A product of the "Yakoba" clan, I shifted gears and steered towards the CSI groove quite early. My mother who was responsible for this shift, marketed church to us with the following; shorter services in English, beautiful hymns, and simple sermons. However, what appealed the most was that we could sit through the service, jumping up only to sing a lovely hymn, or during a reading from the Bible. Hadn't we endured years of attending long services in syriac, amidst people wearing solemn faces singing tunes that sounded far from joyous? Then we'd get to sit every now and then, but those brief interludes ended as quickly as they came.
Anyway, my brother and I spent little time praying. Through separated in Church by our mother, we managed several giggles and serious conversations that centered around the skin on some unsuspecting individual's neck. Then my brother would feign the need to pee, and we'd eventually leave with a triumphant expression plastered on our faces.
As we got older, things changed. I began enjoying service, and I now knew quite a lot of the hymns. I began praying each Sunday for a wonderful new week, and when we moved to a bigger CSI church, the pastor sealed my relationship with the church, with his interesting sermons. However, it was a cousin's wedding that got me to declare that I wanted to have a CSI wedding too. That is just what I got. I will refrain from bragging about our beautiful wedding service again, but I must confess I was thrilled the long drawn services in a Jacobite church were over.
After our wedding, Ro and I went to church whenever we could; and after A's birth we decided to initiate him into church on Easter Sunday. No, we didn't sneak out hurridly, muttering apologies under our breath. Instead we sat through the entire service, singing to an ecstatic A who made his own attempts at singing like his Dad. A loved the service, and he was blissfully oblivious to his mother's inherited "yakoba" heritage.
So when a Yakoba acchen made an appearance two days ago, I saw the look of shock on his teeny face. The CSI acchens are by far less intimidating to look at. They sport kind, clean shaven smiles (most of them), unlike their Yakoba counterpart. The beard caught A's fancy, but he also seemed like he was deciding whether to cry or endure the Yakoba Acchen's visit. The acchen attempted to be befriend A who stared ahead at him with feigned courage. Not getting a smile, the acchen then turned his attention on us. "Why is he in pampers?" That began a lecture on how we were taking the easy way out by putting a baby in pampers. Wasn't child rearing meant to be a difficult task? So why would we put him in pampers. "Put him in cloth nappies" he declared. "Unless ofcourse you were taking him out", he added as an after thought. After this lecture that seemed to go on forever, he eventually put his hand on A's forehead to pray. "Now he'll cry", I thought. But as always A surprised us again. That gesture led A into thinking that this beared giant was a friend. Thinking it was a game, he reached out and pulled the Acchen's sleeve. He continued tugging at his sleeve, till the poor Acchen was forced to cut short his long prayer. The CSI acchen hadn't interested A half as much. He'd merely smiled at the CSI acchen. He barely even noticed the CSI acchen's hand on his head during his blessing. Was it the cool beard that caught his fancy? Maybe!
Everyone cribs about long weekends being too short. Before you know it, you end up heading into another dreary week at work. Until a few months ago, I felt the same way - however, the past two "long" weekends haven't lived up to their name even by those standards... Despite all efforts to lengthen the duration of the weekend by flying in early, flying out by the last possible flight and spending all my time at home for a full three and a half days, it still feels like I haven't spent enough time with my son. It was 5.30pm When I rang the doorbell on Friday evening. R wasn't expecting me (as usual, I'd made her believe that I wouldn't be able to make it until saturday morning) and she was depressed all day coz of that - but seeing me walk in the door - she was thrilled. So was I... Thrilled that my weekend with my wife and son had officially kicked off. A had just been bathed, and was being groomed by his mother as I approached. It took him 10 minutes to warm up to me. It wasn't coz he didn't know me - it was quite obvious that he recognized me... but he hadn't seen me in two weeks and was suddenly very shy. He refused to give me a second glance, fixing his gaze on his "Amma" no matter where you moved him... finally, about 10 minutes later, he gave into all the coaxing, and everything was normal in the world again. He smiled, laughed, giggled and kicked the air in excitement as I played with him for a bit. This was pretty much how the weekend was spent. When he slept R and I would either talk or play our silly word games on facebook and if I was bored doing that, i'd pretend to try and wake him up (this would get R all worked up, coz she would have just rocked him to sleep). R kept reminding me she couldn't take care of two kids at the same time and that I would have to grow up and I would quote my erstwhile friend, S, here.... "Growing old is mandatory - Growing up is optional". A made my day that night... he normally turns towards R, cuddles up to her and then goes to sleep... that night, he turned towards me, cuddled up and we both slept that way until his feed time. After his feed, he turned the other way and slept with his "Amma" till the morning. He already has a sense of fairness. He wanted both of us to feel special. Saturday was a quiet day- lazed around with A as per his schedule- A's "A-M" had arrived the previous night. We went out to dinner on saturday. "A-M" was treating us all. As usual A was a well behaved kid all through the evening. As long as he had his bottle of milk, he didn't care what was on the menu. He spent a lot of time looking around at the lights, the paintings, people and when he had enough of looking around, he quietly went to sleep in his car seat. Sunday was again another lazy A-centered day. He woke up to be fed, played for a bit, then took a short nap and it was time to feed again. What a wonderful life - he gets to do that all day for the next couple of years. I hope he's enjoying it as much as he can - once he gets to the point of running the rat race in about 2 years, it will be a while before he can look forward to his retirement. That night as I lay down with him, he cuddled up to me... but the moment R got into bed, he rolled over and went to her - R was thrilled - even though she didn't show it the previous night, she did feel bad that he'd ditched her the moment i'd arrived on the scene :-). I guess he senses these things and makes sure no one feels left out - smart kid eh? Monday came by and it was no different from the previous lazy days. R kept saying the weekend's almost over, and I kept wondering if I should just take an extra day off coz i wasn't ready to leave my wife and son and head back yet... the only saving grace was that I was flying back on the early flight on tuesday morning so that I could get to work on time. This would mean i would get to cuddle up and sleep with A one more night... the day was quite uneventful, except for A's antics when he was awake, and the delicious cake that R baked, and some wonderful crumb fish for lunch, in hindsight, I should have brought the two pieces of cake that were left over to bangalore :-( (R.... *hint* *hint*). A slept snuggled up to me all night- as if he knew I'd be gone when he woke up in the morning. As I kissed him goodbye while he slept, I wondered if he'd miss me as much as I would miss him. I guess he would... he's just not able to express it yet - plus being a boy, he probably won't express these feelings even after he grows up :-). Men have this problem with expressing themselves. They do different things to show they care, but will never be straightforward about it.And I understand that... After all - I'm that way too. Someday he'll read this blog and wonder if this is really how his dad feels... and i'm fine with the way this post has turned out, as he's still a baby - I'll probably change the tone of these posts, as he grows into a young lad. :-) Evidently, three days were totally insufficient, though some might wonder why I'm complaining. It comes with the territory and I can't wait for them to join me, which will be pretty soon! As I spend the rest of the day thinking about R & A and this past weekend, I console myself saying that I'll get to go visit again in two weeks... and I'm already looking forward to that.
You ought to go north somebody told us Cause the air is filled with gold dust And fortune falls like snow flakes in your hands Now I don't recall who said it But we'd lived so long on credit And so we headed out to find our promised land
Just poor Smoky Mountains farm folk With nothing more than high hopes So we hitched our station wagon to a star But our dreams all fell in on us Cause there was no land of promise Though it's a stuggle just keepin' sight of who you are
Oh and these northern nights are dreary And my southern heart is weary As I wonder how the old folks are back home But I know that they all love me And they're all thinking of me The Smoky Mountains memories keep me strong
You know I've been thinkin' a whole lot lately About what's been and what awaits me It takes all I've got to give what life demands You go insane if you give in to it Life's a mill and I've been through it I'm just thankful I'm creative with my hands
Oh and these northern nights they're dreary And my southern eyes are teary As I wonder how the old folks are back home But I'll keep leanin' on my Jesus He'll love and guide and lead us The Smoky Mountains memories keep me strong
If I'll keep looking to the father Keep our heads above the water While the Smoky Mountains memories keep me strong