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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Could they be sensing the lacuna?

Since we got back, Ana seems to be having dreams that make her sad. On and off. Not every night, thankfully.

Tonight, about half hour after she fell asleep she started to bawl, almost wail. And when asked what's wrong, she simply said she had a sad dream. I asked her what was in her dream. She was vague about it. Understandably. I know sometimes I wake up with a terrible melancholy gripping me not really knowing what caused it... and sometimes I wake up with my heart pounding but can't remember what scared me either.

I tried to hold her, rock her and talk about her feelings.

Now, I know kids her age have nightmares and such. It is part of the developmental process. But, it seems rather frequent and sudden for my comfort ever since we got back from India.

Now, I am not one for making sweeping generalizations. But, I am trained to hypothesize based on empirical evidence. So, I am typing away, late at night, with Cary Elwes for company trying to crack me up with his Robinhood, wondering if the kids are somehow missing their dad more than I can fathom...

How are they processing D's temporary absence? Is the lacuna too large for them to take in stride?

It just feels a little scary to see the usually sunny and sweet Ana all shook up and sad...

p.s: Gauri's words rang so true in her note to me that I had to share here:
Sometimes we don't give kids due respect - in the sense that we feel that they are too young to be processing things that "we feel" are beyond them. But truth be told, kids are extremely perceptive - at times, I would venture as far as to say that they are a lot more perceptive than us adults. Probably vocalising it becomes difficult for them because they are not able to express themselves through language as effectively as adults.
Thanks for taking the time, Gauri, and thanks to Blogger for failing so I could get this personal note from you :)

I so agree with you, Gauri, about kids being very perceptive... Ana has always been sensitive to changes.

She is very aware and seems to understand and process the fact that Appa is far away to touch and hug, but, never too far away to see and talk to - thanks to video chat.

But, how she emotionally deals with the constant physical distance/absence for nearly 3 months now is a mystery for me. Like you said, I have the vocabulary to express it and get it out of my system but she doesn't yet have it...

Meanwhile, picking plums and pears, running in the backyard, making caterpillar art, rediscovering her old block puzzles, coloring and doodling, and singing songs we make up should all be for the good as she initiates and sustains the activities on her own with very little nudgefrom me...

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At 1:10 AM, Blogger L said...

Just a thought on this...could you give her a picture of Krishna or any God that she connects to - one that she could think of, hold/pray when she feels this sadness or fear? It will surely calm her down and even lay the foundation to keep her faith and connect to this Existence even later on in her life when she is feeling low...

Maybe you can show her this:

Take care and much peace to the li'l one..may she not be troubled by these nightmares anymore...


At 12:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


she is getting used to her nest. And defnitely missing her dad terribly. She will settle into her usual routine as soon she goes to school and after seeing her dad.

Og has been coming eagerly to me ever since he was a baby. I still remember the first time when he came home he came to me without any fuss and put his head down on my shoulder. I can still feel his soft cheeks. May be he sees "you" in me.

I need to visit you girls soon : ).


At 9:20 AM, Blogger Sheela said...

Thanks, Lakshmi, very nice of you to leave me a heartfelt note. Ana is already quite aware of Krishna and Shiva and Ganesha and Hanuman... I am sure over time she will find her faith, as long as He graces her.

CS: Ya, Ana is back at her familiar place but doesn't see her favorite Appa, that is a fact... and once he is back, she'll probably try to monopolize all his free time and he will let her :)

And about Og, Yeah, I remember that time - we came to your house after seeing Santa, and Og was very happy - and he was only 8-9 months old then...

But, you should've seen him after that - he changed quite a bit - Nana will attest to how clingy he was to me and how much he was crying all the time - he was not a happy baby for a while...

And then he got better - he would be fine if he didn't see me at all, but, if he sees me he has to stay stuck to me...

Even recently, when my SIL and her husband stopped by, Og went easily to him but not to my SIL. ALL Babies easily go to my SIL usually, she has 3 of her own!

But, Oggie is certainly showing signs of easing back - all those trips to the park is making him happier :)

And, please, don't change your mind - I am expecting to see you on Saturday :)


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