My Momma — Strongest!

Written By

Rashmi Manvi

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“Momma, the evil witch is hiding in the garden behind my choo-choo!!”

My husband was away on an official trip to Mangalore, and I was having a tough time putting my toddler to bed. It was eleven pm, and I wondered whatever in the world could motivate a sleepy witch to play peek-a-boo behind a three-year-old’s tricycle. “No sweetheart, the witch is gone,” I tried to soothe his baby fears.

“But, Papa isn’t here…” he wailed the seventh time that evening. “Momma’s there, isn’t she?” I answered in a slightly irritated tone. R toured very frequently these days, and handling a home and a feisty toddler was taking its toll. Furthermore, it had given my ego a little boost: as I was now one of the ‘proud-one-woman-show’ kinds. The kid still looked unconvinced. “Are you strong like Papa? Do you drink chocolate milk?” I smiled. “Yes honey, Momma is strong, and she really can frighten the witch, and the big bad wolf too.” Thankfully, the sound of a car driving away reached his little ears. “Yayyy! Bad witchy ran away! My Momma — Strongest”. Finally, the tired, brown eyes drooped. As I stroked the silky hair falling on the long curly eyelashes, I wondered — what really is strength? Am I really as strong as my child believed? Does strength just mean handling a home, a baby, and pretending to scare away witches?

Five-thirty a.m. I resisted the snooze button and got up for another busy day. Managing junior alone was getting to me, and my legs seemed to lack strength. Ah… strength… wasn’t that the  word from last night?

After his umpteenth ‘two-minutes-please’ requests, junior finally woke up and was ready for playschool. As I dropped him off at the school gate, I glanced at the woman stationed on the footpath, selling guavas. As hoards of tiny tots dressed in their best staggered through the gate amidst tears and wails, this woman’s year-old cherub played gleefully in the sludge. A soiled shirt barely covering his mud streaked chest, the little one gloried in the delight of stones and sand. As his mother returned my change meticulously, my eyes caught another strong mommy in the making — her eight- or nine year-old daughter trying hard to concentrate on the Kannada Bal Bharati in one hand, and feeding her little brother with the second. As I marvelled at the extraordinary strength of this little family to live and love, I could not help but smirk at the fussy corporate mom trying to hold back her tears as she blew kisses to her sobbing child.

Rushing back to match the day’s schedule, I found Mala — my housemaid, waiting at the doorstep. As we both climbed up the steps, I glanced at the torn pallu and cracked heels.  Running a household of two children and a crippled husband, what else did she display than strength?  Why was this word haunting me today?

Having done the morning chores, I still had half an hour more — enough to Facebook till junior came home. A friend request with a message awaited me. “Remember sandwiches and mango milkshakes and horrid Mechanics?” Shareen! The lanky teenager with geeky glasses flashed before my eyes. Shareen was my engineering friend and her mom’s cooking was the only thing that made distasteful mechanical formulae palatable for me. Radha Aunty was a warm lady, and I was in awe of her ever-so-unperturbed poise — a stark contrast to my friend’s anxious personality. ‘Shareen and Serene’ was what I called the duo lovingly. Shareen’s father served as an army doctor in Mizoram, which was going through cross-border issues then. The way the lady concealed her worries was a sheer miracle. Shareen had once dozed off while studying, and I had noticed Aunty resting on the swing in the porch, gazing through her tear-rimmed glasses at her husband’s photograph. Somehow, that picture replaced the meaning of the word ‘strength’ in my dictionary.

The clock struck one, and it was time for the little mouse to come home. I logged out of Facebook and logged in the tired and famished toddler. “Momma, Aaditya boxed me today. You know what I told him?? Wait till my Momma comes… My Momma Strongest!!!” I smiled.

“Yes, baby. Momma is strong, but not as much as she can be, yet.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I am Rashmi Manvi, a 32 year old mom of a six-year old little boy. I have degrees in Engineering and Business Management, and I 've also done online tutoring for English writing skills. I have a passion for writing, and my style is natural, based on my daily experiences as a mother and wife. I am a firm believer of "The Law of attraction" and base my ideas on the same. I love spreading cheer and having interesting conversations, and oh, I love travelling too!

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