Friday, April 17, 2009

A Fleeting Moment of Happiness

This week started just as usual. I have experienced the losing of my daughter’s sitter before. So this week created no panic, and thankfully this time Tara’s sitter was sensible enough to tell me 3 weeks before she had to go, so I had time to ensure work was fine so I could be with my daughter fully while she is away.

Today, just like any other day since Monday, I took her to school. Afterwards I have promised her that we would go to our coccooning place – just to clean the place up for tomorrow until Sunday as we are planning to spend some nights there for the very first time.

At 11, I picked her up, went to pick up some stuff first, and then off to our ‘second’ home. When we arrived there, rain was pouring. The car port did not have any roof (talk about budget – these days house renovation can really kill one’s appetite to do anything more on the house once the basics are done!). We both had to rush getting out of the car so we did not get too wet. We entered the house laughing ourselves silly, because the umbrella that we used was too small so we had to squeeze and ended up getting rather wet anyway.

In the house Tara immediately lounged herself comfortably at the sofa, singing, creating stories, while I was busy cleaning up. Then she helped me, or rather watched me, making the beds so they are ready for tomorrow. And all the time her little mouth just did not stop talking, singing, asking questions, and just making me felt so happy that there were just the two of us in the house so I could fully enjoy her sometimes non-sensical yet mind-intriguing talks.

Tired of cleaning up and feeling a bit peckish, I made myself some instant noodle. Tara asked for the same. I very rarely allow her to eat that poisonous stuff but I thought what the heck, her last noodle was 2 months ago. So I made her the same thing and she said very sweetly, “Thank you mommy” while hugging me from behind.

The rain has stopped outside – leaving the fresh air and cool wind. And suddenly I realised it was already 4pm. I gave Tara her shower, and afterwards asked her to play outside while I sat on the front veranda.

And that was a moment when I felt really very good inside. The wind was cool, the street where our home is located was very peaceful, there were only sounds of the crickets and Tara singing at our little front garden, while she was busy making her feet wet on the grass and puddles of water on the street. I watched her and wondered how many more times will I have these kinds of moments. When there are just the two of us enjoying a peaceful afternoon.

As a working mom, I have had my guilt. But when I am really alone with her, many times I think I have done justice to her and to myself. Those scarce moments when we can really be together, actually blow up the happiness when we are together. I am not looking for excuses for not being able (or rather, not willing) to be a ‘stay home’ mom – but I think we are better off like this. The scarcity of times when we can really be like what we were this afternoon – actually made us enjoyed it fully.

There was once my husband said that in this life, sometimes we are not looking for the ‘big happiness’. Many times, we are after the ‘fleeting moment of happiness’, because the ‘big ones’ are harder to come by. I think, this afternoon was one of those moments for me. It was not long – but as I cruised the car along the toll road to go back to our ‘first’ home, with the easy listening jazz songs from Ecoutez, and Tara entertaining herself (and me) from the back seat, I could not help smiling along the way. That moment: of us in the house alone chatting about non-sense, Tara singing loudly at the front garden with the crickets singing at the background, was a moment that really crafted a beautiful picture in my heart and mind. A picture, that I can go back to whenever I need to momentarily feel good (which I guess, happens often amidst the games and tears and wears of the corporate world!).

As soon as we were home, I sent a text message to my husband who is now miles away from Jakarta. I just told him I enjoyed the day very much. And his reply to me was, “Uve been workin very hard. U deserve it once in a while…”

I wonder, if we all have to be working ‘that’ hard to deserve these fleeting moments of happiness. I am sure, we do not have to. I am still looking for that answer myself (and yet at the same time I know, the control, after all, is in my own hands).


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