Letter to a 4-year-old (Part 4)

Dear Abhishek,

There are plenty of memories of the year gone by.

Like last April when I returned from my US trip (I had missed your birthday), you were sitting on the staircase at 11:30 pm waiting for me to open all the toys. (And this was after telling  me not to buy any toys since you had everything!)

Like the day last May when you hit me and refused to say sorry, steadfastly looking in the other direction. Your ego stood in the way. You knew you  were wrong, but something held you back from apologising. We finally made up, but it was I who took the first step.

Like the Singapore trip in June – which was about buying toys (mostly vehicles) and afternoon sleep as your Mummy walked the shops. That was the trip in which we discovered togetherness as we spent four whole days with each other. We walked through Singapore Zoo – and you could not have been more disinterested! Luckily, it started raining and we came back to the hotel. On the last day, I forgot our bag in the taxi with the camera, and you didn’t let me forget that for a long time!

Like the craze for jigsaw puzzles after the Singapore trip (where we had bought a couple nice ones). Morning and night, all we did were  those puzzles! For a brief time, all three of us were doing different jigsaw puzzles at home!

Like when you first started using the computer mouse around August. You then started navigating UptoTen.com (and now, YouTube for the Pixar Cars videos) on your own. Suddenly, you didn’t need me!

Like the time a few months ago when you did away with your afternoon nap on most days. That meant that I’d miss seeing you at night if I came home after 7:30 pm. But in the bargain, you got a good, continuous 11-hour sleep.

Like the visit to Palitana when you climbed the 4,000 steps to the top. That was quite something. I never expected you to even get halfway on your own. But your Mom’s determination made you walk up on your own.

Like when you slept on the Songadh train platform (on our way back from Palitana) since our train was a couple hours late. And in the anxiety to get in, I almost left you on the platform in the crowd!

Like the time when we went to Crossword bookshop (we go there almost every week), and you picked a book and asked me, “Papa, is this a study book?” Excitedly, I answered Yes. You then put it back, answering, “Then, I don’t want it.” Your non-academic interest became quite clear then!

Like your love for music and your make-belief piano playing makes me hope that you will do something different in life. As your Mummy and I have decided, we will not impose any of  our dreams on you. You are free to chart  your own course in life.

Like the time when you started playing with my iPhone. You had a peculiar fascination for the Weather and Time in various cities. I never quite figured this one out. You finally moved on to a Cars game on the iPhone.

Like when on Dassera Day you had a convulsion. You scared us all. Thankfully, that was a one-off, and  you were fine after that.

Like the Pune trip we took at Diwali time. You played with everyone. We started seeing the first glimpses of the Social Abhi.

Like the look on your Mummy’s face you first told her, “Have Patience.” And the like on my face when you looked at a car (it was your uncle’s Toyota Corolla Altis) and said, “Awesome.” Where do you learn all this from?

Like our phase in between where we were completely into the Curious George books. I had got a few of them from my US trips, and we were reading these stories every day. You knew it all, yet you wanted me to read it!

Like the time when you asked your Mummy if you could get a baby sister.

Like how smart you looked when you went for your school concert.

Like the days when you’d create patterns with a hundred vehicles on the bed before going to sleep. And then, I had to quietly remove them after you fell asleep.

Like after the New Era school interview you came out and before we could ask you what they asked you, you fired at us, “What did they ask you?” All that your parents could do was to look at each other.

And so it goes on and on. Memories which fade with time because you grow every day. Memories which come back as we see you grow.

(Continued tomorrow)

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.