No mother, who has woken up at two in the night, to check a child’s fever would fail to relate to the expression, ” Flying on a prayer.”
Life boils down to, no pun intended, to praying for restoring that normal sleeping child, who flays her limbs around, and giggles in her sleep. The doctor suddenly becomes a saintly figure and every blood test, a moment of possible insane terror.
But when the things return to normal, we forget to say, Thank You. Somehow, we have a short memory of gratitude.
” So finally we beat the virus, eh?” I joke , painfully without humour.
” I did not cry during the blood test” , says the little girl.
” You missed a lot of school,” quips the elder one, slightly envious.
” I missed my dance,” little girl pouts .
” What is the meaning of ruthless?” She asks suddenly, out of context.
” Without mercy. Where did you read that?” Her sister queries. ” In the Goblet of Fire?”
” No. In a page about Florence.”
” The De Medici family, eh?”
” How do you know?”
” Because..well, because,” grins her sister.
I look on bemused.
” They were ruthless,” I help. ” Brilliant, cultured, power hungry, ruthless.”
” Something like your virus,” offers my elder girl helpfully.
” It beat almost two antibiotics did it not? It mastered counter moves. I would not call it cultured, cough! But power hungry for controlling your throat and quite ruthless about it too.” She bursts out laughing.
My little girl gives us a Victoria- look. “We are not amused”, she says, without saying.
The sugar of sisterly squabbles after a week of fever.
” By the way ma, did you know that they add salt to bitter chocolate to trick the brain to think it sweet?” Asks my Quiz professional.
I did not know that.
I only know that I love both the salt and the sugar.
I live for these moments. The most precious taste of mortal life.
She is filling up her College admission forms. So many essay prompts. In between she checks with me.
” A person who has significantly influenced your life,” she reads aloud.
I look on, very hopefully.
” He played the bongos,” she explains and starts to scribble her draft.
I am speechless.
” Feynman of course! Come on, ma, ” she laughs, ” you really did not think I would write about anyone else.”
To tell the God honest truth, I did.
I pray silently.
May the salt of your brow, my daughter, win you your dreams.