Inheritance of fear

I watch my four-year-old son spring from rock to boulder — a little mountain goat — giggling with pleasure.

“Don’t fall!” I call, my motherliness rising like bile in my throat.

He doesn’t hear, and keeps climbing — surefooted, confident.

I hope he never hears my anxiety.



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On 17th birthdays and glimpses of the adult

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Image by Ed Schipul/Flickr

So, here I am very early on Godzilla’s 17th birthday, resting on the corner of Testosterone Lane and Horsepower Road. Having two teen boys in the house means a lot of muscle flexing, boundary pushing, and territory marking. They wake with teasing exchanges that rapidly morph into the rat-tat-tat of suddenly flared tempers. And before long, like two elephant seals, they’re bumping and jostling each other over the most trivial of things. Left to their own devices, I’m sure they’d find a way to argue over two flies climbing up the wall.

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Secrets and Lies

‘And today’s sermon shall be on the value of chastity.’  The bitter thought swirls and sticks as I sit, eyes downcast, a penitent look fixed firmly on my face, listening to Mum berate me for missing my curfew, yet again.  Why doesn’t she get it?  Her rules were fine when I was a kid, but I’m almost an adult now, it’s time she came to terms with that.

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Letter to My Sons

©Asha Rajan

My Darling Sons,

Today, in the aftermath of a violent, unhinged man holding people hostage in the Lindt chocolate cafe in Sydney, killing two, causing physical injuries to more, and unseen psychological damage to so many more, I am heartsore.  In the aftermath of a young, unarmed African American man being shot to death, ostensibly for changing lanes illegally while driving, by Houston police, I’m searching for the humanity in human beings.  In the aftermath of the Taliban attack today on a school in Pakistan killing 141 people, I am despondent.

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