The Word You Want Is Amma

Most of the evening was very parental; at dinner, Kavi was having a bit of a meltdown about being behind on homework, spiraling and catastrophizing, so I took her outside for some fresh air to clear her head. I let her work in my writing shed for a little while, which is a pretty special privilege, which she appreciated. Normally, it’s strictly off-limits.

I built a fire and she came to join me once it got going and we sat by the fire together and read on our Kindles for a couple of hours (Kevin joined for some of that with his audio book, feeding the fire), and eventually I got some food into her. All of that managed to calm her down and she got her homework done, or at least enough of it so as to not stress anymore, so that was good. Then we came inside for dessert.

I’d told Kevin that what I wanted for Mother’s Day was to have the kids cook something Sri Lankan for me — something new to them, that they hadn’t cooked before. This is a bit of a tall order, because to be honest, mostly they still don’t eat Sri Lankan food, esp. Anand who is scared of anything spicy. Kavi can eat and enjoy beef curry, but Anand, not so much.

They have cooking bombatoast down, but I wasn’t sure what they might add this year — they both love the ginger-garlic chicken, but are squeamish about touching / cutting raw meat.

But they did just fine — Kevin taught them how to make mango fluff (using my cookbook). Which I suppose is really sort of a fusion recipe, since I’m sure its development was colonially influenced. But they’re fusion kids, so it all works out. 🙂

I went in to tell Anand goodnight; Kevin was lying down with him and they were in the midst of a video game discussion of some kind. I’ll leave you with this bit of our bedtime dialogue:

Me: Thanks for a really nice Mother’s Day, Anand.
Anand: [silence for a moment, then…] “I want to say mother in the other language, but I can’t remember the word.”
Me, laughing: “Amma. The word you want is Amma.”
Anand: “You’re welcome, Amma.”
Me: [melting — the kids know how to get me]
Kevin: “So, how do you say ‘You’re welcome’ in Tamil?”

Me: “I have to go ask my dad…”

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