Health Goddess

Time and tide and all that

The other day, I took the morning off and went to meet my girlfriend for brunch.

We’ve known each other since we were 13 and suffice to say, we have seen each other through the ages: from the awkward teenage years to our youthful 20s to the current 30s. When we first knew each other, we were mere wisps of girls, at the beginning of our journey. Now, we are mothers to a brood of five in total, over a relatively short span of two years. While we once used to lament our lack of fertility over many cups of tea, we now chat about our kids’ tantrums and illnesses over Whatsapp.

That morning, we looked at each other and said, man, we’ve aged.

And we certainly have. Or at least, I have.

Time is cruel to the human body. So is motherhood.

Oh, I am definitely very happy with my body and thankful that it was able to house and incubate my two babies healthily and safely. But the subsequent months of becoming a mother, that took a toll on my physical health and my looks.

Some days, I look at photos of myself in my 20s and I am startled by just how much I have changed. The youthful vibrance has all but vanished under the yoke of exhaustion. My eyes have seen so much more and the crow’s feet surrounding them are a testament to that. The lines, ah the lines, they have taken over my face and are insidiously creeping about, as if determined to create a network of railway tracks all over.

I’m not enlightened enough to say that what I see reflected in the mirror does not affect me. It does. I sigh and tell the husband that I have aged, and I am most certainly not an example of fine wine and gracious ageing. He says all the right things which makes me feel a tad better but I also know that he is simply being nice.

But at the same time, I am not bothered enough to kill myself over it. I still stick to a relatively simple routine of wash-moisturise-sunblock. No fancy brands, just products you can pick up at the drugstore. Perhaps I am in denial, hah! No, scratch that, it’s mostly because I don’t have time and I really can’t be arsed to apply 10 different serums on my face.

So I suppose I am doomed, really, until my kids start sleeping consistently through the night. Maybe when they turn 18?

I guess now is also the time for me to go into a spiel about how beauty is skin deep and inner beauty matters. And it is true. I am much happier in my 30s than I was in my 20s. And I’d like to think, nay PRAY, that this inner confidence and serenity will eventually find its way to my face.

(Also, I would say botox, except the thought of needles stuck into my face scares the shit outta me.)

Almost – gulps – 10 years ago
Happy 30s
Letters to, Zac

11 months of Zac

Dearest Zac,

I have been your mama for 11 months (well, more if you consider that I became your mama from the day you were made) and I really should not be surprised by the notion of speed when it comes to you. And yet you take me by surprise all the time.

After all, it seems like we merely blinked and you changed from that tiny little mewling newborn to this funny, feisty not-so-little fellow. We laughed and there it was, your very first step. It feels like you are dashing through life, eager to experience anything and everything that it has to offer.

And I can’t slow you down or slow time down.

Let’s talk baby steps. One evening, you were pushing your way up to standing. I smiled at you and you smiled back at me, and then you looked like you were going to take your first step towards me. I screamed “no!” and you plopped back down on your cushy bum, nonchalant and as if nothing had happened. My heart pounded a little, as the first sprigs of realisation that you are zipping towards your first birthday took shape.

A few days later, there it was, your very first wobbly step. And then a few days later, a few more wobbly steps followed the first.

You may not quite know the significance of your first step, bubba, but oh how they mean the world to me. It represents the start of your journey away from babyhood, 11 months after your birth. I am still trying to come to terms with how fast time seems to fly by with you and here you are, walking towards me with that impish smile on that face that I gaze upon every night as you sleep. Your first steps signal the first of many more to come and from that moment on, I will forever be chasing in your footsteps as you grow up and away from me.

How I wish I could keep you in this moment forever – always my baby, always little and always so joyful, always untainted by the world, always unscarred by the challenges and rejections that life has in store for you and everyone else.

But I know I can’t, I have to let you go. All I can do is to prepare you for the road ahead, hold your tiny hand in mine until you are ready to walk on your own, and then let you find your own way. That’s the best present that I can give to you as your mother.

Right now, I am your favourite person. Every evening, I look forward to coming home and calling for you, and hearing the series of loud piak piak piak that signals your arrival at the door. Your excitement at seeing your big brother and me home is so infectious and so amazing to watch – you love to sit on your butt and bounce up and down. And then I’d step in and there you’ll be, at my feet and tugging at legs, asking to be carried. And once you are in my arms, you’d gaze upon our little world, as if to say that everything is right, now.

The other morning, you woke up earlier than I did. Oh heck, you wake up earlier than I do every morning. Anyway, the other morning, you were sitting there grumbling about being the only one awake when you caught sight of me sneaking a look at you. Your face broke out into the biggest grin and you immediately leaned over to give me the sweetest open-mouthed kiss with an exuberant “mmmmm”. And then you did it again.

Oh you just know how to melt my heart.

So, a couple more weeks till you turn one. We’ll be celebrating, loudly and joyfully. For you, my darling Zac, are turning ONE!

It’s going to be one helluva ride, my littlest man.

11 months of Zac

Love you to the moon and back,
Mama