Thursday, March 22, 2012

Meet Robert

A day after I posted my blog about Buddy Bear, I got a fan mail... from my mom…

She started her letter with the following: “Dear Zuma. I am very sorry that you feel like you had a toy-less childhood, but I truly hope that all the books you read and travels we traveled made up for it somehow…”

I felt really bad that my mom thought that I was unhappy that I did not have many toys when I was growing up – times were different then so we would hang out with neighborhood kids outside, read, travel… Of course, mom would also never let my sister and I eat ice-cream before dinner, or indulge on chocolate, or stay at the beach passed noon…

Well, I am more relaxed than my mom, I think. Sometimes I let Alex buy useless toys or have a cupcake before dinner if he wants to… and once in a while I even let my boys to stay in the sun past noon… as long as they re-apply sunscreen every few hours…

Today morning, as I sat to do some work, Varuzh, who was organizing drawers filled with old stuff, turned to me holding an old VCR tape. “Look what I found,” he said. “This is our Christmas 98 home video!”  He then disappeared into the garage and fished out our old VCR player and connected it to the TV set. What a great excuse to delay my work, I thought! So Varuzh, Alex, our dog Lucy and I got comfortable on the couch ready to watch the video. 
 Varuzh, Robert and I 
I always get pretty nostalgic when I watch home videos, so I prepared a tissue box by my side, just in case.

1998! How did the time pass so fast?  Where were we then, and where we are now? And where will we be another decade from now? In 1998 I had dark long hair and Varuzh... had hair... We were so much more care-free and so hopeful that the future would somehow work itself out. Alex was not born then, so it was just three of us – Varuzh, myself and Robert…

…Meet Robert, our first baby boy who, in 1998, was six-years-old…

Varuzh and I were young parents, and raising Robert as we were growing up ourselves. We lived then in a small one bedroom apartment – the money was tight… very tight. But we did not really worry about it because the future was ahead of us! We were a very happy trio and did everything together. Following my mom’s example, we were saving money to be able to travel, we were teaching Robert to read and count from the age of three. And by six, Robert already earned the first place at the California Chess Championship…

Don’t judge me please, I was not a tiger mom! I never even thought that it was healthy for kids. Robert was just doing it all with such ease… and I, on my end, showered him with hugs and kisses and lots of love.

As I watched the old tape, my heart filled with warmth from Robert’s cute face and big curly hair. In the video I was giving him lots of hugs and kisses and placed three carefully wrapped presents under the tree. All three presents were for Robert. But what came next made me gasp – when Robert unwrapped the presents, and placed them in front of him, there I saw… three big thick books: a collection of classic folk tales, a science encyclopedia and a pretty technical book about astronomy.

Varuzh and I looked at each other with horror – Did we really do that? Did we really give these three books to a six-year-old boy? We did not give him a Paddington Bear book, or a toy, or a sweater! We gave him big thick science books!


I jumped from the couch and ran to Robert’s room and checked the bookshelf to find these books. They were still there… unread...

Phew!.. Thankfully, I never made him read those books...

…You don’t hear much about Robert because he only comes home for holidays – he is twenty years old now and will be graduating from university next year. Three years ago Robert decided that he wanted to study Astrophysics...

Hmm, maybe I got him those books because that was what he wanted?.. He told me recently that he had always wanted to see the Earth from the Moon… and still does…

Spring Break is around the corner. The thought that Robby is coming home fills my heart with an incredible feeling of warmth and love. I understand that parents of young children cannot really relate to this feeling, but to me it is similar to the feeling I had when I picked Robert up from daycare for the first time after missing him for entire three hours. And believe me, it feels as if it was just yesterday.

He is flying in tonight. Home will be whole again…

With love, always,
xo Zuma A.



1 comment:

  1. This was the best one ever! I loved it so much! I reread ir twice!

    ReplyDelete

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