My mother once said that once you are a mother, your worries for your children will never end. I was too little to understand this but still thought that it must not be true, as there is no need to worry when children grow up, but I could never forget her words too. Days and years passed by and one by one all of her children got married including me. In all those years, I saw her worrying about their studies, their jobs, and their health. She would worry when the daughters would get pimples; she was worried when her son was out with his friends. She would worry whether her daughter’s future in laws would be good to them. She would worry about her daughter’s pregnancies, would her children survive alone in a foreign city and god knows what more. She will keep thinking of numerous things about her children that I thought she should not and they sometimes irritated me enough that I would not talk to her.
Few more months passed and I was standing where my mother has been for more than 3 decades. When I held my baby girl in my arms the words of my mother instantly flashed in my mind. I still thought that it must not be true. I just have to worry until she starts speaking and walking. For the next one year, I remember I could not sleep at nights, worrying if she needs a blanket or milk or water or if she is cold or if she is feeling too hot. And I would even sometimes check if she is still alive.
When she started walking and talking, my next sets of worries were; she must not get hurt while she is trying to learn to walk. I got all of my living room furniture changed and everything in the living room now had a thick cover of foam over it. Then I worried what if nobody understood what she is saying because she was still unclear with her words. I was also worried because my husband did not seem to worry at all.
As the days were passing, I was more and more worried about my little girl. Her new school, she is going out and what all is happening to the little girls out made it worse for me. When I shared it with my sister she said that according to facts, among the children who get abused, 60% are boys and therefore she had more reasons to worry than me. I don’t know if that fact was true but I was worried. I was worried when she was sick and I was worried when she was not and was going out to play. I was worried when she refused to eat or when I thought she ate too much and that would trouble her little stomach. I worried about her school and when she fought with her friends. I was worried when she wanted to take swimming lessons and I was worried when her knees got hurt when she fell while playing. It went along like this.
One day, I was sitting in my balcony with my girl, caressing my finger along my girl’s hairs and thinking about her future. I went far along and imagined a day when she would get married and would have children of her own. How would she be able to manage them with her job? Would she have supporting in-laws? Would she be very far from me and we won’t be able to see each other often? Would she still share everything with me or would she hide her sadness from me thinking that I would worry more? She would get busy with her life and would worry about her children and I would be left alone and would still be worrying about her like my mother.
I suddenly remembered my mother’s words and started crying. I called a cab immediately and went to her place along with my daughter. My mother was worried seeing me at her doorsteps crying. I hugged her and said sorry, I said I know now why she worries so much and told her to please not worry now. Please don’t. We all are grown up and we promise that we will take care of ourselves and her. We would call her more often and would listen to her. “Please don’t worry about us mamma, please don’t ” – I said.
Wiping her tears she smiled and then said, “When you are a mother that is not possible dear”.
And we hugged and cried again.