These days, my middle name is Maudlin, Mi.

Yes. Foolishly sentimental and emotional.

Perhaps being a Mom does that to me. Although, why not? You loved me as much as, if not more than I love my son, so you’d understand.

Good ol’ unconditional love. It has this freaky habit of superimposing the sweet face I want to see on everything I set my eyes on.

Last week on Friday, I was looking at Aadu’s tiny shoes lined up alongside mine and fondly remembered a similar pair we got for Vidur when he grew out of the ones that made a squeaky sound each time he took a step. Come to think of it, we bought the same model in different sizes until he was almost 10 after which they were no longer available in his size. We called them “prachik” for the velcro strap they came with. So convenient.

As I recalled those shoes, I couldn’t help marveling at the years gone by. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that he is studying on campus, far away from home. I’d be stupid if I said I never considered the possibility, but like all mushy Moms, deep in my heart, I dreaded the thought.  The same heart knew it would happen, and that it would have to come to terms with it. But life is not the same without him at home and I suppose I can’t help clinging to the joy of his visits.

But after he leaves, I become a crybaby every time I see the empty pillow on his bed, with the impression of his head and visualize his serene sleeping face, sometimes smiling as he had a pleasant dream.

I feel choked when I wait for the milk to boil in the morning and realize I have absent-mindedly set out his favorite glass and spooned Horlicks into it.

I miss the argument over the day’s menu and his excitement when I say I am going to make one of his favorite dishes.

I miss bribing him to come shopping with me and coming back home laden with bags, with him insisting on carrying everything. Now shopping is so boring with half those items off the list.

My eyes fill up when I step into the “pantry” and see the pack of BhelPuri which we had planned to make but didn’t have time to. I check the date and feel just a little better, because I can make it when he visits next.

I look at my phone’s homescreen and the Freshmenu app looks so lonely and forlorn because it knows it isn’t going to see any action for the next six months.

I open the fridge to get something and see the half empty bottle of Hershey’s chocolate syrup and stand there for a moment, lost in the memory of him getting a layer of milk on his upper lip and slurping his chocolate milkshake.

My eyes move to the leftover bar of chocolate on the top shelf, and I rebelliously imagine finishing it, except I know I won’t.

It is the same with the pack of chocolate cream biscuits in the kitchen shelves. Perhaps I’ll give it to the little girl next door when I see her tomorrow.

The doorbell rings and the newspaper man has to be paid. I put my hand inside my handbag to grab the money  and my hands scoop up the cough lozenges he loves so much and pretends to cough just so he can pop one.

I see the half block of cheese and regret not making that dish he loves.

I can never look at pizza, his favorite, without feeling a nostalgic lump in my throat.

I think I’ll splash some water on my face and step into the bathroom and see his toothbrush in the mug with the freakily squeezed paste tube and cant help smiling.

In the corner, the clothes hamper looks expectantly at me and then seems to sigh, because I got nothing for it.

When I step out to go somewhere, I see his flipflops in their wonky angle under the stool.

On his bed, clothes folded, waiting to be put away into his closet

The corner of the dining table has a stack of his books.

By the side of the computer in the study, a bunch of his notes sits. I rifle through it and find snippets of poems, some doodles and math calculations and smile to myself.

When I switch on the TV and find that Friends/Mom/The Mindy Project are on, I miss the sound of his unbridled laughter.

Worst thing is going to the gym and I feel a little silly because my eyes fill up when someone innocently asks, “Where is your son?” I miss how we would grin when we caught each other’s eye in one of the mirror.

I go into the kitchen to make some coffee and the layer of cream on the milk seems to be calling his name. And when I put the milk away at night, oh!

Sury quietly working and suddenly looking up and asking if Vidur has gone to bed, indicating the study, then realizing he isn’t here.

Sigh.

Most of all, I miss the warm hugs and the affectionate banter.

And to think I haven’t even touched the surface of much I miss him!

Rocking the #BarAThon Challenge from 1st to 7th August 2016.
Today’s Day 5 and the prompt is “Tiny Shoes
I am with Team #CrimsonRush