What Matters Most

Yesterday, I turned 36.  And, I chose to celebrate my birthday by taking the day off, and spending it with my family.  Lunch with my better half, play time with the kids, and finally, dinner with my family and in-laws.  In short, one of the nicest birthdays I’ve had in a long time.

I was just thinking about that when I chanced upon another interesting post by my good friend – Neeraj.  Now, I’m not a fan of the obscure titles he choses for his blog posts, but he does churn out some thought-provoking stuff.  His recent post – Tempus Fugit – is one such example.

Preserving each memory of their children into jpegs and mpegs, struggling to find more storage, more space, more pen drives, more hard drives. Anything that could bring them closer to the myriad ways they knew their kids. I thought growing up sounded pretty hard for a parent.

I was wrong. It’s much worse.

… Possibly in a bid to rationalize my muddled priorities a couple years ago I asked myself whether it’s easier to connect with your child when he/she’s a little older and able to communicate. Maybe. Then I lapsed back into my blue funk when I realized the difference between “connect” and “bond”. Those videos of me and Tyke when he was a baby or a babbling brook weren’t of vedic instructions repeated flawlessly by an eager ward. They were of delight, joy, warmth, bonding with your child and discovering what it means to be a dad. Unfortunately, there’s only 60 videos worth of me getting there.

I remember the time I had traded in my Royal Enfield bullet (350cc classic bike) for a camcorder, when Pumpkin was born.  Seven years have passed since that day, and I am left richer with megabytes of memories by way of still photos, videos, mobile pics and blog posts… memories that we as a family will cherish for years to come.  And, through this blog, I hope to leave behind a legacy of these moments for my children – a way for them to relive their formative years – something I was not fortunate to have as a child.

Yes, I still long for a ride on a bullet, and turn my head every time I pass one on the streets.  But, I have no regrets for the tradeoffs I’ve made in my life, since my children were born.  They bring an incredible amount of joy, fascination, amazement and wonder to our lives – just being with those two little people can do all that!

Neeraj sums it up beautifully, when we writes:

Today, I’m heavily invested in things I’m always going to hold on to for the rest of my life; a family, children, work and friends – online and offline. The first two will always deserve more than their fairshare and the other two will always demand more than their fairshare. It’s up to me to balance those inequities before time runs out.

You and me, both, I say.

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