Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Goodbye

My boys leave early for school. Their bus comes to pick them up at 7.30. There are two snack and lunch boxes to be packed for each child and mornings are crazy. I set the alarm at an unearthly hour and get up 30 minutes after the sound has literally alarmed me. The first half an hour goes in very uncharitable thoughts towards the whole schooling system which has been heartless enough to disregard my sleep when they set their time. This is accompanied by a good clanking of the tea pot and the pans, which incidentally serves as an alarm for my neighbor and a few sleeping birds. Then i say hello to the first waking bird i hear.

What is that you say? You wonder why the hustle bustle when i can get up a little earlier? What? And miss out the drama and excitement in my life? Never!!

Nevertheless, after a good exercise of the vocal system and the limbs, running to and fro getting a petulant 6 yr old to eat something, the 11 yr old to stop dreaming in the shower, we do manage to tumble out of the house. In one piece.

G in spite of contributing to the chaos, does help in many ways. Sometimes he also gets this insane urge to click a photograph of the kids just when they are leaving. How i react is best left unsaid.

After checking if they've worn the right shoes, the bags on their shoulders and the smile on their faces, its time to get into the elevator. That's when the kids scream "I'll be back soon" or a chirpy "see you later, alligator" to G, hug him and rush in. (This stems from a little something we've been taught since childhood. Never to say that we are going but always that we will be back soon. ) sometimes sleepy, at times sprightly but always loud...we never compromise on the decibel level.

Sometimes we are early and we chat or play little games to spend the time. Everyday the bus enters the condo at 7.25 sharp. They get in, find their seats, buckle themselves up. I wave till the bus goes out of sight. I can see the little face pressed to the pane, making funny faces. The 11 yr old looks back, half waving, when the bus finally turns. Sometimes it takes a U-turn and makes an appearance on the opposite end of the road too. I'm still there, waving when i see them. With a prayer in my heart and wishing they have a great day.

It brings back memories of early goodbyes when I used to drop them to school in Delhi. I would still wait till the last strand of hair disappeared from my view. Sometimes the little imps would bounce back and find me still there. with a silly smile on my face

The boys recently told me that IF i wanted, i could stay at home while they waited for the bus. That is when i told them that i'm doing it more for myself. That my day starts well when i get to say bye to them. That if it wasn't for the fact that G has a train to catch, he too would have been here with them. (they love it too when he manages to wait with them). That on the rare occasions that I cannot make it, I feel miserable.

And unknowingly like most things, it has become a habit. For them. The waiting. The jokes. The smiles. The funny faces. The good byes. I think they've begun to need it too. Because they look out for me now, even when they are on the opposite end of the road.

Most times, good byes make me sad. There are a few good byes you never ever want to say. But sometimes, there can be a 'good' in the 'bye'.

I love the sameness of this routine. It tells me that all is well in my world. This is one moment where i don't mind saying bye.

Because the good bye has become such an integral moment of my day.

Because there would come a time when it may not be feasible.

Because time stands still, long enough for me to enjoy the moment for what it is.

And then

it gives me a gentle nudge to rush back because i need to say bye to G too. :)


ugich konitari said...

what a wonderful post ! Brought back old memories .....except in those days, there were some other children in the bus too, that would regularly look out for me and wave to me along with my children, as the bus trundled into gear....

Enjoy these days. A time will come when walking with their friends and hoping you are not within 50 metres , will be considered important :-)

Rambler said...

this reminds me of something which I heard on the TV recently, "the toughest part of saying goodbye is having to do it again and again, every single day"

Meira said...

I dislike goodbyes too, but console myself remembering the good times that was spent before the farewell...and look forward to the next meeting :)

rm said...

its such a sweet post..

WhatsInAName said...

lovely post Suma :-)
Even we never use the word goodbye! The story of your morning is the story of my morning as well. Except that soon after their byes its time for me to rush to office.
And yes you have said it so beautifully that this routine tells me that all is well! so very true

Ps said...

Very nice post.
For me too it is the same. but now with different timings I have to do it twice!! :P
When satish travels, its CRAZY--two kids, two timings, one hassled mom.
But truly--there are magical moments that make it all worth it--dont you agree?

Sumana said...

Truly lovely post suma. We also say hogbarthini rather then hogthini. These days when Tiny leaves for school, if i have still not left for work, she keeps saying bye till she gets down the stairs and reaches for the gate with her thatha. She likes to hear a reciprocative bye from my end too for each Bye she utters.The younger goes along to drop her and he tries to imitate her on this. Some of the goodbye's really have a good in them to stay down as memory forever.

Prats said...

Its strange how I just got back from saying my 2 goodbyes...waiting for their small hands to disappear...and got back to reading this...awww....its such moments that make me so fulfilled and content being a mom...

brocasarea said...

at my home my elder bro is the culprit...he used to fet up at 7 for a 730 class!..he is so lazy!!:P...

even now we are thought to say "hogi barthini" no??:)

Preethi said...

What a sweet post Suma.. I am wondering now how I will ever go back to work.. ;) for me too its the seeing him off.. even if it is at the doorstep of his classroom and the tiny hands giving me a quick hug every afternoon when I go to pick him up! Last year when M used to pick him up every afternoon.. I used to wait for the sound of the little footsteps on my stairway... and then throw the door open before the little hands have a chance to knock!!

Pavi!!!! said...

Sumthign abt this post makes me feel all that u''ve written. Very nice post Suma..

n it reminds me of my school (n even college n work days) when Sis n I would be at the house entrance n wld scream to my mom n dad [mostly in the kitchen] "poit-varen ma-pa" poit-vare = I'll go n come...
n i recollect in tht adoloscence age when i was so stupid..if i was angry wit mom for sumthing..i wld scream "poren ma"[I'll go]..It wld hurt mom so much.. i was simply arrogant n knew no better way to xprerss my anger! :(

pink dogwood said...

I envy you - I hardly ever get to do this, but today I did. My mom had an appointment, so I got to drop both kids off to school - drove my older one to school at 8(only 1 mile away) then my younger one at 9:15 and then drove off to work. Another thing I love is when I pick them up and they are talking 100 miles an hour trying to compete with each other in being in the first one to tell me what happened in school, where all sentences start with "Guess what.." or "you are not going to believe this mom...".

great post :)

rayshma said...

mornings are not meant for us humans to be awake. really.

loved the post.. but didn't miss the BOLD condo there! *chuckles to self..!! and r'bers FB mesg! :D hahahahaa!!!

Joy said...

A wonderful post, straight from heart and to which all can relate....:)

Joy said...

For a moment I got scared dyou are saying Bye to the blogworld. Thank GOD it is not so :)

Neera said...

What a beautiful post Suma ..so very vivid, felt as I was there with u saying good byes to the boys. And how true - simple everyday moments, yet so special and each one to be thanful to Almighty for!

Mama - Mia said...


if only everyone could see these simple pleasures in our lives!

LOVED reading the post and had a silly and goofy grin on my face all along!! :D

i say bye to Cubby each morning and he stand in the balcony and gives a big smiles when he sees we wear my helmet and wave good bye to him!! :D

and ofcos the hug from M saying have a nice day and come soon! :)

heres to such lovely moments, always! :)



Keshi said...

Goodbyes r really tough even tho some of em r temporary...like how Im saying Goodbye to all my blogmates today..only for awhile. MWAH see ya all soon!


Hip Grandma said...

how very cute.wish my kids had never grown up.they are now waving good bye to their kids.

Monika said...

such a lovely and touching post took back

Deepali said...


Anonymous said...

This made me smile! I always complain about the "routine" and i hate it... but put me in a slightly diffr place and i will start complaining abt what the hell happened to the daily routine thing..

this is a warming thing... and i want to snuggle upto Ma now :) she is working in th kitchen and i m working in the office LOL!

and thanks for the smiles!

Thanks for the answer on my blog.. and you were RIGHT :D

No gifts there- but a HUGE THANKS! :)

Take care!

Just Like That said...

awwwww....!!! :-)
lovely post, conveying much more than you have written.....
hard to believe that one could actually LIKE those whirlwind mornings, but yeah, there is a 'good'ness to the byes.:-D
And no matter now harried or how mad I am, I always remember to say a little bye and kiss a little figure and hope he has a wonderful day and lately.. that he returns safely to my arms.

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