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Grand Revelation

How does it feel to be a grandparent? I can't believe you are a grandmother! How could you leave Mina and go back to Virginia? You have to move closer to them! Just because you didn't have help when you had kids doesn't mean that you cannot help them!


Wow, I had no idea we'd be put under the microscope with the arrival of Mina.


When our grandparent friends told us that we were about to experience a life-altering moment, we were like... "sure"...without full comprehension.


The impact of their statement is slowly unfurling.


The overwhelming feeling when Neil called to say, "She is here and all is well!" was relief - unbridled relief for the baby and for Humera.

When I was young and having babies, I never stopped to consider the miracle of pregnancy and birth. Millions of things have to go right for that pronouncement and all it takes it one errant gene, one disease, one accident, one mistake for catastrophe.


After relief came amazement at Mina's perfection.


Her fingers and toes are exactly how they should be. All that hair, with a natural part nonetheless. The way she slowly opens her eyes and then closes them as if the light is too much. Her soulful cry when she's hungry and her angry screams when her diaper is wet. The unforced smiles. The occasional guffaw. The way she grabs the bottle with her mouth after swinging her head right and left. All of it brings awe at how she knows what to do!


Then came shock and hyperventilation.


This little one that has to learn language and math and history and literature and tech and science and we have just a few years to build the foundation. She also has to navigate the world of social media and politics, not to mention misogyny. Thoughts to make us go weak in the knees.


We rapidly buried shock under the rug and moved on to excitement.


We assigned a portfolio to each one in the family. Tarun has cooking and math, I have tech and crafts and so on. The idea is that we will focus on our core strengths and widen her net for interaction, knowledge, and curiosity. The best portfolio went to Neil - he is the Minister of Fun and Sports.


Holding her straight up and snuggling in her neck to inhale a combination of baby lotion and formula is just the most amazing sensory journey. Our myriad thoughts become encapsulated in that single breath - our hopes, our dreams, our joys, our worries, and our astonishment at how we did life without her!


We are beginning to understand what is life altering: having her to love and hold, her potential, and the chance to be part of the village that will help her thrive. From harried parents we now have the luxury of time and and the ability to focus on the big picture. The snuggles, cuddles, kisses, and hugs are the fuel that will keep us going.


Mina, you are many things at once - one with gilded helmet, precious blue gem, love, will, protector. Your name evokes a multitude of emotions in Sanskrit, Arabic, English, German, and Japanese, Hebrew, and Dutch.


Dadu (grandpa) repeating the numbers, even though you think he speaks gibberish, will be transformative soon enough. Until then, stay safe, be well, sleep tight, and smile generously.


Thank you for adjusting to this big, bright, boisterous world and helping our relief, amazement and excitement kick shock in the shins.


Onwards, little Mina, keep the revelations coming!



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