Raghav and I were talking this morning about a sudden trip that had come up - to visit my cousin in Bangalore over this weekend, as he was moving back to the U.S. We initially thought we would go see him and Raghav agreed, but later we decided against it as Srinath felt that it would be too much driving from here to Bangalore to Madurai and then Kodai, and that it would be too tiring. So I was explaining to Raghav how we had decided against the Bangalore trip.
Raghav was visibly sad and expressed it. He shared how he was sad about cancelling the trip as the reason why he had wanted to go to Bangalore was because the three of us hadn't gone anywhere for many months now. We then spoke about how we could plan a long holiday after the monsoons and so on. During the course of that discussion, I also shared with him as to how I feel when we go on holiday and he sits mostly with his iPad inside the room, and how difficult it is for us to get him to do anything else with us, or even for us to go somewhere on our own. So I told him how we were okay to wait for as long as it takes, to go somewhere, until he was ready to let go of his iPad atleast for some time, during the trip.
He immediately got upset and was in tears. He asked to be left alone like he usually does when he is experiencing an intense emotion. And so I let him be. Later, when he was ready to talk, I hugged him while he sat on my lap and asked him why he was upset. He said that he really wanted us to go somewhere together and also felt that I was getting angry with him when I spoke about the iPad. I wiped his tears and shared why I had said what I had said. I told him that I was merely expressing my need - to be out when on a trip, rather than being stuck inside a room. He was still in tears and told me how he was trying his best to convince me to go somewhere with him, but that I was getting angry about it. I realised then that there was perhaps something more to it than what he was expressing.
So I asked if he was not okay with my wanting to go away for a few days next week, to be with myself. He nodded and said 'yes'.
"Are you okay to not be okay?", I asked.
"Yes, I am.....I know that you need that time."
My heart broke open with one blow when I heard that. I was amazed that he could actually express how he felt about this, and also be okay and choose to stay with his sadness and discomfort.
I shared with him how happy I was because he was giving me that space and time. I told him how I was also so happy that he was choosing to stay with his sadness and discomfort.
But the mother in me took over at that point and I asked him if he really wished I could cancel my trip. And he said 'no'.
"It will not be the same without you around, but it's okay", he said softly, wiping his own tears.
My heart broke open a little more.
I thought a little before speaking and then asked: "What is it that you get from my just being around? What is it that I give you?"
Pat came the reply....
"Love...you give me love", he said, hugging me a little more tightly.
My heart was now ripped wide open. The rawness of the emotions engulfed me. And I sobbed.
I sobbed uncontrollably, my heart pounding and overflowing with love and joy, and he cried too, while we sat and hugged each other for a long time. I could have died at that moment....maybe I did :)
My little baby was talking about love. He was seeing me for who I was. What more can any human being or mother want?
And then we spoke a little more about love, how we cannot see it but can only feel it like the air or the wind...
...and we adjusted our sails and changed our course...both of us going our own ways...