Friday, August 20, 2010

What 'been there done that' really means

It's not really until you actually go through an experience that you get to know what really it entails.

Like, for example, unless someone real close to you has died, you never get to actually know what that sorrow is like. You can empathise with a friend who has lost a dear one, but there is still a barrier.You feel so lame once you really know what it is, compared to what you were thinking it was.

That's the same, I'm beginning to believe, with other life experiences as well.

Only when you've landed thud in a terrible sort of way, splitting your legs in the long jump pit at school, twisting your waist in an odd angle, do you know what thigh pain is all about.

Not until you've hurled abuses at your boss, who first hurled abuses at you across an open office space where everyone froze do you know what humiliation is all about.

Not until you've shat in Nature's garden on a hillside, surrounded by blood-sucking leeches crawling in upon you, with one mug of water precariously sitting on a stone near you, do you know what the comfort of home is like. Till then, I always thought, "What's the big deal about roughing it out?"

I always would think what the big deal was about becoming mothers. Everyone became a mother at some point in time, I assumed, by default. Motherhood also just happened by default and life would run its default course.

When I got married and a close cousin couldn't really participate in all the fun leading up to the wedding, saying she was busy with her five month old, I refused to believe her. I thought it was a silly excuse. It was only when I got invited out with a five month old in my arms, and was refusing to go most places, that i realised what it meant.

I was once shocked when a colleague said they never cooked at home. They simply ate out or ordered food in. Now I think they are very smart!

Every time i was refused a Sunday off at work because i was still single and dint need to have a family day, I fumed. What was the big deal about being married. Once I got married, I knew why that one day together was precious. But by then they denied me Sunday off saying, i didn't have a kid!! Now I know what that one bloody Sunday can do to your life. The ways of the world.

However much you think you know about some one's life and what they are going through, you are never even close to reality.

When someone says "My kid is ill" in office the next time, I'm going to have a lot more respect for them.

I mean, till i saw the blisters on Sonny Boy this week, i hadn't the foggiest notion what chicken pox looked like! I really hadn't bothered what to do in such a situation. Now I'm surfing the net, calling my aunts and friends, taking tips, making notes to myself.
Till Sonny Boy had torn through me and entered the world I couldn't really figure the big deal about labour and episiotomies. I mean, it was all this natural beautiful process, right?
Until i cleaned Sonny Boy's pee and poop minutes after few minutes in the initial three groggy months (after having decided to go all natural and use only cloth, no diapers), after his birth, motherhood was about pink toes, gurgles and smiles.

My cousin gave birth this morning to a baby girl. I'm overjoyed for her. But i also know what this gregarious beer and seafood loving girl is going to go through in the name of the traditional confinement, with very few foods "acceptable" and beer?? HAHA that would be blasphemy..... Because, I've been there done that.


Garima said...

You only know the pain, the joy, the guilt, the happiness when you are in there shoes.
Very well said, Life seems rosier on there end... we often get caught by "foot in mouth" when we are in a similar situation!

Anonymous said...

Very well said!
I used to take 'been there done that' in quite literal terms..traveled world over, lived the corporate lifestyle etc. , till motherhood hit me. Now I am truly going through 'been there done that' !

Forever mother said...

Hey Garima,
I'm always putting foot in mouth! hehe...hope you're feeling better and V is too after that tantrum day.
Hi Anonymous
My hugs and empathies to you (that's all i can offer on the webbed world). If you've been a corporate woman on the move, yes, motherhood opens doors to a world in such slow motion at times and in such fast-forward mode at others, you wonder where you're headed. But if you're a real new mum, hang on. It gets better after teh first three months settle. You'll get ur groove back once u get back to work. Dont worry

Aparna said...

Very well said there. Brings to mind for me - when I was babyless and on a flight/train, and babies used to cry their heads off, I used to wonder why their parents can't control them, why they bring them on flights/trains when they are not used to it and so on. Until the first time I took dear D on a flight when she was about a year old :O. I realized that as a parent you just have to cut yourself off from people's reactions because you're too busy dealing with the bundle in your arms :).
Hope sonny boy is doing better now. Both of you seem to have had a bad time of it :(. Missed your earlier post as I wasn't on blogger for a while.

Anonymous said...

I used to love travelling...After motherhood, I dread going out even to a supermarket lest he may catch some flu or fever...
wat a change!!!

Forever mother said...

Hey Aparna,
Sorry been busy with work and hadn't replied to so many comments.
Yes, it's always that horrible feeling I have when i go through teh same situation I had earlier given "dirty looks" to other parents for. I used to hate wailing babies in the theatre. therefore i never take my son to the movies. I was so nervous of his firt flight after hearing of the French kid and mom who were asked to disembark because he screamed "go plane go". But Sonny Boy just slept soundly :-) So that's life, i guess

Hey Anonymous
I'm in that phase now. After a series of illness, I'm so scared to let him go to playschool or take him to teh park (esp in Blore's foul foul weather). But i cant keep him locked up forever at home, so he will have to live out his infections. But i know that paranoia that gnaws at you when they touch the supermarket trolley and take the hand to the mouth? na?