For the girls.

First of all, I want to thank the lovely Akansha for featuring me on her blog! I had so much fun chatting with her about yoga, healthy eating, my travel journeys, and some of my favorite mantras! You can read about our chat here on her blog!

Have you ever felt so old and experienced and yet so young and naive at the same time?

I’ve attracted a fan club of little girls here at the ashram in Chennai. They call me Sonia didi, Sonia, the big sister.

These girls listen to me, watch my every move with adoring, innocent, fascination, and sometimes even copy me. They give undivided attention to my suggestions, advice, and especially my stories of when I was a little girl like them. Apparently I am still “young and cool” enough to be their friend.  Whew. Ah, it’s been storytime all the time. So many memories.

I love their company. It reminds me of how I look up with adoration to a few special role models in my own life. It makes me remember, laugh, groan about the silly things that I did. It makes me feel incredibly special to be able to connect with these little ones and help them see things more clearly than perhaps their parents can. I feel it is my duty to give them my time. Completely. And to impart whatever knowledge I have to them. Honestly.

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THE CURIOUS FIVE-YEAR-OLD who wants to explore my purse, ruffle my hair, inspect my earrings and aum pendant that I wear around my neck. She’s the youngest, the purest, the loudest one with her monster scream of excitement. She just can’t believe that I was once little. And that I also didn’t like to practice the piano. I tell her that even though brothers are mean sometimes, they secretly love you. She squeaks, “Really?!” We read. We eat watermelon. I teach her how to play UNO, my all time favorite game. She doesn’t really understand it quite yet.

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THE SOPHISTICATED SEVEN-YEAR-OLD who copies the way I am folding my hands at the table and helps me make the tea by standing on a chair next to me with the jar of sugar. She watches me intently as I am dipping a biscuit in the tea and then bursts out laughing when I can’t eat it fast enough and it plonks into my cup. Then it becomes her game. Slowly she forgets about trying to be a grown up and sneaks her way into my lap, excitedly going through all my photos on my Ipad. Pausing to loudly express her yum! to the photos of when I made chocolate covered strawberries.Wow! to the yoga photos of me standing upside down. Awwwwww! to the Luke photos. We both can’t resist petting his nose on the screen.Can you believe that I was once terrified of this creature when I was her age? We think it’s just so funny. Then she wants to do some yoga so we become like trees, balancing on one leg.

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And then the teenagers, thirteens and fourteens. These guys are the most entertaining to me because they bring up the most hilarious memories of my confused monster days. Always in a huff of skepticism. Sideways secret glancing at their reflection every opportunity they get. Experimenting with eyeliner and glued to their cell phones. Pretending to be un-interested in me until I compliment their shirt or grab their attention with an embarrassing story from my past…I have oh so many.

I tell them about my epic battle with my parents for the right to wear spaghetti straps and mini skirts. We groan. And about how I used to spend a whole hour straightening my hair each morning before school, while my mom and Jonathan would yell at me for getting them late. We laugh. I sympathize with their awful loads of homework and assured them that I was and still am secretly a nerd. And that boys really really like nerds ;). More laughs.

I agree that parents are embarrassing and will never stop being embarrassing, so you just have to learn to love them for it. I tell them about how my mom still likes to pick up slang phrases like “It’s all good in the hood” and “yolo” to use in front of everyone, and about how my dad does magic tricks to random children in the airport. We can’t stop laughing now. I assure them that even though moms are sometimes crazy, they are incredible special. They have this power of always knowing, sensing what is right.

I explain that even though it was cool in middle school, I never got comfortable in saying bad words because I thought they sounded ugly coming out of my mouth. And how I discovered that it doesn’t matter whether you put on loads of make up or are just in your old pajamas because true beauty comes from within.

I feel a tad old when I am with these girls, but as soon as I leave their space, it takes just a gust of wind for me to feel like a baby again. Curious, wide-eyed, and inexperienced. So much to learn, see, realize. Worried and confused about the silly things. Happy and comforted to slip under the wings of wise ones, knowledge ones, and ones that have gray hair. Pacified with a tight hug and chocolate.

Goodness. I was a handful back in the day. Probably still am. :)

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My life in this moment, now, will soon be another story to tell later on.

 

Much love,

More later,

SONIA

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