Kash she was from the get go. And so she was meant to be. Kash–short for Kashish.
We knew she was coming. The question was not if but when. She had announced her arrival in our dreams. Therefore, when she finally did, it was like homecoming. I thought I was prepared. I was wrong.
It was a surreal experience.. Like watching a movie—a beautiful play from which I was excluded for the most part or shall I say reduced to the role of a bit player.
I was immersed in wonderment. A change had come over my wife. There was a sweetness in her smile I hadn’t yet perceived, a brightness in her eyes, an extraordinary gentleness in her movements. And it was all because of Kash, our sweet little gift. Our baby girl. Our bundle of joy. She and her mom– they were a unit. When they were together time stopped and nothing else mattered.
Ruhi was in attendance twenty-four-seven, in anticipation of every milestone, every little cry or expression of discomfort. How lucky is a child to have a mother like her. The baby was part of Ruhi’s body, an extension of herself. Kash would act and Ruhi would react. At night she’d get up every hour on the dot to check on her, to see she was breathing, to feed her. During the day she carried her around in some kind of a cocoon she had bought online–she said it made the baby feel warm and safe.
I’m ashamed to say I felt a trifle ignored.
I was missing the singular attention, the pampering, the loving caresses, the wonderful food Ruhi spoiled me with. Now it was just the quick fixes. I admit I felt like a jealous lover. I rushed away in a huff, into the woods, to our place, the secret spot we called our own. We had discovered it one day, a few days after Ruhi had found out she was pregnant and had begun to worry and get restless. What if I lose the baby, she said. I berated her in no uncertain terms and told her she was foolish to think so. I prescribed daily wanderings as an antidote and distraction. The secret spot wasn’t much– the hollowed out underbelly of a giant boulder, hidden from general view. Ruhi and I would sit there for hours and watch the sun go down.
What did I expect? For her to come rushing after me, console me and say darling I love you, please come back? Perhaps because I was hurt when she didn’t. But then how could she? She had someone to care for, barely a few days old, tiny and helpless, And that someone was a product of my own loins. Shameful! I was behaving like a thirty year old baby.
Grow up Shaan! You better come around and face it.You are a husband and a dad. You have a family now. Get on with it!
I ran back. It was my baby and my wife, nothing else.
Once again I settled into the role of the silent spectator.