Letting Go … of that C word

“So what if others are busy doing everything while you’re sitting in the corner of the house, hiding?!” .. began my bestesttttt girlfriend’s response to my sob mail update to her last week. I hadn’t ever considered a scenario where I would let go, cede control and just be. Have you considered fixing yourself before trying to solve every little problem cropping at home?! – she continued to ask. Nope I hadn’t. All this writing, blogging, whining, reflecting .. all of this kept reminding of how I was failing to fix the situation or to help the situation, or worse, control it I suppose. Control – That C word. It’s funny how it consumes you. Practically ate me up alive these past few months. I think I narrowly escaped being chewed up and spit all over by Mr.C (Yes I’ll call control Mr. C .. just feels male to me at this moment). Thanks to M’s response to my email, I did escape that hold.

Our bad luck last week continued into this week. More hospital visits. A broken elbow this time. I fell down in the bathroom with little A and in what can only be visualized as a Bollywood style heroic effort to prevent her from hitting her head on the sink and the tile .. I landed on my right elbow totally puncturing it. Blood spattered all over the tiles as I screamed out to my mom. AMMMMMMMAAAAAAAA … well I was screaming in pain and had called out to the one person who was thankfully visiting us and readily available to take little A away from all that blood. Little A was in shock and could barely cry. I had my mouth open gaping at the blood begging my mom to check little A’s head. I was so sure it was her head. It took me about 2 mins to come to my senses and realize I was bloody red sitting on the floor. My elbow. That was what was hurting. And there was blood on it, from it and all around it. I cried for 3 mins in silence just in relief. That open mouth kind where not a lot of noise escapes from the mouth. That was a lot of blood, to be coming out that little kid. I finished my bath, walked over the water that was now red and which had caused me to slip and fall in the first place and got myself out. Hairline fracture, it was declared two days later (I hate going to see the doc for anything that involves me!) thankfully and surprisingly not a bad one. 6 days later my arm is doing much much better as long as no one touches it. No more sling. On and off pain. I keep bumping against things and people keep bumping against me and I wince in pain for an hour or so. But I’ll be fine alright. And then 2 more hospital visits for the little one. I think we’ve taken an oath to visit the hospital twice a week, every week, for a few months. That’s our current rate. That night as I sat at my desk in my study finishing up the last of the bracelets for the guests (it was little A’s bday this weekend and we’d celebrated it with a party at home), I broke down and started crying. I sobbed for about an hour at all the bad luck that had been thrown at me. And wrote that outburst of an email to M.

What pushed me over the edge to the dark side of surrender to all that misery was the third day of school. Little A goes to her new school now. I plan to write a school diary soon. But for now, know that she’s gone through her first week pretty decently. We’ve been with her the entire time so it’s not a surprise but she does seem to like the place mainly because of it’s sandpit and park! I was with her on day 1 and it was ok except for a few fights .. all back to sharing issues. Day 2 was apparently really good. Daddy A had taken her. Day 3 was bad! I’d taken her. Her teachers promptly took turns to come and tell me that she was so much better in the presence of her father and didn’t bother sticking to him the way she stuck to me. They suggested I not return and instead, send the father! OK. Let’s stop right there. That’s the first time someone’s ever told me something like that in my face. I contemplated the response. And finally, didn’t give any. I was too shocked. Who says that kind of stuff to your face! Then they went on to say that it was important I didn’t show any emotion and was firm with her. I read that kind of stuff everyday in parenting books and I’ve never known what the hell they meant! Don’t show any emotion and be firm. I’m sorry I can’t do that. I can’t even imagine what that kind of a relationship with little A would look like. I stood there in disbelief as the teachers went on to tell me in not so many words, to not show up the next day. You can imagine how much I sobbed that night. Broken elbow in the morning, the 100th hospital visit the previous day for little A, school teachers telling me to not show up on day 3 and asking for daddy A instead … all in a matter of 24 hours. That sobbing and that mail to M was much much needed. So now I’m officially staying home to ‘pretend take care’ of my daughter, while daddy takes her to school, and then to the hospital with me as she falls sick everytime because I can’t take real good care of little A, while my mom who’s here for a week or so is taking care of the kitchen and the cooking, and daddy handles the startup since they’re not ready for my work just yet?!?! So what exactly is my role here now I asked M?!?! And who am I?!?! What happened to the happy mom image I had of myself!!?! What am I supposed to do .. sit around at home at my desk and hide because I’m bad news wherever I go.

Most folks here that know me, know me as a workaholic, always on the run, be it at home, at office or anything else I do. I’m usually hyper productive with several things going on in my life simultaneously and juggle them all pretty well. I don’t know what to do with so much free time. I feel awful sitting. I don’t sit. Usually that is. And now all I do is sit on my ass all day .. waiting for everyone around me to do the things that I’ve always done, things that were always under my control. That C word again. And all I could do now .. was just sit and watch. It didn’t occur to me one bit that it was OK that I’d failed. And maybe I hadn’t failed. Maybe I just couldn’t cope with this move either. Maybe it bothered me as much as it bothered little A and we were seriously feeding off of each other driving each other nuts while still wanting to be practically stuck together … like ‘velcro stuck together’! Maybe I’m allowed to slack. Maybe it’s not slacking. Maybe I just needed to let others do everything for a change. I don’t think there has ever been a time in my life when this was true. Well … fine … except for grad school where I was pampered and spoilt rotten by the 6 happy boys that thought it their only job to pamper and spoil the little doe eyed 21 year old who’d arrived at their 30-something doorstep! But I digress. So the next morning as I shopped for last minute party supplies for little A’s weekend birthday I felt as though all of Bangalore was on team A .. cheering along for me to let go. It rained. Not the cats and dogs kind of rain like it had been raining all week long but the lazy, romantic, peaceful kind of rain that you can sit watching for hours with a cuppa tea. Sitting in the car watching the drops fall on my window and sliding off ..

I felt a sense of calm, quiet feeling just consume me. That C word … now a remote vague memory of something that had held me and left me now in peace. I got an appointment at one of the best spa/salons in town – BODYCRAFT impromptu. It was UHHHHHHMAAAAZING. The hair cut and head massage was out of the world. 2-in-1 for $100. Definitely expensive for Indian standards but 50% cheaper than what I’d pay in California and worth every single penny. (and probably not something I’d get more than a few times a year!) I sat there on that chair reading the June issue of the FILMFARE magazine as this 20 something kid from Nagaland cut my hair with such precision. I don’t remember the last time I saw one .. maybe 15 years ago (both the Filmfare magazine and anyone from Nagaland!). And every single page of this magazine was so well written. I absolutely wasn’t expecting to find good writing in a magazine on Bollywood. First off, while I’ve started watching more Bollywood movies these days, my opinions of these movies are anything good yet .. and hence the conclusion – how could a magazine be filled with good writing on something that sucks so bad. But God O God – if you haven’t picked this issue yet .. please do. Every page is worth a read. I guess especially if you’re picking one up after a few years, you’d be pleasantly surprised at the writing and the content. The article on Ranbir Singh was awesome. And then there were stories of actresses with their children. OMG. Since when did India become so accommodating and ‘forgiving’ of married actresses, leave alone ones with children? Somewhere between the update on Ranbir Singh, and the one on Madhuri Dixit … I think I found what I felt was plain, simple joy. Joy in the moment. It wasn’t fleeting like when I crunched away at this chilli cheese toast, the best I’ve had in a long time at Creme&Crust nearby. It was much deeper than that. I was OK. I was going to be OK. And I was sure it will all be OK eventually.

I went back home to dancing in the rain, lots of baking with little A, party planning, more baking, decorations and the party itself the next day.

It’s been 3 days since I’ve been breathing this calm, quiet and content air. It’s funny how many things you discover serendipitously when you just let go. It’s funny how many things we deny ourselves in the urge to control every little thing that goes by. It’s sad that most of those things we want to control are things that seem perfectly sensible being controlled. After all, it’s our life, our children, our family, our goals and ambitions. And yet, like they say – the tighter you close your fingers around them, the quicker they slip.

I think I’ve accepted that I’m probably not doing the current family situation any good by trying to help. And that for a change, I should just step back and do some of the basic things required to keep the household running. Take the backseat. I’ve never known what the backseat looked like. I was always the one driving or navigating. I didn’t realize how much of the view I was missing in the process. I do now. Those raindrops were precious. Those not-so-silly Filmfare magazines were eye opening. And my family was going to be fine. Just fine. As long … as I … LET GO.

13 responses to “Letting Go … of that C word

  1. “a Bollywood style heroic effort to prevent her from hitting her head on the sink” although I chuckled often in reading your post, this made me laugh out loud for a long time. I’m still giggling as I type this 🙂 what a hilarious visual.

    • 🙂 Hehh Yes looking back at the events and laughing at them I’ve noticed helps heal my memory of the situation. And most times the ability to laugh largely rests on the nature of the moment I am writing the post. It helped that I had recently read Bollywood magazines 😉

  2. I was terrified and scared while reading the bathroom incident. Hope you’re doing well now and the elbow has healed.
    You’re not alone in the C department. I’m a huge control freak. As in, I have to have control over things in my life, I don’t interfere in others’ lives though. And if I feel out of control I start to freak out. Yes, I’ve thought about it too and it feels awful when you know you are not actually needed somewhere, you thought you were absolutely essential. *Hugs* It is amazing what friends can do, isn’t it? I’m glad you wrote to M and she could provide you with the insight that helped you. It is funny that $100 had to be included on the way 😛
    I’m glad you’re letting go, or learning to. I’ve also learnt it the hard way. I don’t think there is any other way other than getting hurt and then getting over it. You just need to tough it out and sit this one out.
    Hope and wish little A can get over her school phobia soon and neither mom or dad is required to be there.

    • Thanks Wanderer! My elbow’s much better. Healing for sure. Little A’s school episodes continue but we’re hopeful .. it’s much better than her first school nightmare.

      On the letting go bit, I know that a ton of us share this trait. Somehow this is one issue where your own personal ability to let go is the only thing that can help. You can’t find peace just knowing others have gotten there or similar stories of others. I kept asking everyone stories to help me but eventually, I had to find it just like you mention here. And it’s really interesting isn’t it, how we all find it in completely different ways and in completely different things! Oh well. And that part about being told off at school – trust me that was the most painful I’ve had to endure in a long time. And again, funny how a hundred bucks, a few magazines and rain drops fixed that!

      Thanks for all the hugs and thoughts .. 🙂 I guess I will learn to tough it out and sit this one out like you say.

  3. Dear Crunch
    Hope you are doing better now ( the elbow thingy). I don’t know if we will ever get the “Keeping cool” part in the parenting aspect…but good job and having to let go and remember a good Hair cut & spa visit will always cheer you up no matter what. Happy B’day to little A and thumbs down to the stupid teacher!!

    • 🙂 Hey Divya. Elbow’s soooo much better. I think I’ve learnt over time what a hair cut and massage can do for me! I almost always resort to it as my go-to stress buster. Thanks for the wishes for Little A. Hopefully now that mommy has had 3 years of this parenting thingy … she’ll be a bit more grown up now 😉 that’s all I’m asking for little A’s 3 year bday this year. And of course the letting go, keeping cool part. Clearly, it’s this year’s resolution … I should probably post updates on that regularly. Thanks again for the lovely thoughts.

  4. Your way of presenting the elbow which got hurt was scary , I could literally see it all infront of me , before my eyes . Thank God you are safe ..Keep writing .TC

    • 🙂 thanks for those thoughts sangeetha! I am doing fine now. Sometimes some silly writing is all it takes to release the pain I think.

    • 🙂 yes I’ve been ODing on plenty of tea of all kinds. Though I’m not the romcom book type .. a romcom movie maybe! Same thing I suppose.

  5. Hello Crunch, I’m late with this comment, but I do hope all’s well now. MR is right about the tea and the book , and you seem to have done even better with the massage and haircut thrown in 🙂 (oh yes and the Filmfare ;))

  6. Pingback: Thoughts on fear, conditioning and parenting | A rush of blood to the head·

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