Its been several months that my younger's friends' gang had been planning for a night over. Some how for one reason or the other it never got materialized. Yesterday was their day. (By yesterday, I mean 19th, this draft has being lying since 3-4 days, you can imagine how lazy it has been, not me ;) ) Finally they had their night over executed. It was at her friend's house. The 3 of them. 2 of them in the same class but different school and the other in the same school as my daughter's but her senior by 2 years. It's strange yet nice to quote that her friend in the same class is my high school senior's (senior by an year) daughter. We got and get to know more of us because of our daughters. She was out-going then and still the same, with that bubbly bindaas attitude and affiliative smile making it easy to bond.
Since my younger was enjoying her night out, I checked with my niece if she wanted to sleep with me. She was more than happy to do so. Usually my younger prefers and demands her time with me at night and is not very generous sharing that time with any. My niece who is a story enthusiast (she can endlessly listen to stories, either imaginative or from books), handed a book and requested to read it out for her. Mind you! she has listened to that book may be more than 3-4 times, from different mouths, yet her enthu to listen to that book isn't diminished even by an ounce. Isn't that incredible? Something as an elder that at least I completely lack. :(
My elder was on the bed indulged in some book. Since I wanted to finish with my stretch out, I requested her if she could read the story for the little one. She gave a face stating "I am into something interesting. I can't." My niece's face shrinked. I knew, I had to find my way. We both lied down on the bed. I lifted and rested my legs on the wall making a perfect L shape, with my upper body forming the base of L. My niece came closer to me, our faces now faced the roof of the house. We both felt quite happy with our positions. I started reading out for her. She listened as if she was listening to it for the first time. It was Supandi collection. (If you are 80's - 90's kid you certainly would know Supandi) I went on and on and on, for I enjoyed reading Supandi. At one point I checked if she was sleepy. She was all the more alert and active. I smiled and continued.
As I finished the next Supandi adventure, my niece turned and gave me a tight hug. She with her sweet innocent voice declared "I love you soooooo much maami."
Surprised, I hugged her back and said, "I love you too." Then I questioned "Why is that you love me soooooo much?"
Still hugging me, she responded "You read soooo many stories for me." We were almost at the end of the book.
I smiled. "You do get to listen to stories otherwise also. Your mamma and/or pappa do that for you na."
She responded "hmm yes. But 1 or 2. You read soooo many for me today. I want to listen to many stories everyday."
I laughed at that. "Whenever you want many stories, you drop in. I will read it for you. Ok?"
She now hugging me tighter re-iterated "I love you maami, I really love you." "Me too" I said and continued with the stories.
The warmth of her hug and those words lingered around even the next day morning. I was doing some chores, just then my younger dropped in from her night over. She was falling short of words and energy to describe how special her night over was. I was happy for her joy. I thought I will call up my senior(now my friend), and thank her for her efforts and making it special for the kids. On the first thought, I did not want to disturb her, in the morning. People usually will have a lots on the plate in the mornings. But then, last night my neice had taught me how important and effective it is to express feelings the moment we have it. I just took my phone and dropped a message to my friend. Tuk came her response "Memories are forever." I had all smiles the rest of the day.