Just came back from an amazing long break – three long days of what I will call ‘reconnect time with your little one.’
The past few weeks had been extremely busy for hubby and me, and the one person who was getting affected by all this work, by no fault of hers, was our little daughter. With mommy and papa both busy and stressed, she was missing those long hours in the garden, as mamma would have to rush back home to finish something or the other, she missed those bedtime-stories with papa, as he came home too tired and too late, sometime late enough to miss saying goodnight. No, all was not well when we missed that smile and those long hours of cuddling and doing nothing really with our little one.
So a break was an absolute must…..away from all this noise and stress, away from the never-sleeping monitor of the laptop, the constant ringing of the phone, the many social obligations and that ever-the-culprit ‘I-will-just-finish-this-in-a-minute’ and spending the next hour on the laptop…..we knew we had to get away from this and that is exactly what we did.
We knew pretty much what we were going to do on the trip – nothing! And that is exactly what we did – nothing!
So the first trick was to select a destination which would hardly have anything to do outside the hotel.
That decided, we knew the hotel we were going to stay in was one of the leading names today, both within the country and abroad, as the epitome of Indian hospitality. So there was no hassle of worrying about what to expect in terms of hygiene and food and other so-many thoughts that invariably cloud a parent’s mind on every trip.
We wanted this trip to be one close to nature, where we had consciously decided to plug-out ourselves from the eternally-grinding machine called ‘urban life’. So no laptop, no work, no phone and no TV. Instead, our car was loaded with kiddie books, colouring books and colours, kick-ball and swim suits and our books that we were looking forward to read at leisure.
The drive in itself was fun – for a change we decided to chuck the music system, instead, our little one sang and recited poems the whole way and we all joined in. She would look out at the speeding country-life outside the window and point at the hills and the forests and the animals and the lakes…stories were born and tales told, some by me, some made-up by her.
My little darling is a huge bookworm, and what could be better for her than to be left free in the bookstore and browse through books? Since we were not watching TV in the room, she made many dashes to the bookstore in the lobby, going through the many books and pages of stories and fairies and monsters.
As it was the Diwali weekend, the hotel was decked up in lights of the diyas and colours of the rangoli. Our little one loved to see the countless plays of fireworks up in the sky from the balcony. The whole city lay decked up in front of us, the sky a stage of many colour and splashes. She enjoyed every different colour, shouting ‘red’ ‘green’ ‘yellow’ at the different bursts of colours in the sky from the fireworks.
We all indulged in the luxury of endless hours of sleep, not being disturbed by the phone or the calling-bell. Our daughter had carried her collection of books from home, and she had also added to it at the hotel, so now she had a whole new set of books that awaited reading. Our family-bedtime was spent snuggling inside the comforter, propped up on the pillows, papa reading page-after-page of animal stories and santa and princess. Each sentence would be followed with a little voice chirping with endless questions and we would patiently tell her all that she wanted to know, before proceeding to the next line in the story. We never knew when we all dozed off to sleep.
Breakfast was fun time, sharing from each other’s plate and sampling a different fare from each plate.
That over, it was time to rush out to the huge sprawling lawns. Long walks and poems and our little one was in love with the routine, and so were we. The touch of naked feet on soft wet grass, playing kick-ball and running around with abandon, no boundaries to adhere to, every space yours to enjoy…….the flower bed formed under the trees were a big draw for our little one. She would pick up the many different flowers from under so many trees and form her own pile, the game being to see how many different colours she could get. She collected twigs and started a counting game, seeing how many twigs she could collect before she came to a stop in counting. She ran with the butterflies in a game of catch-me-if-you-can. The swing was a favourite part which she indulged in for hours, singing aloud songs and poems at the top of her voice.
Back in the room it was time for more stories and colouring and snuggling and playing together.
We never realised how these three amazing days came to an end. But we did realize one thing – sometimes it is really important to let go of the many deadlines that so become a part of our lives and instead, head out somewhere, just to be yourselves. After all, no joy is worth that smile you see on your little one’s face after a story-session or as you are throwing that ball to her at the park…..
As I believe in and say:
'Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children' - MJ