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Pen Your Pride

March - Alex

Christina came home early for a change and joined me and the kids for dinner.  I had a long day so it was Chinese take out for us and the nanny had made some baby food for Leah.

I placed Leah in the highchair as Chris set the table.  I began feeding Leah as Chris put Chow Mein on Jasper’s plate.  She opened all of the cartoons, and then kept looking.

“I didn’t get you any beef and broccoli; I didn’t know you were joining us for dinner.  You’ll have to settle for lots of veggies and some salmon,” I laughed.

“I guess eating a few more veggies won’t kill me, but I’m not touching the salmon.  That’s all you and Jasper.”

Jasper jumped up and down, “I’ll take your salmon!!”

“It’s all yours,” Christina says as she puts a large portion on Jasper’s plate and we all dig into the take out Chinese food.

“How was your day?” I ask Chris.

“It was a rather quiet day today.  In fact I spoke with your mom this afternoon.  She wants to come visit the kids soon.”

“Yeah she mentioned that.  I told her to come as soon as the winter is over.  I don’t think she’ll enjoy being cooped up inside during the winter and with both of us working.”

“Speaking of working, your mom also told me you turned down Tarun’s offer to run Tarun Jewelers.  She also said, as a result Tarun is going to take the company public since he doesn’t have anyone he trusts to hand the reins too.”

“Yeah, I turned it down,” I admitted.

“Why didn’t you tell me that he even offered you the position?”

“Because I was never going to take the position so there was nothing to discuss,” I say irritated.

“You had the chance to run a world class organization and you turned it down!” she responded with her voice rising

“Well we would have had to move if I took it.  Would you have been willing to move to New Delhi with me? You’d have to quit your job here and find one in India or take a break for a while.”

“Of course not, I wouldn’t have moved.  You could have moved and we could have just traveled in between.” Chris retorted.

“You maybe able to live away from me, but I can’t live away from you and the kids.  That’s no way to raise a family with us continents apart.” I said defensively as I pushed my plate away no longer hungry.

“Are you sure it’s me and the kids or is it just the kids?” Christina responded.

June - Anjali

Raj was home for dinner tonight which unfortunately, was not something I could depend on.  I set the table and put the pots of chicken curry, aloo methi (potatoes with fenugreek), rice, raita, and rotis on the table.

“You cooked Indian tonight,” Raj said rhetorically.

“I didn’t know you were coming home for dinner and I like to eat Indian and I want the kids to appreciate Indian food,” I said defensively.

“I’m not asking you to defend your dinner choices, I’m just stating a fact,” Raj replied.

I quietly take his plate and put a heaping spoon of chicken curry on his plate.

“Not so much, I had a huge lunch, just give me half of that.”

“Sure.” I say as I take a deep breath in.

I serve myself a full spoon of curry and sit down to eat.

“So how was your day?” Raj asks.

“Actually it was really good.  Greg called me and asked if I want to do some freelance work.  They have a project here in New York that they need some help on and therefore wouldn’t require any travel.  Jaya’s over a year old and I’m ready to get back to working.”

“Did you accept the work?” Raj questioned.

“No, I said I speak with you first.  I would have to find a babysitter and figure out all of the logistics before I can accept.”

“Why do you want to go back to work?”

“I miss it.  I miss having my own career,” I say with some hesitation.  I want to say more, but the words get stuck in my throat.

“Anjali, sweetheart, I’m doing really well, we don’t need the money. I can more than take care of you and the kids.  It’s not necessary for you to work.  Plus, how are you going to handle the house, the kids, the social engagements, entertaining my clients and a work schedule?”

“Well, I can hire extra help.” I say meekly.

“If you think you can add that to your list then it’s up to you.  But, don’t forget Karan is about to go into Kindergarten and we’re going through the private school process.  I’ve heard it’s quite intense.  Maybe you should wait until we’ve secured a school for him before adding this on to your plate too.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right.”

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