Did I tell you I’ve scrubbed the doors to your room, Mi? I’ve removed all the stickers and their residue. I felt a little restless and thought the best way to get over it is to do something vigorous. What better activity than cleaning! The door looks weirdly clean now. I am tempted to paint them white, as we had panned all those years ago when we painted the walls lemon yellow.

As I scraped off the stickers and tattoos that found their way on the door over the years as Vidur grew up, naturally the memories rushed in. We had such a challenge on our hands, keeping him from sticking stuff on the door, and then stopping him from peeling them off, because he’d be able to peel it only partially – it would get stuck that way. He had the most fun with the tattoos I think – transferring the print on to the door’s surface was so fascinating!

Do you remember how he enjoyed sticking the tattoos on my arms? The folks at work thought I was slightly off my rocker when I turned up formally dressed with childrens’ cartoons tattooed on my upper and forearms – so incongruous!

Much later, around the 5th Std, he understood the folly of permanently fixing stuff on the door and switched to sticking the entire sticker sheet on the door – easier to remove later! I was smiling when I took the tape off the SpongeBob Squarepants and somewhere in my mind, I heard Vidur sing along with the Cap’n when the show came on. On one of our trips to McDonald’s when Vidur was in the 8th Std, we found that the Happy Meal came with a SpongeBob glass and a Patrick straw we got superexcited. We also coveted the large cutouts of SpongeBob and Patrick and the store guys readily gave us one of those, which Vidur proudly hung on the doorknob of his closet. It is still there. Gently swaying when the fan’s on.

By his bookshelf, sits his big teddy bear, wearing one of his old briefs. Waiting patiently. Just like me. We miss the book overload everywhere, as he’s not around to shuffle them around the shelves. After I got back I just dusted and put away his most precious books inside the cupboard to keep them safe from dust, so that when he comes home for the holidays, he can enjoy them.

Space is a funny thing. If we don’t have it, we freak out. And when we get it, we freak out more!

Still, it is interesting to see how our priorities and perceptions change when situations change. We adapt. And we look for the bright spots. Who’d know that better than you, Mi?