And so the festive season begins

I woke up yesterday morning to much activity in the kitchen. H and N were making pancakes, well mostly N. 

This past week has been a tough one. Both N and I went down with a bout of viral fever, followed by a persistent rash and then a lingering joint pain. As it turned out, it wasn’t viral at all but a mild version of one of the mosquito diseases.

While N recovered relatively quickly I am still dealing with remnants of the rash, stiff fingers and aches in random places.

Which is why I wasn’t looking forward to the rakshabandhan festivities of the day. Worse still, the cook was on leave.

We planned a no-fuss menu and thanks to the children, I started the day on a sunny note. One small gesture like that can make the entire day seem lighter.

By 10.30 N was bathed and ready in an all-white dress. A less-experienced me would have pushed her to go wear something Indian but the evolved me was just grateful she was done. She looked fresh and pretty like all teens do when they’re scrubbed clean.

H, who is genuinely convinced he looks best in his shabby shorts and an equally shabby tee shirt agreed to discard them without much of an argument. I suppose years of nagging haven’t all gone to waste. After some prodding, he too was bathed and dressed.

By the time the SIL dropped by, the house was reasonably clean, most of the cooking was done and the rakhi plate was prettied up and ready.

And so rakhis were tied, tikas put, kaju katlis eaten and just like that rakshabandhan was done and dusted.

No fights, no arguments, not many disagreements either. Also no gifts and no money exchange, just a happy celebration.

The festivals of my childhood memories have always been high-voltage hustle-bustle days with more than a dash of drama.

Traditions had to be followed. The house had to be spotless, the rangoli just so, the food home-cooked and elaborate. By the end of it, mummy would be exhausted and annoyed while the rest of us slunk around trying to make ourselves as inconspicuous as possible with little or no luck.

I’ve struggled to avoid all of that ever since the children came along. It hasn’t been easy. We’ve had some royal flareups. 

The children were often cranky, they refused to dress up, fought over gifts and messed up rangolis. And there was me going overboard with the cooking and cleaning and complaining. Like it or not, I do have a lot of my mom in me.

It has taken a lot of growing up (for the children) and a huge mental shift (for me) to have a day like yesterday.

Perhaps it was a one-off, perhaps it was the illness that made me more tolerant and the children more considerate. Perhaps Diwali will find us arguing and stressing again.

For now, I like to think I have turned things around, somewhat.

Tell me, what changes have you made to make celebrations more fun and less stressful.

Wishing you a happy festive season ahead.

2 Replies to “And so the festive season begins”

  1. I loved reading about your raksha bandhan. This was the first year when the older boy was not at home. Since muhurat was at night, I just readied the thali and tied rakhis to the younger son. It was quiet and uneventful. I guess all my festivals have transitioned to being quieter affairs. Whatever I can manage, I do.

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