Six months ago, when my daughter called me to say that she was going to have a baby, I screamed with joy. Then, I counted the months and screamed again, “Oh no, it’s going to be during the legislative session!”
My reaction was natural. The Texas Legislature meets once every two years for 140 days and during that time, my life gets put on hold. Every week, I am in Austin for testimonies, formal meetings or informal visits.
I wanted to be with my daughter in Florida on her big day, but was really worried. What if I get called in to testify during that time?
As the delivery date drew closer, I doubled up on my Austin duties. I wanted to finish up everything that I possibly could and had control over.
On the big day, I headed to the hospital with my daughter, equipped with every tool of necessity in my bag — laptop, iPad, iPhone, wi-fi card, and headphones. I could not imagine being cut off from my work. Imagine my shock when I learned that I could not carry anything but my cellphone in the delivery room. Whoever makes these rules?
A few hours passed by and then I was asked to surrender even my cell phone. No, it was not against the rules, but, as I was told, it was against the norm. What norm? Since when multi-tasking became against the norm?
Then came the magical moment and my granddaughter, Anya, arrived in this world.
Instantly I forgot everything…those emails, urgent calls, and unavoidable emergencies. I became irrelevant even to myself. Nothing mattered but what was in front of me. I held Anya in my arms and the entire world shrunk in that embrace.
Today, I am traveling back to Houston having spent several days in Florida. During those days, I became a different person. I cooked, cleaned, sang lullabies, and spoke baby language. It was then that I noticed how much of my mom is in me, how much of me is in my daughter, and how much of my daughter is in my granddaughter. I was using the same phrases in the same tone as did my mom. My daughter was asking for the same food as did I. And my granddaughter was sucking the same finger as did my daughter in her infancy!
In case you are wondering, no, I did not get a call from Austin to testify. Worse! I got a call asking my presence in Austin to meet with the Governor of Texas, Rick Perry. My only choice was to get on the phone. I was feeling terrible, but before I could apologize, the Governor said, “Renu, you are where you need to be…with your family.” Thank you, Governor!
Indeed, I was where I needed to be and felt blessed for it. Much too often we get caught up in life’s daily routine and forget to count our blessings. I have been counting mine for the past 10 days!