some pics with the NJ cousins

At the rustic farm…. Raghu and the kids loved the Trampoline… it was in an open-sided veranda. We caught several tadpoles and little fish in our handy net and touched and enjoyed slipping them back into a little stream on the same property. The Tree house was named after Robinson Crusoe and was built about 15 years ago. We were still dealing with the heat and mosquitoes and hence did not stay in the tree-house area for too long. The stream was the favourite hang-out. While hanging out at the cottage Raghu discovered the pleasures of Dumb-charades, also called “give us a clue”. He repeatedly performed Ben 10 Secret of the Omnitrix and several other movies for us to guess. The game was a hit with the cousins… both played out several difficult titles and many other quickies. We spent over 2 hours with this game. It was quite rustic given that there was no electricity the first evening… only came back late night. But we all had fun.

A new experience for Raghu

Raghu took the morning flight to Bangalore today with his older cousins and Mami who have come to visit India from New Jersey. It was an ideal opportunity for Raghu to experience travel with family he loves and be with my parents and sisters in Bangalore. So when we asked him if he would like to go… he said yes! He was clear that if he needed us suddenly it would be hard for us to come right away… but if the need was urgent we’d come. After more than a year here in India he now seemed ready for this big step of a 3 day sleep-over… which is what it essentially is.
He will return with them on Sunday evening. He was so excited but also calm and self-assured.

Besides my parents who he is very comfortable with, I sense that his deep connection with my youngest sister (who lived with us from the time Raghu was born till he was about 3) is also the one reason he is so willing to go to Bangalore without Ravi and me around. And its a short trip and its air travel (which he loves) with his 8 and 10 year old boy-cousins who he loves interacting with. All in all a winner of a trip.

His cousins and Mami (my cousin’s wife and my very dear friend) have been with us a few days. We enjoyed their company and Raghu got to play DS with them… like a multi-play thing. Raghu loved trying out their DS cartridges. They all bicycled and scootered around our complex and also experienced some rustic living near by at a farm. Its been wonderful to see these nephews after almost 2 years. We lived 15 minutes away from them in NJ and have been close to them from the time they were born. So a deep connection for all of us.

So Zoya, who is upset that she could not go, and I are going to focus entirely on each other today… or atleast i’m going to focus on her totally and see what special things we can do for the next 3 days. We’ve boiled some eggs and have painted them and used tons of glitter glue to decorate. We’ll see how the morning unfolds.

I’m very excited for Raghu but miss him already.

My new word for the day

I sometimes will look up words on Wiki just to follow a trail of links… its fun.
Today i found: Autodidacticism link:
I love it. Its exactly what seems to be happening in this house.

Raghu and Zoya will be helped along when they need it and will hopefully always be given rich environments to draw upon…. but ultimately its them pushing themselves thru life and its mysteries… because they want to thrive, learn and become more than they are. Its back to the best example there is: A baby wanting to walk and talk and make stuff happen just like the adults around him. No time-limits, no artificial gains, no coercion. Just be around them and interact and follow their needs… and they respond. Its amazing.

This example always lets me get out of my children’s paths and let them be. So when Raghu says 60 + 60 is 1200, right amma? and i say.. actually its 120 and offer to show him why… and he says no thank you, not right now… i say okay and let it lie. A few minutes later he comes back and says oh actually its 600 plus 600, right amma? He knows a lot. Some days he wants me to show him… and some days he does not. But that does not mean he is not figuring things out constantly in his head.

Some more belated pics

Raghu and Zoya had their first over-night train journey to Hyderabad recently… you can see them in the upper-bunk… and then with several cousins having a shower to beat the heat and posing with some of them.

Oh and then you have Raghu cooking up another of his witch’s brews that according to him can kill Lord Voldemort. And the little costco-lion we bought years ago was given a makeover by Zoya this morning… i helped put some lipstick and some eyeshadow on. Zoya took this photo… so i could not get the little detail included…. the lion’s tail has some bangles on it! I thought it was great how she managed to use most of her preferred accessories despite the lion not having any arms or typical human features.

Some pics from recent times…

That last pic is the one that makes me very happy. I love having loads of kids in my house and each following some crazy path that makes the evening change from moment to moment. It gets chaotic… but its lovely to watch. This pic was when we had 9 kids in the house…. i think quite a few were captured in this pic. It was from a time when Raghu wanted to serve his friends a special meal etc.