April 5, 2011
All of us parents look at our children as babies. It’s a simple fact. Somehow it becomes tough for us to visualize them as grownups, even when they are!
Yesterday while playing golf my muscles cramped up and over the course of the evening it went from bad to worse. Today when I decided to go to In Motion Rehab (run by Mark Plaatjes who was a world marathon record holder in his running days), Raka decided to come to be with me.
Mark looked at my injury and diagnosed severe muscle stress and possible tears. Soon physical therapy began and Raka wanted to next to me during the process. When I looked at her with eyebrows raised, she said immediately, “You sit next to me when I am hurt, so I can sit here too.”
I was in too much pain to protest anything. As Mark started unweaving the tight muscles, I started feeling pain I have rarely felt before. At that instant Raka asked me to hold her hand. I did. Then she asked me to press her hand as tightly as I could. I did not understand the reason for this madness so she explained, “If you focus your energy here, then your lower body will be at ease and you will not feel the pain as much.”
I was amazed at Raka’s wisdom. I had no reason not to try and soon I realized Raka was right. Then I heard Mark’s voice asking “Arjun, do you have any issues with needles?”
Before I could respond two things happened: First Raka said, “I cannot stand needles,” second I felt the first needle hit my right calf muscle. The pain was excruciating, but I also have known Mark long enough to realize that he knew what he was doing and he was not going to stop.
My attention focused on Raka. I was glad she was scared of needles… I was too! Every time I have ever taken Raka for a shot, even when I was holding her as a small child, I had to look elsewhere when the needle went in. I cannot see shots or needles in action. She was truly my baby!
As I was indulging in these silly thoughts and after quite some time I realized Raka was still next to me. I could not believe she has not gone or become distracted. In fact she kept telling me ahead of time where the next needle would be. I simply could not believe that she was looking at the needles, but then she truly crossed the line.
“Dad, do you want me to take a picture so that you can see the needles?”
For once I had a determined and quick answer, “NO.” This needed no clarifier.
Soon the thought of Raka sitting next to me, evolved to a stage where I have never been able to get, overshadowed the pain of the needles. Somehow while holding her hands I dozed off. When I woke up, Raka was still holding my hands, but she was no longer my little baby. It seemed to me that she had grown into an adult while I dozed off.
But we all know the growing up did not happen during my snooze. So when did it happen? How did I miss it?
Or is it that I wanted to see my baby as a little baby?
I love you baby!