The story of when I was a kid and went out somewhere
Last year I thought I need to tell the babe more about my childhood. Because the context was so vastly different from where we are today and because I was quite sure he would never get to know many of the characters or locales or culture intimately. So every night as I lay beside him I would dish out a snippet from my past. The ones I remembered as most interesting however were not examples I would want to give my son, so I had to edit them somewhat. But he loved the one in which I went on a walk with my dad on the pavement and smelt peanuts roasting, or the one where I was petrified all weekend because my classmate in grade 1 had told me I had broken her arm, or my first play or how I cried in school. Every night as we cuddled, he would say ‘Mommy, tell me a story of when you were a kid and when you went out somewhere like school or some other place’.
So that continued for a while till his little brother was born. Since then, its no longer stories of when I was a kid, but rather, stories of when he was a baby or a toddler and so on. At first I played along, eagerly sharing some of the best times of my life. I knew he found his brother cute, and delighted in stories of his own cuteness. He loved to hear his own antics as a baby – how he mispronounced a word, how he took his first step, what songs would make him laugh. I thought it was a great way for him to remind himself that he too went through the stages his brother was doing now. So then it changed to ‘Tell me a story of when I was a kid and I went somewhere like school or some other place’.
But soon I started noticing that he had a mature nostalgia (a strong word for a three year old) for his own baby days. And this was translating into wanting to be like his brother, and wanting me to carry him or baby him more. So one night I told him ‘Babe, how would you like to hear the story of when you will be 4 and will go out somewhere like school or some other place’.
He was delighted. I let my imagination run wild and painted all the wonderful things he could do as he grew up. Every few days we would move up a year. Stories from when he would be five , six, so on. And now we are at seventeen.
The babe said, ‘Mom, I would be a man!’
Its been a great ride for the both of us. It makes me look ahead and cherish this time even more. And for him, the pretending to be a baby bit has stopped. Now its all about how he is a big boy.
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