September 24, 2009

Kids and all

I read yet another article on kids and what happens to your life after kids. And I was again startled to read a blanket statement that went something like, "People are unhappier with kids. They even admit it most times but always end with a disclaimer that states they wouldn't have it any other way; their lives are so much enriched with kids...blah". Now, this is startling for a number of reasons. Unhappy and kids? That's a very unlikely marriage. I can imagine couples being unhappy in their marriages but unhappy with kids? That's a stretch if you ask me. If kids make you unhappy, then I guess your requirements for happiness perhaps need a second draft, something more realistic and attainable?

Why does this irk me, you ask? For the obvious reason that I now have a kid and understand the pains and struggles that face parenthood, like an unending ocean of waves, crashing one after another. So, when someone comes along with this fancy statistic relating kids and unhappiness, it gets on my nerves. Why? Maybe because I am going through the experience right now and trying to stay on top of it and reading un-optimistic opinions like this makes my life seem that much harder. Maybe, I like reading material that helps reinforce my belief in my choices? Or maybe, equating kids and unhappiness seems just plain biased to me. Kids and stress. Kids and financial strains. Kids and lack of sleep. Agreed. Kids and unhappiness seems like there is some other root cause that is just convenient to transfer to kids and blame them for it.

On a somewhat related note, maybe there is some truth to the observation that more choices is just more stress for people. Life is really simpler when your choices are few. The problem with multiple choices is it offers you a variety of ways you can live your life and then it's all about defending your choices -- the kids you had or did not have, the career you have or do not have, the house you bought or did not buy. Through seemingly unrelated conversations, the subtle defense for your choices seeps through somehow. So, you find yourself justifying to others and yourself how your choices make a whole bunch of sense. I find this somewhat annoying especially when the choices people have made are quite different from mine and for that very reason maybe they find an urge to sneak in a statement validating their choices. Anyhow, that's how people are and possibly, I do that too inadvertently. So peace.

Aaah. So, am doing the single parent thingie for a week. Let's see how that goes. *Someone* is not going to be greeted by a pleasant face when he returns from his business trip if r~ keeps me sleep-deprived all week long :p

Stay tuned.

September 11, 2009

Amul butter anyone?

After a couple of years, I decided to tag along with k and r~ to Sagar India Market to buy Indian groceries. Nothing much had changed but I did find this extremely inviting package of Amul butter beckoning to me from behind the frosty freezer door. Today, I unwrapped the package and took a big chunk of butter which I confess I ate "apadiye" (Was it the horlicks ad that went, "Appadiye saapiduven"?), no bread, no crackers, just utterly, butterly delicious Amul butter. It was all that it promised to be!

Not that I needed an excuse or anything but then I started thinking of India. The other day, I was talking to k about my evergreen topic, India vs America, the one that my dad and I always end with, "Ok, let's agree to disagree on this". I told k that somewhere in the back of my mind, there is always this thin veil of insecurity that reminds me that am not in my home country. I love America and am grateful for the life we have here, but am certain somewhere not easily accessible is this little anxious voice that cautions me to be careful and I think that voice will not be quietened by a green card or a citizenship card. That voice is here to stay.

Maybe, it's because the life we have here is what we built from scratch. Aside from a handful of close friends and a wider circle of just friends, we don't have a solid base with close people milling around us to help us if we need help. Our foundation is still new, stable but new. Maybe r~ would feel otherwise because we would have built the base on which she will build her life. She has a backup. What do we have? There are channels here, "aid" available if needed, organized care but it is not personal, it is...indifferent and that worries me.

Life throws many curve balls at us and I guess, I am trying to handle one now that has me wondering if r2i is the only sane, only safe decision there is for us. But, I guess I have gone through pretty momentous occasions here in this country and am stronger for each experience and a bit more confident. So, maybe life here is worth a shot and is the right way to go...who knows?

There is a reason for everything and I bet there is an overwhelming reason for my choice. I just have to figure it out.
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