Saturday, October 04, 2008

Rainbows Are Free

"Pick up your toys".
"Why Dadi?"
"Because you can’t leave them on the floor. You must learn to look after your things".
"But why Dadi? Why do I have look after them?"
"Because things cost money, you can’t be careless and throw them around. Nothing in life comes for free".
"Not everything. Somethings are free".
"Like what?"
"Like a rainbow. You can’t buy rainbow in a shop".
Wisdom from a four year old, sometimes kids can teach us a valuable lesson.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

All Dads Die

"Why did Dada die?" asked my three year old after learning about the passing away of her grandfather.
"People die when they grow old" I said a little unsure about how to deal with the subject.
"But Ija is older than Dada" said the six year old referring to her great grandmother "Why did Dada die before her?"
I wonder if sometimes politicians have easier press conferences than parents. How does one teach children about death of a loved one? What does one do when faced with barrage of such questions? Somehow they never give out a user manual with little children. You know the one with instructions that tells you what to do and when.
"Is he not coming back now?"
"No my dear he is not with us anymore but he remains in our memories".
"My friend Jack has gone away too, Papa has Jack died?"
A brief pause while you figure out how to explain the difference between going away to a place and the departure from our life of a loved one to a three year old. It was to be a recurrent theme in the conversation over the next few days. The six year old by the virtue of having spent more time with her grandfather remembered more. The elaborate games played with a very patient grandfather, the walks they went on and those long conversations on the toy phones. Then one day sitting with her younger sister she recalled with grown-up tone that only a child could muster. "I feel sad that you will never get to know how much fun Dada was".
"All dads die" said the three year old.
As I pondered over the innocent statement of a child I realized how true it was. As time goes by you find yourself morphing into your father. A face that starts to remind you of your father as you grow old. That and the DNA strains which come out in a laugh that sounds familiar. And fingers big, fat and squished in ways that scream out your heritage to the world.
So it’s true that all dads die, but a part of them still lives on inside us. We take on their roles as we bring up our children. We are dads now, working on memories that will remain long after we have gone.