The end – for now
I had often toyed with the idea of writing an article about nothing. Exactly, an article with no story line. No incident, no skirmish, no blunders, no kids. Simply day to day ramblings that may or may not turn into something. A la Seinfeld.
But that never happened to be. My kids rose to the challenge every single time and come what may, had something worth telling before I sat down to set the creative juices flow. Nor did they mind that their escapades were broadcast all over town.
In fact the euphoria was so high in the first few months that they would actually fight over who got to be the ‘main character’ in mommy’s stories and tried their utmost to out act each other in the days leading up to the alternate Wednesdays, hoping to win the audition.
Sometimes, when they felt I was a little ambiguous in my writing, they asked why I did not mention them by name simply so there was no confusion as to who was the heroine and who the side-kick.
I guess they imagined that the paparazzi would be all over them, begging for photo shoot-outs and interview set-ups simply because they jumped into the pool right on top of a poor swimmer or rammed the shopping cart into the centre aisle sending dozens of cans rolling between customers’ feet.
My oldest was the first to bow out of the acting line up. In fact, to be doubly sure that her words and actions would not be reproduced without her explicit approval, she stopped interacting with us altogether.
Perhaps our daily follies did not interest her anymore given she was a teen and had figured out the world. But I think it was more to do with the fact that she preferred her bad hair days and her OMG moments to stay out of the public domain.
No worries, I still had three kids fighting for the limelight. And then my lovely twins, who had disagreed and fought with each other over every single thing ever since they both learnt to differentiate their own selves from the other, suddenly teamed up and decided to call it quits.
Yes, one fine day, their 11th birthday actually, they announced to me that since they were entering the mature years of their lives, they would rather be portrayed as stable and sensible.
Given that I had begged and pleaded and shouted and bargained with them for over a decade to show some compassion for each other, I totally missed the point and jumped to my dreamed conclusion that they had decided to give up on the needless quarrels and endless fights.
“I knew you would finally come around! You are both so smart and intelligent and I knew you were listening to mommy even if you continued to fight...”
And I spoke without a breath, tears of joy flowing down my cheeks, hugging the life out of whichever one I managed to grasp, sending flying smooches to the other while smiling until my eyes were mere slits and shaking my head in jubilation.
They scattered around the table to escape my embraces and watched me in alarm, not sure what had switched on this emotional outburst. To clarify that they had signed no peace treaty, the mature young man announced: “Well, what we really mean is our reputation is at stake in your articles.”
And hence I was left with just one character. She found this incredibly boring. The whole point was teasing her siblings if she got to get the main role in my stories and so, shortly after, she too announced that she was quite sick of being always written about.
Now was the time to write that much-awaited article on nothing.
I sat down and started typing. It somehow did not flow as smoothly as I had thought. There was the stray black cat in the backyard with the two cute kitties but there was barely anything to mention if I could not include how my youngest had jumped on her tail by mistake and the screaming and scrambling that followed.
There was the patio table that had its glass shattered by the wind a couple of weeks ago but again that was just a fait accompli unless I could write about how my brave foursome called me panic-stricken and I tried to calm down their hyper-ventilated states from the back seats of the auditorium while a singer continued her high-pitched lyrics in the background.
Alas, nothing quite came together without them!
I realised then that my kids have been my inspiration. They have brought my articles alive and every story rings hollow if not for them. They have helped me see the world through their eyes and what an emotion-filled world that is! And so, until a brainwave sparks my own predictable life, I will bid you all au revoir but not adieu!
Muscat resident Homaira Kabir writes about her thoughts and everyday experiences. Homaira can be e-mailed at email@example.com