27 February 2013

twins february

you started your first taste of veggies this month: carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin and doodi. both of your favourites seem to be carrot, while doodi was pretty much a non starter!
z (and many others) keep telling me to enjoy this stage of babyhood, as though i don’t. i share my concerns, worries and stresses with them; in the process, i perhaps forget to share the joy and wonder! i LOVE your current size. you fit in my arms, on my chest, so perfectly. i LOVE dressing you up in cute new outfits and then taking numerous photos of you looking adorable. you crack me up every single day with your toothless baby grins, laughs and babble. you have also become quite the drama kings, which also makes me laugh, no matter how exasperated i may be. i love watching you interact with your grandparents, mamu, friends and acquaintances who come to visit. you have started actively playing with your toys and all objects that you come into contact with, which also gives me great joy to witness. i love watching you reach for things, grasp things well, see you explore things and make sense of the world around you. you have your favourite toys, and love playing with your blanket. you also love playing with the sheet covering the sofa, particularly covering your faces with it. you are also currently in love with your own (and everyone else’s fingers). you even occasionally try to pull them off, which amuses and baffles me. 

my heart melts when you hold on to my finger, as though you will never let go. when you smile at me or laugh at my silliness. making you laugh has actually become one of my daily goals! my heart also melts when i see you play together, when one of you is babbling and the other listening intently. 

i am constantly amazed that you two tiny beings are mine. just as i am in wonder at how perfect your features are, your fingers and toes, your hair, your eyes, your smiles. amantobillah. 

twins january

january 29, 2013

ever since i started reading aisha’s monthly love letters to her son, i was in awe. i loved the idea. i wanted to do it myself. i planned to do it once i knew i was having twins. once you were born, i was going to do it. every month, i planned on writing, on getting back to the blog, on sharing you with the world, on sharing my world with you. today i read aisha’s one month letter to her newborn, and i am totally bummed that i still did not write yours, despite both of you being six months. 

so i am writing this. when i learnt i was having twins, i immediately wanted one boy and one girl. the girl would be my friend i thought. i hope that the two of you will be my friends too. i adore both of you. you are both so very different. i can see this so clearly, and i wonder what it means for the future. i cannot wait till you are older and can interact with me more. i have so so many dreams for you. so many aspirations. not the ‘i want you to be an engineer’ kind. be whatever you want, but be happy in your chosen field. be nice to everyone, be gentlemen. i wish for you lots of love, laughter, books, friends and travel. i wish you peace, courage and strength. i look upon the mistakes i made in my life, the opportunities i never took, and i wish for you to not do the same. the world truly is your classroom -don’t stick to one corner, be bold and explore. (i hope that the fact that your first flight was on dec 31, 2011, when you were four months, will have some lasting influence here..) 

i have learnt that parenting is little more than trial and error, so i hope you will overlook my failings and focus on the love and energy with which i tried. as i get one thing figured out, you are both more than happy to move two steps ahead again. i love both of you with my entire being, but i have to admit that i am not in love with motherhood per se. someday i will write a post on motherhood, beginning with baraka’s words, that the journey/story of “becoming a mother and all the ways that smashes into and fractures everything else she is, of being broken open and made anew, is one that takes a lifetime to understand”.

you have just started your sixth month. you now eat small amounts of baby rice cereal, and i plan to introduce you to mashed veggies in the coming days. you laugh and smile with abandon, you speak and shout in delight in a language all your own. you cry as much as you laugh at night however, which continues to distress me no end. you play as happily with my dupatta as with your rattle, and this is a lesson i am learning early -you really don’t need so many toys to keep your entertained. the toys are really for me!

the end of your life book club

this is the first book i started to read post-twins, and it was a good choice! it is a wonderful ode to books and how they enrich your life. the conversations in the book simply underlined my need to find time to read, for myself, and to the twins. it also gave me a long list of book recommendations, quite different to what i might pick up for myself.

“Printed books have body, presence... I often seek electronic books, but they never come after me. They may make me feel, but I can’t feel them. They are all soul with no flesh, no texture, and no weight. They can get in your head but can’t whack you upside it.” 

“That’s one of the things books do. They help us talk. But they also give us something to talk about when we don’t want to talk about ourselves.” 

"Mom preferred authors who paint with few strokes. She loved abstract art and I love figurative." 

“Really, whenever you read something wonderful, it changes your life, even if you aren’t aware of it.” 

“part of the process of Mom’s dying was mourning not just her death, but also the death of our dreams of things to come.” 

“when you’re with someone who is dying, you may need to celebrate the past, live the present, and mourn the future all at the same time.” 

"The Elegance of the Hedgehog is, in many ways, a book about books (and films): what they can teach us, and how they can open up worlds. But it’s really, like most great books, about people--and the connections they make, how they save one another and themselves." 

“joy is a product not of whether characters live or die, but of what they’ve realized and achieved, or how they are remembered.” “She was surrounded by books... They were mom’s companions and teachers. They had shown her the way... What comfort could be gained from staring at my lifeless e-reader?” 

“her conviction that books are the most powerful tool in the human arsenal, that reading all kinds of books, in whatever format you choose... is the grandest entertainment, and also is how you take part in the human conversation.’

04 February 2013


i recently took a photo with my parents. it is a close up of our three faces, and upon seeing it, i immediately wanted to know which of my parents i looked like; did i look like a combination of the two? was i, physically and emotionally, a balance between their two separate identities? as i look at my twins, i wonder the same: are they combined versions of the best of H and i? (ok, they may have inherited some of our not so great traits too, but aside from that..) i see their small chubby faces, their toothless grins, and i wonder which one of us they will resemble more, which of our quirks will be mirrored in who.


i see the emergence of tiny fine hairs on the twins' faces and bodies, and i am sad that soon they will no longer be my babies.

yesterday, an elderly aunty (in her 60s or even older) said to me, ‘may your boys grow up healthy, and may they always live near you’. it sounded a little strange to my ears, but later, as i thought about it, it brought to mind aisha’s post of living in a neighborhood of retirees, all with children who’d grown up and away.. while i don’t hold any traditional notions of having my grown up sons live with me, right now i cannot imagine that they could ever be away from me.. simcha fisher said it oh so well, that in becoming a mother, “you’re turning into a new woman, a woman who is never allowed to be alone. For what?  Only so that you can become strong enough to be a woman who will be left."