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My Daughter, The Mother







This year, in her 85th year, we again celebrate our mother, Biji -- Sardarni Mahinder Kaur -- on this Mother’s Day, as we do every day. She has exemplified the very epitome of motherhood in our lives.

However, this year, Mother’s Day has an added dimension which has made it all the more rich for me.

This is my daughter, Gehna’s first Mother’s Day -- as a mother, that is.

My grandson is almost six months old now, and I’ve had the pleasure of watching her and her loving husband, Andrew, as they have been nurturing their newborn.

They’ve had previous experience, especially Andrew, who has beautiful Ella, now a five year old, from a previous marriage.

But it is my first experience to watch motherhood at its best from close quarters --  as an observer, and not as one directly a party to its blessings.

With our mother, Biji, I was the beneficiary of her blessings, and never have been, never could be, objective in my observations; I‘m too tied into the relationship emotionally.

Same goes with bringing up Gehna as a daughter. Joyful though it was, I could never stand back and assess it in sober contemplation.

With Gehna’s motherhood, however, I’ve tried to stand aloof from time to time and look at the goings-on with an air of objectivity. I find I’m often in awe, even though I’m fully aware that this time around, I’m still not emotionally detached: little Ben has all of us wrapped around his little finger with his smiles and cuddles.

But, to a large extent, I am an observer now, not a participant, in Ben’s parenting.

And it brings a whole world of delight of its own.

Watching my daughter turn into a full-fledged woman who is also a mother, is an experience difficult to put into words.

It gets even more difficult to convey when I realize that she does it so effortlessly. Truly, I’m in awe of her (and Andrew’s) parenting skills, and often find myself scratching my head asking, “Why didn’t I do that?” or “I wish I had done that!”

The two of them simply shame my parenting skills.

I don’t find it distressing. What greater joy for a father than to see his child outdoing him and surpassing him in every which way!  

I love to watch mother and son interact. They adore each other. He has a special smile reserved exclusively for his mother; though always good-natured and social, he bursts into his goofy, helpless, toothless grin the moment she enters the room and he notices her. Surely it must make Andrew a wee bit jealous, as it does me, though I must say his relationship with little Ben too is a joy to behold in its own right.

I like the way Gehna is sensitive to every vagrant, even fractional, rise of the mercury in Ben’s temperature. Her wince every time he coughs or  sneezes. Her instant -- and accurate -- decipher of every whimper or whine that emanates from him. Her ability to swing his moods instantly from complaining and needy to a joyful frenzy of boxing and kicking the air until he exhausts himself into a nirvanic state.

I adore the way Gehna and Ella and Ben and Andrew turn the room into a circus, all hell breaking loose with squeals of naughtiness, singing and dancing, and full-throated laughter.

Every time I visit them and see Gehna and Ella and Ben together, I realize that there is nothing in all of nature -- not even in the glorious sunrise, nor in the nascent green of Spring, or the gurgle of a brook, or the sweep of a summer evening breeze, or in the colours of Fall, or the purity of fresh snow -- there’s nothing in all of God’s creation that beats the innocence and spontaneity of, or even comes close to, the miracle of Motherhood.

Happy Mother’s Day, beta!

May 10, 2015  

Conversation about this article

1: Harsaran Singh (Indonesia), May 10, 2015, 11:38 AM.

A very lovely peice indeed. Like always, I keep looking for those few memorable lines in every article penned by T. Sher Singh ji. "What greater joy for a father than to see his child outdoing him and surpassing him in every which way", something worth pondering.

2: Kulvinder JIt Kaur (Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada), May 10, 2015, 12:42 PM.

Motherhood transforms a woman instantly. She becomes a psychologist, intuitive caregiver, trusted friend and teacher, all rolled into one. Motherhood is one of those emotional experiences (experienced first hand or as an observer) that falls short of a full description. It can only be felt.

3: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), May 10, 2015, 6:58 PM.

What a joy to see Sher totally vanquished by little Ben so early in his life. This was of course aided and abetted by Gehna, Andrew and 'big sister' Ella to spoil her little brother. What a happy mayhem. Sher ji has painted the perfect picture of love which always comes with the first grandchild. 'May Waheguru keep His Hand on the happy family with His Blessings' is our prayer.

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