Disclaimer : A rant ahead and the views are not meant to offend anyone. The thoughts are entirely mine and as always I am open to any candid comments.
A close friend of mine has a son four months elder to Chiyaa . We often talk in jest that we will get our kids married (I know ridiculous !) Last month coincidentally on her birthday I was on leave from work. I called up to wish her and when she asked the reason for taking leave I said in jest How could I not have taken a leave on my daughter's mom in law's(the relationship called samdhan in Hindi) birthday. To which she said that she never received a gift from me. I told her that I might come and surprise her as the gift (Weeeeee!!!) . And her reply was that would be a bit too much. We went on to discuss that our kids might thus end up spoiling our friendship and we cancelled the alliance.
The conversation was all in humour.
But it heckled me. Didn't that small conversation reflect our psyche? Would the answer have been same if it was the daughter's mother-in-law who wanted to surprise you? Would it also have been a 'bit too much?' How many families know to the minutest detail the names of the cousin's of the son-in-law. Even where they might be working! How many household's know the exact designation of their daughter-in-law's father? Why should the alliances threaten existing relationships? Why should the old friendship metamorphose to pander to rotten traditions of how in laws should behave?
Yes I know there are families which are exactly like the screenplay of Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. I might be over-cynical here. I might be making a mountain of a mole hill. (And dear A no offense to you. You just set my brain ticking) I kept going back to this thought as I kept getting bombarded by one mother's day status after another on FB. I am mother to a daughter and I am sure I am one hellova mom. I will leave no stone unturned to raise a good human being who is respectful and conscientious.
But to all mothers of men out there, here is an appeal.
You don't need to have a daughter to develop empathy for the girl your son might bring home. She is you. You were her one day - having those fears and quandaries(Ekta Kapoor made a joke of it but seriously Saas bhi kabhi bahu thi :D ) . Wishing acceptance for yourself and your family. Wishing total inclusion. Wishing your parents and your in laws made one big happy family (yes totally a la Hum Aapke Hain Kaun) Accept her. Don't judge. Don't scrutinise. (Recently while playing in Chiyaa's nursery, the lady who runs it said to my mil, 'I have been wishing my daughter-in-law have a child. But she says shes only 24 and wants to concentrate on her career!' She said it in a very critical manner. Would she harbour the same thoughts if her daughter was 24 and wanted to concentrate on her career rather than raise kids? I guess not. I tell you, this phenomenon is global.) Treat her parents with the same love you would have wanted your in laws to have bestowed. Might come hard if it did not happen to you, but then that's the thing about empathy. It is not always a two way street.
And moms. We are festooned and celebrated. No one questions a mother's love. Then why such sayings 'A daughter is a daughter all her life and a son is a son till he gets his wife' adorn our social networking sites? Is this not discrimination? A baby, a child, is the most innocent thing. It is literally a clean slate. We have the power to make anything with our nurturing. I have seen sons take care of their parents with utmost dedication as society projects a daughter would. I have seen daughters take up court cases for their parent's taxes as the norms deem a son would. Let us not mar sons/daughters with such base comments. Irrespective of gender - a child anoints us with parenthood. We owe it a lot. Let us get past stereotypes and enjoy the experience of raising an offspring.
PS. Again the post is not meant to offend anyone. Had to let off some steam.