I like having friends over – even when they have me blushing… My guest today is Ritu Bhathal-Padhaal – from But I Smile Anyway. Ritu is a writer and blogger and was voted into third place for Most Inspiring Blog at the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards. You can read some of her work on her blog… like the serialised Wedded Stress. Today, she talks about being a daughter… and a Mum.
The lovely Sue from the blog The Daily Echo invited me to write a guest post for her, and I was extremely honoured, and I have to say, a tad scared! If you are a regular reader of Sue’s blog, you know how amazingly she writes, and I don’t consider myself to have half the talent that she possesses!
Still, what to write about? I have to say, I was thinking, the other day on the 8Th October, that as it was National Poetry Day, I should really try and write a verse… I started it, but it wasn’t happening. The thing is, I had been running on empty the last few weeks, with a tough new Nursery teacher job, and the added stress of applying for secondary schools for my first child, Lil Man, as he is fondly known on my blog. Then this request turned up, and the poem kind of wrote itself!
I have two little munchkins at home, Lil Man is 10 and Lil Princess is 7. A long time to go yet really before they gain that independence, and go out into the big, wide world alone. But one day, they will. And I would never want to be a hindrance to them gaining their own experience in life.
I was always lucky, as a young Indian girl, that my parents gave me the freedom, and choice, to go out there, and actually live my life as I wanted. I spent my school days doing what I was expected, then when it was time for University, I decided to try Kingston University, which meant leaving home, and moving Dahn Saf (Down South!). My brother was also away, at a boarding school, so suddenly they went from having both their children around, to having none… Yet that was not something that bothered them. They actively encouraged us to get our educations, and live our lives, to gain experiences, and create our own memories, safe in the knowledge, that home was always there for us.
As a mother myself now, I wonder what my mother would have been feeling like, what my Pops was thinking, seeing off their precious babies, and I realised that even though we had gone, we never really left. We had our rooms, and all our things around, and it was always ready for us when we returned. They have moved house since I married and shifted to Kent permanently, yet there is still a room for me, and my family, when we go to visit them. They are getting older, but they are most definitely not old, if you know what I mean. And only now they have started thinking that they may need to downsize… 5 bedrooms may be too much for them, on a day to day basis. But what holds them back is the thought that there wouldn’t be space for us, when we come to visit. We reassure them that whatever they decide, we will always call their home, our home too. Even if we have to sleep on floors, or sofas, or even book into hotels, that isn’t a problem. To be honest, for us, home isn’t where our stuff is, it’s where they are, and all our memories will go with us, and with them, wherever they may go.
God forbid, when the time comes for our chicks to spread their wings, even though I know it will be hard to imagine them out there, alone in that big bad world, away from us, I know they will be ok. And every step I take in our home, I will see something that reminds me of them, something that will make me smile, possibly bring a tear to my eye. And more importantly, I know they will always be welcome back home.
This verse I wrote sees a nest as both a dwelling, but also my heart… A place my children will always accommodate, no matter where they are, or how old they are.
Our Never Empty Nest
Our little nest, one time, was bare
A mere shell, there was no one there
Then you came, to illuminate
This home you helped us to create
We furnished it with memories
Times we can recall with ease
Each day you add another layer
And I silently offer up a prayer
Thank you Lord for giving me
These branches of my family tree
I know one day that you will fly
And believe me, you will soar high
You’ll leave this nest to build your own
But I’ll not lament that you have flown
For it’s no longer an empty shell
It’s now a home in which we dwell
And embedded in each and every space
Is the image of your smiling face
The sounds of laughter will always ring out
Whether or not you are about
This nest will always be your home
No matter where you decide to roam.