Regular readers of my blog know I had a second baby this summer. They also know that it is the first summer I stayed home with the now-school-going-daughter. One afternoon as we sat on the bed reading while the baby slept nearby, I asked her how she felt about having a sibling. Her face lit up and she said in a rush “Finally I got a brother amma!” and proceeded to plant a rather wet kiss on his face, waking him up dutifully.
“Okay, so we just have to do this for another 7 years right? One baby every summer for the next seven years and we’ll be done.” I said putting my book down for the umpteenth time to soothe the baby. (I don’t know why I bother trying to read really.) She dropped her book and shrieked “WHAT?”
“What? My grandmother had nine children. So….”
“My god! NINE children? She had a baby, gave inga, had a baby, gave inga – that is all she did?” (“Inga” is her talk for breastfeeding and I think she said ‘had a baby, gave inga’ nine times for clarity)
I laughed at her extreme reaction and thought of my lovely grandmother again. Her dimple, the gray hair that she pulled into a tight knot and the nine yard saree. “One yard for each child” she said as she hopped, skipped and jumped while tying her nine-yard saree. My simple brain asked her why she didn’t just switch to a six yard saree then and she gave me a vibrant laugh as an answer.
I have been thinking of her almost everyday since I had my little Tucky. I love babies, but I will also sigh at the amount of work (This… when I am lucky enough to have diapers, washing machines and help from parents) The poor lady had nine children one after the other, and the rigour of it all may have ruined her intestines, but did nothing to diminish her love for children. She still loved talking to us.
The only thing she ever asked of us was to massage her legs and I feel so guilty that I did not indulge her enough.
A friend had posted this link on the effect having children has on us and I couldn’t agree more.
As we celebrate the 7 billion mark on 31st Oct along with Halloween, let’s hope Mother Earth remains bountiful and as accommodating to her most demanding species.
PS: I really need to get my diagrams-act together. Any pointers appreciated.