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A day out

We have to get you a hair cut today. Normally I give you one myself. But today you have made a fuss. You want to go to the proper salon at the corner and get it done, you said. I argued, it looks nice longer. But to no avail. I ran my fingers thru your ringlets, and with a sigh agreed to take you there. After all, it was summer and cropped hair is cooler.
You can't go there alone I knew. There are roads to cross, and vehicles to negotiate. How can you do it alone? Plus you are a little wobbly on your feet…sometimes.

You are looking forward to be going out. You ask me what else can we do while we are out. I suggest having ice creams.
We leave home. You carefully, slowly climbed down the steps. I walk a few steps in front of you. So if you were to take a tumble I was there to break the fall. Offering you my hand was meaningless. You have a mile wide stubborn streak, just like me. Blood will tell, mom always says.

We come out of the building and slowly walk to the gate. From now on you are in charge. I just walk with you to make sure you are ok. You hail an auto, make sure it has well upholstered seats, give him directions and settle back. This was like old times, when you were active and ran the world. Nothing much has changed really. Now I run it for you, thats all.

We reach your regular salon. The barber comes out to greet us. He tells me come back in half an hour and escorts you in. You are one of his favorite customers. I wondered if he still gives out lollipops after a hair cut, like he did in my childhood.

I walk around, finish my three rounds around the park, take a peek in the salon to see if you were done. You are looking happy sitting there, chatting with the barber who was quizzing you about something, like old friends do. You shoo me away impatiently. I smile and go for one more turn around the park. You hate it when I stand over you being a Mommy.

You come out, you have paid the man. We slowly go towards an auto and you stop.
“Wait ! We still have to have our ice creams! “ Do you really want an ice cream or you are just trying to stretch this outing a little longer? But it doesn’t matter. I too am having a good time.
We sit on the bench at the café next door with our ice creams. On a hot summer day it was a welcome relief. Ice creams finished, there was no excuse to linger on anymore. I suggest we head home. You agree readily. May be the outing has tired you more than I had realized.
'Tomorrow we can go to the book store and browse," you suggest, I agree.

We reach home. Again the careful negotiation of the staircase. This time I walk behind you. Later as I look at you sitting in the living room talking to Mom, I wonder when did we reverse the roles?
When had I stopped being your child and become your mother?

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