Some Memories

November 26, 2022 [personal] #gratitude

I thought I knew love. It was only when playing with a kid, a little one that's no longer a two year old, that I learned what it is to love unconditionally. Unidirectional, without any self-absorption. I did read somewhere that love in families flows downwards. From parents to children. From grandparents to grandchildren. I now understand that sentiment. It is by being with him I know how my parents feel. A mixture of love and duty. Of enjoying the privilege of being liked in return.

As I am with him I wonder, did my parents spend as much time with me? Did other adults? My uncle, aunt? I don't remember much of my younger years. My earliest memory is that of my father taking me to school for the first time. I was probably the last to enter the class. I remember crying. I did not want my father to leave. I remember him waiting for me to enter the classroom. There might have been a teacher escorting me inside. There are other memories. I remember writing my name for the first time. I remember writing my grandmother's name and showing it to her. I remember a wedding in Chennai. There was paati and V athimber walking with me to the marriage hall from the railway station. I recall the smell of dried cow dung on the streets as we walked. I remember when my little cousin had to be taken to hospital to get his sinus fixed. Me and his sister waiting in the house for him to come back. Stray memories that I almost never revisit.

I expect my young friend's memories of his early years to be just as sparse and random. I want him to know how much joy he has brought to a few adults around him, just by doing what children do. Self-awareness will inevitably set in, and the loss of innocence along with it. We will cherish all of it.