. Does my heart a world of good to be able to help, but most of all I cherish our talks and your time together. That you trust me, is my biggest gift.

You are tall, athletic, and beautiful inside and out. You are serious, focused, and laugh at the craziest places. You are sensitive, kind, and sometimes totally spaced out. You read non-stop, love to draw, and love to hear stories of the time when you were a baby. You swim, ski and are crazy about football. You love colored trousers, flippy sequin T-shirts, and sweatshirts with hoodies. You love mangoes, rasmalai, and banana ice-creams. You hate long ski lines, below freezing temperatures, and, Bugz bragging about not being cold. You hate peanut butter, caramel, and sweets with cinnamon in them. You can’t care about brushing your hair, go crazy brushing your teeth, and can’t dance with any kind of grace. Life is so amazing with you in it, and you are our joy. We watch you grow, and seeing you become this amazing person, gives us endless joy. Stay happy, stay healthy, stay you – Always!

Loads of love,
-Maa

In the middle

“Mumma why do I not have a middle name?” Buzz asked me one day.

We went on to have a long conversation about how names are chosen in different cultures, why some people choose to have a middle name or a number middle names, why some people choose to have Jr. etc. behind their kids name.

“Mumma some time at school I add a middle name to my name!” she told me then.

Taken by surprise I asked her what she wrote?

“Sugar”, she came back, “because you some times call me cheeni, which means sugar!”

Suddenly, Bugz, who had been listening till then chimed in with utter glee:

“So my middle name will be Pataka!”

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That be that folks! 😀

Potter Mania Continues

Look what Buzz got from her school library

imag0262

..and it is such an adorable book. I sneak read parts of it while she was at school. Hundreds of kids who think Harry is real, who want Harry to come over their place, who are writing new spells for Harry.

Oh and from Buzz’s perspective please look at the book’s name. That is the only reason she picked it up 🙂

New Year Resolution

Almost at the end of August, the 8th month of the year, and I write a New Year Resolution. Late am I, or what?

The night of December 31st, eve of the New Year, we were at a friends place. We were there for only a little while as there was somewhere else we needed to be in an hour’s time. While the adults mingled, the kids were upstairs playing together. Soon it was time to leave and we called to kids to go. Bugz came down with her regular huge smile, talking mile a minute but Buzz looked very subdues. After repeated asks about what was wrong, she quietly said, “the girls were mean to me.”

A big reassuring hug to her and we moved towards the door. As D opened the door, the hostess came and asked us not to forget to write our New Years Resolution on the poster by the door. While we thought about ‘eating right’, ‘working out’ – the usual resolutions, Buzz picked up the pen and wrote ‘Be Kind!’

Buzz has been in drama camp all week and today there was a performance for the parents. The kids were amazing, funny, confident, silly – perfect kids. At the end of the performance there were certificates for all the kids with one word to best describe them per the coaches. They were creative, happy, focused, funny. And then her name was called and she was ‘kind’

A check for the New Year Resolution and how! We are so very proud of you sweet Buzz, so very proud!

Matter of heart

Buzz came back from school with an envelope, 3 pages of instructions and talked about heart, jump, donation, puppies. With a lot of things on my mind and emotionally not open to taking in everything she was talking about, I told her we would talk about it in a few days. With a long face, she walked away.

A couple of days later she came back and talked again. The school was hosting an event to support American Heart Institute and the kids were all to jump rope based on the money they collected, to educate about the importance of exercising and keeping the heart healthy. Could I donate some money, so that she could participate? Also there were different stuffed toy puppies that the kids earned based on the amount of money they collected, and she really wanted a couple of those.

I sat her down and explained that the idea behind the money raising drive was not asking parents to give the money. It was about talking to people, raising awareness about heart health and asking them for donate for the cause. Hard hearted mom that I was, I could not make things easy for her and give her money just so that she could get some stuffed toys and participate in the jumping rope activity in school. If she really wanted to do it, she had to do it all. Go talk to people and ask for money. We would donate some as well, but only if she did some work first.

She sat on the idea for a couple of days. Asked questions on how she could raise money. The grocery store, knocking door to door, the mall – ideas we came up with.

We were heading to the grocery store yesterday and she carried her envelope. She said her ‘excuse mes’ as she walked up to someone. Explained what she was doing and asked her question. ‘Could you contribute may be $5?’ She thought it would be easy. With $100 her goal, she did her math and figured all she needed to do was ask 20 people and she would be done. The script of course did not work as planned. A handful of people gave her a dollar or two but mostly all she heard was ‘All the best, but sorry!” After about 30 or so tries, there were tears in her eyes, here voice heavy. I told her I was proud of her for putting herself out there and knew it was not easy to hear ‘no’, but collecting money was not easy either. I asked her to stop and we could try again later. Demoralized we came back home.

Back home as she counted her money, $11.50, D encouraged her and told her that we would match everything she collected. $23 already she finally laughed.

Today after school we went to the mall. ‘There are more people there’, she told me. As I sat with my book, she walked around and made her case. After yesterday’s experience she took nos with a lot more grace. She smiled and thanked people. She talked and made a better case. At one point she spend 10 or so minutes talking to a mom and returned with a huge smile and 65cents in her hand. She jumped with excitement with every amount that she raised. And then when she was tired, she came and said ‘Lets go home Mumma!’

Current count is $54.34. She has also made a deal with D to convert her $4.34 to $5. $55 and matched by us she comes to $110. She couldn’t be more excited. We couldn’t be more proud. She did it on her own. She learned and can say she raised the money. I learned as well and can say, always be kind to kids trying to do something like this, even when you say no for whatever your reasons might be. Kindness goes a long way and the kids remember those more that even the amount of money they get. Buzz definitely talked more about those people than anyone else.

As she takes the money in to school tomorrow, she has to deal with a new challenge. Jump rope 220 times. Wish her luck!

 

Question and its answer

Buzz has this fascination with family relationships. There are always questions around Bua, Mama, Tau Ji, Nana, Dada – the list goes on. But more importantly there are always questions around how do people come together to get married. Or I should say there were.

The other set of questions she has are – Do I have to *insert question* when I grow up?

Do I have to become famous when I grow up?
Do I have to cook when I grow up?
Do I have to give up milk when I grow up?

Most times my answer is, “you don’t have to if you don’t want to.” (based on the questions of course. “Do I have to eat my fruits when I grow up?” has only one answer, a resounding yes.) This answer, I almost always follow up with a “Why?” Mostly because I want to understand her thought process and where the question in coming from.

That the two set of questions collided came as no surprise to me. One evening on our drive back from school, she asked “Do I have to marry when I grow up?”

“No you don’t. That is your choice,” I told her, “but why do you ask?”

“Because then you have to kiss and that is just ewww!” she replied.

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Her class was learning about the life of Martin Luther King recently. The kids were really impressed and spoke about it constantly. Ask me, I had impromptu quiz every day and disgusted looks were given because I did not know the year Martin Luther King was born.

Buzz’s teacher wrote the anecdote in one of her class emails – When I spoke about his marriage, a collective ewww went out in the class. They all looked disgusted that such a great man could make a blunder like this.

Buzz came home with another set of questions”

“Do you know who Martin Luther King’s idol was?”
Ahh finally a question I knew. “Mahatma Gandhi” I replied.
“Was Mahatma Gandhi married?”
“Yes he was.”

Before I could show off my knowledge and rattle details about Gandhi, she had walked away shaking her head. Two great men had made the same mistake!

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“I don’t like S. I am not going to talk to her again!” she told me in her angry voice.
“What happened? What did S say?” I asked.
“She said A and I will get married when we grow up.”
“errr”
“I am not getting married to him or anyone else. I don’t want to get married, EVER!”
“Ever?”
“Ever!”
“OK then.”

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Bugz was cribbing about being the younger sibling (story for another day), so we got talking about how Papa was the youngest sibling and how Mumma was also the youngest sibling and how much fun it was to be the youngest in the family.

“Mumma do I have to get married when I grow up?” Buzz asked again.
“You don’t have to, if you don’t want to.” came to standard response.
“Because kissing is ewww, right Didi?” asked the youngest one, remembering the conversation in the car.
“Well Bugz, at some point in your life you will have to kiss someone!” She shrugged.

And she has grown and how, that to in less than a month, mom laughs holding her stomach.

Taller..Bigger..Stronger

Dear Buzz,

You are our happy, kind, friendly little girl and that is why it sort of came as a shock to us when we saw the shy, uncommunicative side of yours. The first time we really noticed it was during our trip to London, where you would not talk to any of the friends we were meeting. Your Paa and I have been watching closely since. You are your regular friendly self – laughing, talking, running around – around other kids, but around adults, even those you know well, you become shy. You don’t even make eye contact, when directly spoken to. And this includes all your friends’ parents, all the teachers in your school.

But before we can worry, you turn around and are super active at in your class. You compete to answer any question asked. Ms. M says your hand is always up, that she can always count on your participation. Sometimes you are so active that you have to be reminded to give others a chance.

Then again the minute you start to perform, this confident side of yours comes forward. Be it dance, plays, gymnastics, singing – you love it all. Your class was singing a song for your Year End Performance, last school year. You practiced your song constantly while at home. One day you came home, all excited. “I get to stand in the middle!” you told us. You did stand in the middle and you smiled as you sang. We couldn’t have been prouder.

When asked what you like to the do the most, you can never pick. And that is the truth. There is so much you love to do, but even though you don’t realize it, I think your favorite thing to do is read. Every morning, while it is still dark outside, you sneak in to our room to check the time. You pointedly tell me that our LED watch is easy to see the time in. You quickly calculate how much time you have before the rest of us wake up and then run downstairs to start reading for the day. Magic Tree House, A to Z Mysteries, Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew, Ready Freddy, Capital Mysteries and so many more. You read and make sure you tell me the parts that you found really funny.

The other thing you absolutely love doing is art. Currently drawing airplanes is your passion, which of course takes me back to your fascination with them as a baby. But other than that, you are constantly trying your hand at drawing things you see around you. Be it the dinosaur on the table mat, the bird outside, the bear Bugz refuses to let go of, our family, our house. I can always count on you to make a birthday card for any of your friends’ birthday and they are not scribbles. They are well  thought out, detailed cards.

Non activity wise the one thing that makes you crack up the most is measuring your height against me. Everyday you quietly come, give me a hug and then measure yourself, laugh and run off. I tell you, your height does not chance everyday and still you do it. Still you find it funny and I realize in complete shock that you indeed grew over an inch in the past few months. For someone who is on the tall side (me I mean), you come up to my chest now and I can only look on in surprise. Most people think you are at least a couple of years older than you actually are. You feel very proud when you correct them and they seem so surprised.

And with growing taller comes added bonus for me. I can always count on you to help me with my chores. If I would let you, you would not only stand next to me as I cook, but do half the work as well. You fetch, measure, pour ingredient for me and if I tell you not to pick up something because if is heavy, you get offended. To prove me wrong, you carry Bugz who is heavier than anything I have in my kitchen and run around the house. Point noted sweetheart! I am learning to trust you when you say you can do something.

The one thing I am struggling most with is giving you your independence. I have to let go and trust that you will be safe, away from my eyes. I started slow. In the restaurants that we frequent most often, I started letting you go to the restroom on your own, while I stayed back on our table. I used to get jumpy, and watch the door like a hawk, but am getting better at it. Bugz, of course, has to follow. Which means all thanks to you, I am training her and myself at the same time. Letting go of both of you at the same time. Letting you ride in your friend’s car, leaving you for play dates, leaving you in a section of the library while I run behind Bugz – Baby steps and together, you and I, we will make it.

As things change and you grow, more they stay the same. You are the same Buzz that we love like crazy, only taller..bigger..stronger and our wish for you stays the same. Stay happy, stay healthy, stay you.

Loads of love,
-Maa

Leaving with my favorite picture made by you.

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