We are going on a 6 hour road trip this Friday. Meeting up with family in Dharwad for a nephew's ceremony. And then we return on Monday.
I have been a bit under the weather since last afternoon. So while Raghu and I were settling into a nap.. he asked who would be coming to this family meet and how long the trip would take and other related questions. Then he asked me if the Car/jeep we are hiring has a DVD player. (we don't have one .. portable or otherwise. But Raghu had experienced a Family van with inbuilt DVD player a while back.... again a longish road trip... the DVD player was used non stop by Raghu. It bothered some of us. We were a large group.)
Back to his question.... I barely did any deep breathing or checking of my emotions... i simply blurted out "Raghu if you want to keep watching videos while we travel thru lovely fields.. the trip is on a good road known for a beautiful ride.... then you may as well stay back with your grandma." He looked surprised at my outburst and said "no, no i'll come."
At that moment i could think of nothing else to say except "we really want a road trip to enjoy the sights and be exchange stories and sing along with our CD player etc. So we did not consider hiring a car with a DVD player." Then my head throbbed too much to talk. and we fell asleep.
A few hours later i had a quiet walk (baby sitter at home) and called sister for advice about this... she is my baby-sister all grown up now... and she is the one who gets RU the best. She and i discussed my choice. But i did not feel good inside. I felt rotten.
I called Urmila (the only other RU mom in Pune). Based on what we exchanged.... i felt a lovely shift happening inside:
Raghu's choices are as best as they can be for him... as are mine for me. I love watching the rolling fields and talking to Ravi and kids and exchanging stories/singing along with cds etc. I love stopping and tasting some local food item (food and language changes every 50 km in india i think :-) Or taking a small detour and stretching our legs and clicking a few photos. Raghu, per his current interests, would love to carry his DS Nintendo and enjoy our company alongside his playing. He does not mind not having a DVD player since he has his DS. He may want different things from this trip than i do. If he does nto choose to enjoy the scenery the way i do... i need to stay smiling.. happy for his choices. And i can continue to enjoy my choices... i can stop the car and stretch and take in the view. And i shall smile at my child's and husband's choices. We all make different choices and they must be honored as far as possible.
I immediately felt a weight lift and i felt light and airy. We can all be happy and supportive of each other. I can't even begin to write the ramifications of coercive living... but i can begin to write about the beauty of RU living. No one is martyred.
Zoya has been feeling sad whenever Raghu is on the DS for too many hours of the day and he refuses to join our games. But i make up for his absence as best i can. Last evening she told me that she wanted to get her own DS. I said yes... that was a great idea. She smiled and kissed me and said... "me happy, you happy?" Then she thought a bit and said "I will play with Raghu". :-)
Sure... i'm not fond of screen time for myself... but if it is a passion for my child or children... i shall make shifts within and accept their choices... as they accept mine. Raghu i'm sure would never stop me from taking a break for photos while we are on the road. He is so reasonable about our choices. Why can't we joyously accept his?
So looking forward to this trip and to making it joyous for all of us with our different/overlapped/similar needs.