This I Believe

Sara - New Albany, Ohio
Entered on June 8, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe that relations are the best teacher. Relations change you for the better and increase your understanding about various aspects of life – a relation affects your entire personality – your outlook, your thinking, your attitude, and your perspectives about things and if you are really committed to a relation, you actually become a reflection of that relation.

My husband, whom I met as a fellow student at college was a different person to me before our marriage.

In fact, before I met my husband, my entire perspective about men was different. My husband whom I met at college was a big, tall, good-looking guy – more than 6 ft in height, broad and well-built, he was so manly, everything so macho and super manly about him, considering I am a small person, barely 5 ft above the ground. He looked so strong to me that I thought that he could never get physically hurt and how could anyone ever hurt him, as in mugging or looting him. Inane as it may seem, but I could never even imagine him getting overpowered by another human or by any illness. How could a headache or a sore throat bother this hunk of a man, he could easily brush it off.

And the day after I married him, he was a different man, he appeared so vulnerable and real and human, as opposed to the superhero fantasies that I had of him. I remember, I had to be out of the country for some days, immediately after our marriage for work obligations and I was trying to call him. He did not pick up that night and I was trying desperately. Finally I gave up and called his mother to ensure he was safe and sound. She told me that he had called in the evening and all was fine but I wept inconsolably and sobbed like crazy as I was scared that something bad had happened to him, maybe he was in an accident and needed help, maybe somebody had him at gunpoint. Anyway, that lesson I learnt much later, after living with him that once he is sound asleep, you beat drums on his head and he wouldn’t wake up.

Before marriage I was in love with his cool driving, the way he could adroitly handle the wheel and the cell phone and the coffee cup. But now, every morning he used to go for work I asked him to drive safe and not talk on the cell phone while driving and there was no rush to reach home. And although before I had this silly idea that he was just above all disease, I was surprised that I forced him to visit the doctor when he had a cold or a sore throat as it might be a serious infection or anything, although he kept on saying its just nothing, always. This big guy was almost like a child to me now, needing help, care and nurturing. Before I thought in my crazy head that he could sustain without food and water, like heroes in the movies, but now my constant worry was that he might be hungry and I had to fix a meal for him. I realize that once a person is related to you, you own him/her and he/she becomes a part of your life, your possession, you become protective of him/her.

Then the second time that my belief in the power of relation was reinforced was when I gave birth to my son. That relation of mother-son has taught me invaluable lessons that no degrees or classes could ever teach. And it modified my attitudes and beliefs in ways, unfathomable to me. Before becoming a mom, when I saw friends and sisters struggling with their children, I wondered why those moms could not be simply stern and strict with these little monsters, why would they tolerate their ways and mood swings and spend hours trying to feed and bathe and dress them when it could be done in much less time. I used to always say that I could never pamper my child and never give in to tantrums but now I know that parenthood is all about patience and perseverance. And this has greatly increased my gratitude towards parents. I have become so patient and flexible that I am amazed at myself. I would love to watch TV after getting home from work but playing with him in the yard gives me deep satisfaction. Doing anything for him gives a meaning to my life, which I was unaware of before.

So every new relation enriches you and makes you explore and identify untouched dimensions of your personality. The feelings, the emotions that would lie dormant forever are stirred up. And that I believe is very important.