On realising that my body had waged yet another war on me, I couldn’t sleep yesterday night. I confess I haven’t had a scare like the one I had in the past few days. I couldn’t help it as my mind strayed in the direction of worst case scenarios and I felt a fear unlike any till date. The fear came from one place and one place only, “What if I will never see my nieces grow up?”
I have changed diapers of my infant niece, behaved like a clown around her in an effort to make her laugh and rocked her to sleep. I have cried when I realised she was going to be leaving the country and then I found the wisdom to overcome my immaturity. I created a skype account and felt attachment to the point where I now know what “missing someone” feels like. In those chaotic emotions, I have felt more alive than I ever felt. In those moments, I have discovered something about myself I am immensely proud of, namely, the ability to love and nurture a child.
While that is the impact that left by my infant niece, my friend’s two daughters have also carved for themselves, a very special place in my thoughts. It feels so natural and so right for me to take them out and bring them the sweets they love so much. They have such incredibly positive aura about them that it allows me to revisit the happy moments from my own childhood. In them I see what I would like to see my niece as, when she grows up, namely happy girls with strong self confidence and self esteem.
As I reflect on the role of an uncle, I realized also that adults can prove extremely exhausting. Between gratuitous amount of unsolicited advise, imposing and intrusive actions, they can really prove to be pains in the backside. Their uncanny ability to undermine the wisdom, maturity and capabilities of those younger than them amuses me as much as it provokes my anger. With them, conversations usually center around careers, livelihoods and marriages. Although I walked a path I feel is mine, many things I have done is in alignment with following an adult’s advise of working extremely hard in an effort to make a name for myself along with money (I did this unconsciously of course). But if I were to use only those motivators, then I would have quit my job a long time back. It is because my love for my work came from a deeper place, that the hard work and demanding hours seem worth it.
Children are not burdened with these notions of “achievement”. They practice the art of being so astutely, until of course, the adults drive it out of their minds. Why I love my nieces so much is because they are still in that phase of being. Be it Shivani or Kushi, my friend’s kids or Gowri, my brother’s kid, they have such exuberant smiles and a laughter contagious enough to remind us of the fulfilling nature of living. This remains the single biggest reason why I am so proud of them, because they are not trying to prove a point to anyone. They simply are and I hope to God they never give that up as they grow up, because thats the strongest asset any individual can have.
In their company I have discovered reasons to be proud of myself. In every one of their joys and in every symptom they exhibit of outdoing their previous generations, I have felt incredible happiness. The certainty that they will live lives far better than mine, inspires so much peace and comfort. It is perhaps one reason why i love the profession of teaching, because it involves nurturing individuals to be better than me. In these discoveries, I have felt myself selfless and that has allowed me to look into the mirror and breathe in pride. The fact that unlike most adults, I feel my kids have more to teach me (as demonstrated) above than I have to teach them, makes me feel particularly good about the original wisdom that has evolved within me. I owe this sense of self esteem to Unclehood and boy am I grateful or what 🙂
This post is part of my writing endeavour as a member of the loose blogger’s consortium. The other bloggers are as under. Give them a visit, they are bunch of hell raisers you wouldn’t want to miss 😉 Rummuser, gaelikaa, Maxi, and Shackman