My mother bought a box of blueberries this afternoon and divided it up into bowls for each of us. My five-year-old daughter loved them and, as soon as her grandparents noticed, both added their share to her bowl. My husband and I, wandering in other parts of the house, finished our own bowls. As my daughter’s blueberries were almost over she asked, “Amma, do you have some more?” And as my mother explained that there were no more, I wished that I hadn’t eaten mine as yet. My daughter went back to what she was doing, continuing to savour her last blueberry one little lick at a time. “Look, Mama, how I’m saving it…”, she said a couple of times. And then, for just a moment, she stepped away from the table to look at something else. My husband, from whom she obviously inherits her special fondness for blueberries, was walking past distractedly and in a split second he popped that precious half blueberry into his mouth. As soon as he saw my face fall, he knew what had happened. As our daughter turned around, he broke the news to her, “Darling, I’m so sorry… I accidentally ate your blueberry…” Even as her little face crumpled, she said, “It’s okay, Daddy…” I scooped her up into my arms, knowing she needed to cry, but her father wanted to give her a hug too. She obliged, holding onto him tightly, as her eyes filled with tears that began to tumble down her cheeks making splotches on his t-shirt. “It’s okay, Daddy,” she repeated softly. And just like that our tiny person was able to hold two things in her heart at once. She was mourning the loss of her last blueberry and yet being kind to her apologetic father. I suppose this is the beginning of growing up…

Indus Chadha believes we cannot exist or be understood without stories and spends much of her time reading, writing or listening to her five-year-old daughter, Amara, tell them. She earned a BA from Smith College with a major in the Study of Women and Gender and a minor in English Language and Literature and an MFA in Creative Writing from the School of the Arts at Columbia University.

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