Flipping through the pages of a magazine she glances in the direction of the door, she has been doing that from past fifteen minutes. Still she cannot hear the footsteps of the boys or their argument about something that happened in school. Pin drop silence is the only thing that surrounds her and the anxiety was building up within her. She gets up to search for her cell phone and then she hears the all too familiar song ringing in the kitchen. Making her way towards it she feels the uneasy feeling slowly rising in her stomach, she picks up when the call was on the verge of going into the missed call log.” Hello” she says to her husband on the other end. “Sorry Shobha I could not make it in time for lunch, I had an important meeting that was rescheduled. Don’t miss the kids too much and please don’t skip your lunch. “He pleads. Nodding mechanically she cuts the call, like he could even see her nod! How she forgot kids no longer go to school and they are far away pursuing their post graduation. And she is still not used to the empty nest even after a week.
She makes her way to their room, taking small steps because maybe somehow she thinks she will hear one of them screaming “mom help me Rajiv won’t give me my homework” and the other one will be like “he started it all”. But all she hears is her footsteps echo. When she reaches the door she runs her fingers over the familiar sign board that read ‘stay out’. Dropping her hands to the door knob, feeling the cold metal beneath her fingers she twists it and pushes the door open, it makes a creaky sound. The room no longer holds the warmness it once did, there is nothing that is out of place, no clothes scattered everywhere, no used socks lying outside the laundry bag (because their aim missed the basket), there were no stains on the wall from playing cricket in the room and one way tennis with the wall. Everything is just the way she left it on their departure. This is something she yelled at them for, all through their teenage and here she was standing in the very same spot but not liking the cleanliness one bit, not accepting the change.
A woman goes through so many changes in her life, some willingly and some unwillingly. She adjusts herself in a new surrounding with new people when she is married; she has real responsibilities for once as she tries to strike a balance between her carrier and home. She tries to work in accordance with her in-laws and her husband trying to keep them all happy. And everything suddenly changes when she becomes a mother, she is in charge of the child’s future all she says and does will directly affect the child, because she is responsible to create good human beings. She gives up her dreams and re-organizes her priorities as her life, her wishes, her future everything takes a back stage and all that matters is her child. All those years she spent witnessing them growing up whilst she was growing old they were her definition of living. And suddenly all that is taken away, no longer she has to go around the kids feeding them, helping them with their homework, organizing their room, cooking their favorite meals. The kitchen cabinets are no more the home to all those junk foods- the cookies, noodles, chips and what not. There is no one to wake up late at night to steal some ice cream from the freezer, so it is unlocked now. Adapting to these changes again? Re- organizing the priorities so that all her back stage plans can come into focus now?
This is something that every woman faces when their child takes his first flight as he slowly spreads those wings and flaps them in order to fly, after some failed attempts and injuries he takes off to discover the world of his own-his life. Being surrounded by him almost half her life and his sudden departure makes the mother experience loneliness and depression. There is nothing for her to do, no extra work to keep her mind busy which makes her feel claustrophobic by thoughts as she cannot stop thinking about her child, how he will survive without her? There is need to check on him every now and then, leaving a text, mail or call to know if he is okay. Which becomes quite bothersome for the child if he is out there trying to cope up with a new life, also it does nothing to ease the situation of a mother. She does not get a chance to stop her thoughts about her child and if he does not answer or reply then negativity starts ruling a mother’s brain cells. What she needs to do then is fall back in step with her young years and channelize her energy in all that she wanted to do then but couldn’t because she was a mother to two toddlers. She can go meet up her friends more often, pick up the studies she left midway, can start looking for a job she long desired and obviously pamper herself by increasing her visits to spa.
This is how slowly but steadily she will be creating a new life for her and her husband as they catch up on all those times lost and restructure their love and relationship.
It’s time for you to settle in your new life.