It's a fact I don't hide, that The Wee Bhablet was the baby I hadn't wanted. It was an unplanned pregnancy and a difficult one and the timing was as bad as it could have been. The newly married blues combining with the restlessness of the bed-ridden topped with explosive family politics and a clueless husband created a terrible atmosphere around me and even though I had days when I wondered about this child I was bringing into the world, many more days were spent feeling resentful, lonely and depressed.
The first days of motherhood were just as confusing. There was this beautiful little mite -- and he was beautiful even if I say so myself, because really, how many attractive newborns have you seen anyway? -- hanging on to my finger and I felt this really primal understanding of his needs that I didn't even comprehend myself, and yet I resented his constant crying, his refusal to sleep or to stay still for one damn second. And then he showed a decided preference for his father and my mother and I let the PPD take me over.
I called him Rahul after toying with a couple of other names, simply because I had loved the sound of the name as a young girl and had planned to call my son that; and also because it was the name of Buddha's son -- along with Vicky's beautiful smile, Rahul had also inherited his father's absurdly long ears.
Do you know what the name means? It means "Obstacle". The Buddha gave his infant son this name in a moment of anger when his wife tried to keep him home by holding out his son as a lure. My own son couldn't have had a more apt name either. He has been an obstacle, utterly derailing all the plans I'd had. I've had to wait two years to return to a career, further studies are out of the question and even a simple night's partying requires much thinking over. I don't smoke any more and I hardly drink now, after the pregnancy hormones messed up my drinking habits. I'm scared of things I never noticed before, simply because they make up the world my son will grow up in. I'm far more particular about Vicky's failings because I'm scared that his son who hero-worships him will learn those bad habits as well. And I'm, well, I'm simply not the woman I had thought to be.
And in case from reading the last paragraph you get the feeling that I think any of this is bad, you're on the wrong track. The life I'm leading is hardly perfect but it makes all other lives seem so very sterile, so utterly lacking in some vital essence. This madcap juggling of household, work, marriage and parenting makes me feel so strongly alive in a way that nothing ever did before. In a cliched way, I really do see the world through new glasses since Rahul has been there to show things to me. I see the best of the man I married because he's a good husband but he's an even better father. And I see how much laughter and love this child of ours has brought into the world. Simply by being him, by some magic I've never really fathomed, he seems to make people want to smile, to play and pet and sing. Perhaps he'll lose it all as he grows older and perhaps that will only be right and natural. But I, I may never recover from the irony of having such a deeply resented gift turn out to be so right for me.