I've been often asked when I plan to become a mother. Sometimes I feel like telling them that I'm already one. But they wouldn't understand. Every mother's day I see a whole lot of wishes exchanged between mothers, which usually doesn't include me. But it doesn't matter. You are 7 now and since the time you have learned to speak, you always have wished me with utmost sincerity. I also have to thank our family, especially my mother (your grandmother) and your biological mother (my sister) for making it happen. And that's what matter's the most.
I didn't become a mother when you were born. It was before that, when you were in your mom's womb. I've guarded you with everything I had. I have fought with autorickshaw drivers if they drive fast on bumpy roads, I've fought with people on the street who don't watch where they are going and come remotely close to your mother. It was my sole duty to protect my sister, not just because she was my sister, but now she was also carrying something so precious to me.
I've fed your mom, taken care of her likes and dislikes, handled her mood swings and what not. ;)
I was her constant companion whenever she had to visit the doctor; I've been to every one of your sonograms barring one. And you refused to show your face in that one! Guess, we had already formed a connection back then itself.
I also used to stick to the wall against the bed, like a lizard at nights as I constantly worried that I might squish you while sleeping; and eventually gave the entire bed to you and your mom while I slept on the floor padded with some sofa cushions. I've read you manga, I've taught you how to play video games while you were still in the womb! No wonder, you rocked the Nintendo DS in 7 months!
You and I in this beautiful world
One night at the hospital, you were crying so loud. Your mom was fast asleep and under the influence of medicines. My mom had just gone home to freshen up and get some clothes and food. I didn't know what to do. I had to somehow stop your tears. I asked the nurse to come and feed you or do something. She ignored me as she had other "important" stuff to attend to. I asked some three four times and she didn't turn up. You ARE the only thing that was important to me! I finally lost my temper and screamed at her. That's when she came and fed you.
When my mom came back, I complained to her about how the horrible nurse treated you. My mom said it is not a big deal and smiled at me. She is experienced after all. But it was a big deal for me. I'm not waiting for a nurse to help you out when I'm there! I asked my mom to teach me how to carry you, to feed you when your mom wasn't around, to clean up etc. I learnt everything. It was my mission to understand your needs even when you couldn't communicate it in the language I understood.
Everyday I rushed home after work to spend as much quality time as I can with you. All my weekends were devoted to you. Time spent with you was never enough. You loved to sleep on me. I'm not nicknamed 'the water bed' for nothing! ;)
When someone asks me who you are, I whisper 'my son' to myself and say 'my nephew' out loud. Because they won't understand. And when some stranger on the street mistakes us for a mom & son duo, I don't correct them, because we are! As you grew up and occasionally mistook me for your mom and called me 'Mama' were some of my most cherished memories! Every time we have to part, it breaks my heart.
You know, there are many mothers like me, who are every bit a mother but they are never acknowledged as that. Society dictates that giving birth is the most important aspect to becoming a mother. Society couldn't be more wrong.
On this day, I usually wish the beautiful women in my life. But today, I'm going to thank you for making me the mother that I am.
You're "MY PRECIOUS"! [Gollum style from Lord of the Rings. Yes, I will be sending you the books in a few years!]
Your Chithi (aka Aunt, aka the other Mom)