My Village!MY VIEWS, PARENTING | Nirasha Jaganath | November 19, 2012 at 8:22 pm
It sounds cliche but that saying “It takes a village to raise a child!” never felt more true than to a mama raising kids without family to support in a country foreign to her and her spouse. To add to the challenge of both hubby and I having no living parents ourselves and a kid with special needs is enough to crack even the hardest nut. Both geeks who grew up in a more “social” society has meant we had to create our own family.
I could not do it alone and while I don’t see where I have come as a huge success, I do see my children as one. I have never been a social girl! I can actually see several friends who only know me in the 2nd half of my lifetime shake their head in disbelief, but it is true. I was a nerd and I wore that badge with pride. My sister pinned another badge on me, one of “snob” – she thought I acted like one and I was too busy with academics to socialize, and I really did not care. I was as geeky as they got. While in college I did let my hair down but it did not last long. With my 1st job out as an engineer I went to being a workaholic (24 hour days were the order of the day). When my mom became ill I started getting back in touch with myself the began to humanize (is that even a word?) again.
Long story short, I learned to be a people person, which came in handy when I moved to the USA and not knowing a soul except the company which offered me a job while I was in South Africa. I rapidly built a big network and constantly expand that circle to have new people in it. Whether it is in my life of a social media girl or a mom or a friend, I like to surround myself with kind people. I shrug off the crazy notion I see many people embrace with being attracted with influence or popularity. My adage is a person with a kind heart is worth more than that. I believe we help friends become successful, not become friends with people who are successful. In the 13 years I have been in this country I have been fortunate to have several people in my life who have helped me be the better me I had not planned on being. Confused?
This is what I put on my Facebook wall today:
“I am nowhere near the type of parent I wanted to be, but since my kids are way better than the kids I imagined they would be, I guess we must be doing something right!”
I never planned to have a family, but when I did decide to I had an idea I would do things a certain way. Life, amazingly enough, has its own plan for all of us. I stressed and simplified. I still stress and simplify. Then I look at my children who exude kindness and feel I can check of the “good people” box next to their names and that to me is a success. I like people who keep me grounded, remembering who and what is important. I love the kind smiles and the simple unexpected gestures that warm my heart.
There are several people who make a difference to my life but I want to make special mention to just a few:
Kamesh: my drinking buddy
Did eyebrows raise again? Drinking as in hitting rock bottom in crazy work world and kissing those woes away. She would be the buddy I would share my last drop of wine with, and then her mom would bake fresh bread rolls to greet us with in the morning. She knew me thick and thin, figuratively and literally. She knew me before I met and fell in love with my sweetheart and she still remained mine. We tackled being the outsiders and volunteering our way to be insiders.
We explored and celebrated and had so many “firsts” together that even when she decided to move to the wrong coast I remained close to her as if she was next door. I made her mom mine and my kids embraced her too. They scurry to the sound of Skype connecting expecting to hear a voice that has become quite familiar to them. Distance cannot divide when love is the bridge.. but still I wish she would move her butt to the smarter coast.
Kamani: my comfort zone
You know when a party ends and you’re cleaning up and wearing your comfy, yet not very flattering pjs, yet you feel “this” is your real party? Yes, that! A place you can relax and so can your kids, which is why you truly can relax. A home where you consider each other’s kids your own and would share anything equally between them. her home was the first place I began to relax after my child was diagnosed with Autism knowing we would find all the love and support we needed. In fact we braced the ugly traffic to allow as much social interactions in her home because, like her, her children were warmth incarnated. In that circle of security, my daughter’s confidence grew and she blossomed, and so did our friendship. A friend who turns up at your home with groceries when times are tough or sees you busy packing and cooks for the whole family. A friend who would do the crazy wakeup call if you needed to without standing on ceremony or making you think it is a favor. This past weekend my daughter mentioned her favorite things: PF Changs and visiting her home! Yeah, that! I kind of agree with her, and yes I like PF Changs too.
Stacie: my roomie
Ever felt close to someone and then spend way too much time with them and get annoyed with them? I remember in the lyrics of a song (I can’t remember the name but it was in the 80s so you won’t either) that said “familiarity breeds contempt” and honestly it has held true for a lot of friends, where after a while you need that “space”. Not so with Stacie. The more I know her, the more I love her. In the social media world, where things move faster than a politician changing his stand on issues, people are more ready to use you as a step stool to the next level so that makes it a bit difficult to know who to trust and who not to. This girl is all heart and does things constantly to warm mine. Crazy little things like take glow bracelets for all the kids in our group in Disney world. She remembers what friendship used to mean and reminds me that there are truly beautiful souls left around.
Ramesh: my Diet Coke bearer
And no, I did not include a guy to make it all politically correct. He is my one and only man in my life who rocks my world, even if on occasion he turns it upside down. You clap with 2 hands and I could not breathe so much easier if I did not have him by my side. If I am the one with my head in the clouds, he is the one who keeps me grounded and in-between the tugging to draw each other where we feel the air is better we discover a little of both keeps it exciting yet sane. Like today he knew I really wanted to be at her field trip but could not, and in a glance at me he showered and raced to drive 52 miles to be there. I know, right! Or when he is sensitive enough to the emotions of the 5 year old (who plays him like a fiddle, I might add) and allows her to come out of a situation pride intact. A best friend allows you to be you and helps you be the better you they know you can be. Yes, that’s him, and he’s all mine!
Thank you for being part of my village and making my world. It is a better place with you all in it!
Who’s in your village?
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, and part of me being a “Hallmark, Life is a special occasion ambassador”. Personally loving the opportunity to share a window to my life.