I am super excited about a new baby who will be in Geneva town inshallah by the time I get there for a visit in July! My very good friend A is having a baby, getting married and buying her first house all at the same time and I am in awe at how grown-up we are suddenly feeling. I am also vying for the position of fairy god-mother (or just god-mother) and I am very sad that I don’t live there and won’t be able to see the little tyke as often as I like.
At times like these, I can’t help but think back to old wedding videos of my uncles and aunts. The ones I have watched admiringly where my slim young parents featured. My Mom with her long thick hair and my Dad with his dark beard and white teeth. Their round nerdy glasses and God their easy smiles. Their brothers and sisters with them at dholkis and parties, some with little kids in tow. Adorable little versions of us in frilly frocks and cute shoes being picked up and kissed. Tears wiped off my then youngest cousin’s face by her father as she pouts about something or the other. Her frizzy curls tied back with a bow. Dulhans in gotas that we were so curious to see. Picking up the dupatta and peering behind it just to get a look at them.
Marriage makes me think about the circle of life. How we’re going to look back at my wedding and see the cousins who were there and their little kids. The missing kids who aren’t born yet. Us as doting khalas and phuppos, we too will say to those kids when they are older: “I remember you then, you were so cute, you used to say the funniest things…” or “I used to take you out to the swings in the garden, do you remember?” or “Your parents and I celebrated your first birthday at my student flat, we had biryani and chocolate cake. It was cold but sunny so we walked to the park to get on the swings.”
Because that’s what my parents’ family and friends would tell us if we visited them after a long time. “My you have grown so much. I used to play with you when you were a baby. You used to follow me around saying ‘mamoo-mamoo'”. Stories that we didn’t remember but would listen to intently.
This international living has meant watching friends’ and neighbours kids grow up. Kazim has been a favourite of mine since he was born and I swear I have never seen a baby look so cute at every stage. Even when he was at the 7 months mark and would scream bloody murder if his Mom went out of sight. Right now, I am missing out on all the socialising he does as he has become quite confident, talks to everyone and hangs out with the big kids. There’s Benny Boo, about whom I’ve written about before, and his brother Alex. They were a constance source of stress and entertainment as I was run ragged baby-sitting them in the summer. Tired as I was on somedays from negotiating the minutest details of life with Alex, I would be blown by his, “Je t’aime pour toujours.” (I love you forever.) Or the day I had on a babydoll top and they both asked me, “Il vient quand ton bébé?” (When is your baby coming?) I had to ask them if they thought I looked like I had a baby in my tummy and they both said yes. Notwithstanding the fact that their combined age was of 7, I haven’t worn that top since.
So I guess I will just wait until my sisters’ have babies and then break down and emotionally blackmail everyone to move close. So much for my brilliant plan.