I Dnot have moneys

An old one today, I wrote this one a few years ago. Yes, tis recycle day here 🙂

I see her scribbling furiously on a piece of paper as I walk past her room. She is dressed in a dinosaur pyjama set and is wearing a terry towelled bathing robe even though the temperature outside is around a sultry 45 degrees. I open the door to her room and take in the tiny pout, the ponytails,
and the small hand clutching a much chewed pencil. Scribbled on a white A4 sheet are jagged little lines forming the words “I DNOT HAVE” . The pencil is poised for another stroke, she is in the process of writing the letter M.

 “What are you doing, baby?” I ask her, as I settle down beside her.

She looks up at me with relief flooding her face.

“How do you write Money, Mum?” she asks.

I hold her little hand and guide her through the word, all the while wondering where this activity is headed.

 I am asked to look after the little poster even as she scurries around the room looking for a ‘cup’.

An empty popcorn cup is located, the ‘ I DNOT HAVE MONEY’ poster is taken from my hands and she settles down on the floor with the poster in front of her and the cup next to it.

“I don’t have money of my own, Mummy”, she explains, “I sawed on the news that someone who didn’t have money asked for some moneys like this”.

Something inside me turns to butterflies. A mother’s heart is made of gossamer threads.  I put her on my lap but she wriggles off and sits down next to the poster again. Her face is beaming, her eyes are a-twinkling.

“You know how the nice lady on the news had no money and she asked for some? She had a poster like this one and they gived money to her, remember?”, she asks.

I take in the cherubic face, the eager smile, the uneven handwriting and the plastic cup. I am struggling to come to terms with her dress up. A part of me wants applauds her earnestness and her resourcefulness and laugh off the poster. But that heart with gossamer threads is throbbing and at this moment I want to do nothing more than presenting this child of mine with the all the stars in the world so that she will never need anything in life again.

 For every child like mine in a comfortable house in the suburbs, there is a five year old out there for whom this game is not make believe. A child that misses it milestones because it was busy fighting hunger and the cold. A child that knows pain and hurt like the back of its tiny, feeble, still-growing hand.

 Something inside me breaks into a thousand little smithereens. This little child on the streets is a child like mine. A child that is scared of the dark and of thunder storms and loves soap bubbles and giggles when tickled. As a mother, every emotion is magnified many times over. No one tells you that when you have a child,you get instant membership to a club where the suffering of every child in the world ends up affecting you. You learn without any warning that indifference is the first thing sacrificed at the altar of motherhood. Suddenly war and poverty and abuse are suddenly as true as the monsters lurking underneath your bed and just as near.

I hold her tight and hug her for a long time till she starts squealing. I spend the next few minutes stroking her errant curls and explaining to her that she needs to give back what she has, that some people are not as fortunate and that she needs to share whenever she can.

 She listens eagerly and her little face lights up at the thought of helping someone. I am given an emphatic promise that she will help the next needy person we see. I get up to make dinner and ask her if she would like some popcorn. She nods, sunshine tiptoes into the room again.

 Sweet child of mine, my prayer for you is not that you will never want. Rather I hope that your wishes be fulfilled when you want something. And more importantly, that you have the strength to take disappointment in your stride when you are deprived of something you desire.

 But mostly I will pray that you will share with those whose needs are greater than yours. When all is done and said, like they say, takers eat well and givers sleep well.

 Miss A, for your sake and mine, I hope we both sleep well.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Captain Nemo
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 04:55:46

    Hope you and Ms. A had a wonderful Gudi Padwa, wishing the two of you have a wonderful year ahead.
    And echoing your last line, I am sure you shall sleep well always because between the two of you, you have taught enough little nuggets on the art of life and spread enough sunshine to my (sometimes) dreary life…
    A lovely heartwarming blog… Loved it, as usual. Thanks.


  2. Rajavel
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 11:41:21

    These innocent moments of learning or seeing new things are almost scary ! One never knows what goes on inside that little head as they ask a question and then just stare !


  3. scarlettletters
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 13:39:21

    Thanks Captain, I am touched by your lovely comment. Wordless 🙂

    Rajavel, it is scary. Sometimes I realise that I am scared every time she believes in something and it takes a lot of effort to quell my own doubts and leave her faith intact.


  4. Priya Mani
    Apr 08, 2011 @ 20:42:22

    Came here from Unmana’s blog. This is so heartbreakingly beautiful! You sure have an amazing way with words. My best wishes – Priya


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