This morning I heard a sound I had almost forgotten. Tukru was howling loudly from the bathroom. I left the roti on the tawaa to burn and ran to him.
'Two big spiders ran over my back,' he cried, naked, wet and frightened out of his wits.
'It's ok babu, spiders don't bite, I will clean the bathroom of all the webs today, ok?' I bathed him and wrapped him in the big blue towel, all the while wondering at the effect of his howling in my stomach.
The last time he had howled was when he was learning his bicycle, and often came home bleeding from both knees. Inside the bathroom, papa holding him tight as I cleaned the wounds with savlon, the howls would amplify to maximum volume.
But that was over six months ago. Although he is not yet allowed to cycle out of the complex, he has become an ace cyclist. He doesn't fall and doesn't howl anymore. He does weep and cry softly when I make him stand against the wall, or when I take away his cycle keys and make him study / go to bed / eat, whatever he is supposed to do.
This transition from howling to weeping, is it a healthy sign of growing up, or is it a process of learning to repress feelings, I know not.
It is a reminder for me, to stay in the present, to enjoy is childhood, to cuddle him and to baby him. I won't be able to save him from spiders for long.