For the first time

We all dream of the first time something will happen. Some of us even have it planned out to the last detail in our heads. First times are special ...

First sleepover, first movie with friends, first time at the beach for a sunrise (long time dream come true, and oh! the planning that went into that one!!),  the first (and only) time I walked all the way to school, the first time I met my college professor (and of course being terrified ).

Then there are the more special ones...  first time I rode my bike, my first saree, first time I took my mom on a ride, the first time I was hugged by a guy who wasn't related to me by blood (and thinking "Oh crap! This is not how it's supposed to be!" , I for obvious reasons did not hug him back. ) 

Last weekend, I drove solo for the first time.

I took my grand ma and my sister to the shop (on the main road), parked, U turned, and got back all by myself, without someone going "BREAK !!!!", 'CLUTCH, before the gear', "Turn left...LEFT !!!" (I'm slightly directionally challenged). I drove and got back all by myself, with 2 trusting (maybe not so trusting :P ) souls sitting in the car with me.

The first time I rode solo, without my dad guiding me, I took my mom on a ride. There is this U turn, at a signal, close to where I live, and when I took it, slightly lost balance, but managed to soldier on without any major problems, she said "I thought if you manage this, I knew I could be confident of your riding skills". She couldn't be confident that day, but I had many opportunities to show off my riding skills to her.
Back then, I just knew, not thought, but knew, that when I drive solo for the first time, she'd be riding shotgun with me. Then suddenly so many things were happening, and I never got to even learn to drive when she was there. The sad part was I was eligible to get my driving license about 7 months before it all began. I had put it off as something trivial. Then it was too late. 
I got my license 3 months too late. 

This was why I never really wanted to drive. I said I did, but gave silly reasons for not doing so. Because it was sad that she wouldn't be sitting next to me, smiling proudly and secretly deciding in her head which part would certify me as a confident driver.
I did it this weekend, I did it with 2 other important people in my life. I did it so I could have something to tell her about.  I did it without her. 
It was sad, but it was not that bad. 

Was it worth the almost 4 year wait? Don't know.

Did I need 4 years to finally be ready to do this? I think so. I think she knows so too.

Now I'm ready.

I don't know if I've ever told anyone about this, but this is the same case with the men in my life.
My mom knew all about my first (and till date, only) boyfriend. We hadn't started dating then, but she knew about him, and she knew I liked him. She's even defended him and said I should be more patient with him when I told her about how he could sit quietly and wait for me to say something instead of starting a conversation himself. She knew.

She doesn't know about either of the 2 people I've liked after. Like driving, there was absolutely no fun in crushing over someone when I couldn't run home and discuss it in detail with my mom. I can almost imagine it, she's be sitting on her corner of the couch, and I'd be sitting on one of the single seaters, legs up and going on a mile a minute about how bugging he is, which only she would understand means I like him even though I don't want to. Only she would understand how I have been forever fighting a phobia involving men, and how even so much as having a crush on a tangible person will throw my balance off. She's defend him, and help in, in the way only she had, accept the feelings without too much fear and make sure I had my head on my shoulders as I do so. She'll talk me through it, till I know if it's just a school girl crush or more. And after all the talking, and after we've spent an evening doing other things, at night when I'm standing with her in the kitchen, as she cooks, she'll pull my leg about it, with her adorable wicked grin in all of her good humor, adding dialogues about how her little bird is taking flight.

She wouldn't know... not directly from me. She's probably watching from some where, but it's not the same. Not the same as lying on her lap when things get so overwhelming, and feeling all the storms calm down as she gently brushes the hair near my ears as she reads a book. Closing it the minute I turned, and started saying  whatever, and never once losing patience even if I had interrupted her. 
I miss her.
I have been terribly missing her, and I know I always will.

But  I am learning to move on. 
She cannot be replaced, but I also can't not do many things because she's not there to do it with me. If that happened, I'll get a royal ear full the day I meet her again up there. Also, she wouldn't be proud of me.

I drove solo, I will do the other things too.
Don't know if I'm ready to, but ... baby steps.

Love you 'mmy. 


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