An Ode to all the children in my life…
I don’t have any biological children -- but I am a mother many times over…
Having lost my own mother in my teens; the first reaction was complete denial.
Denial that she wasn’t around anymore, denial that I needed to take the responsibility of a de facto mother for my younger siblings…but that is the topic of another blog.
Slowly over the years, the so-called 'natural and maternal instincts' kicked in and I am not claiming to be have been the world’s best older sister/mother… but I am now trying to be more present for both my siblings after recently my dad passed away as well.
I now tell my brother (now a strapping young man in a hugely successful writing career and a girlfriend) that he has satisfied all my maternal instincts. He doesn’t take my calls more than once a week and talks to me in monosyllables – he has turned out to the perfect teenage son!
I have had the good fortune of being married into a fairly large family, who have always been very open-minded and welcoming, and have never questioned my husband and my decision not to have children.
They have, instead, whole-heartedly shared with me all the wonderful nieces and nephews in the family. They are all such amazing characters and personalities which I have seen developing over the last 8 years. There is one 9-year-old neice – S -- who Whatsapps me regularly from Chicago, where she now lives.
There are N and N who make me the most beautiful cards every year on my birthday with so much love and have also given me a page torn out of their school notebook, which proclaims me as the ‘Best Chachi in the World’. I have had it laminated and kept it away safely.
When my and my husband moved back to our family home recently, I think both of them were the happiest to see us back.
Soh, a beautiful piano player who very kindly plays for us at every family dinner as she knows we all enjoy music and is my go-to for all the trends on the Internet – she answers all my questions and keeps me updated all the ‘cool’ things.
My younger sister and her three-year-old daughter live a couple of hours away from me; but we have been slowly but surely building a double relationship -- with me trying to be a better older sister to my sister and 'ma'si to the little one! The three-year-old currently hates video calls -- but loves princess costumes and make-up (both of which is my forte); so as soon as the COVID times allow, we will continue building on the relationship.
I am not a mother…but I am one many many times over thanks to the circle of love I am lucky to be in…
By Shikha Mishra