It's our favorite time of the year when we get to get to share all the humdrum, self congratulations, and trivia from our life in 2016 and get ready to beckon 2017. So here goes....
Taran and Roshan are 8th graders at Newark Academy. They continue to play chess and tennis but their new undertaking is to make Nidhi a better parent. Hence, they give her plenty of opportunities to practice what she preaches i.e. acknowledgement of the situation in which they have landed themselves and compassion (breathe in..... breathe out....). Now, Nidhi has a new solution for all their misdemeanors. Each time they break a rule, they are supposed to learn and cook a new dish. As a result, the boys have a decent repertoire of items ranging from freshly grated ginger tea to pasta to vegan orange cake. Lesson 1: Every cloud has a silver lining! The boys, however, prefer teamwork, and are trying to bring their dad under the jurisdiction of this new rule of the Idnani household hoping that given the frequency of Ritesh's offenses, very soon he will be cooking a seven course meal. Amen!
Oh! Lest we forget the self praise....Taran tied for third place in the North American Youth Chess Championship held in Canada while Roshan tied for the fifth place in the US Chess Nationals held in Tennessee. They also made it to the "A" team of Middle School Tennis at their school and remain undefeated. They also lead the Middle School Chess Club.
2016 has been wonderful for Nidhi. Apart from all the private Reiki and meditation sessions she has been doing for years, she launched group meditation classes for adults and children. She also leads meditation sessions at various forums/ schools/ events and spreads awareness of Reiki. She continued to attend several spiritual retreats this year, and built on her knowledge of energy healing by completing many courses. Check her website and her business page on Facebook (Here's the call to action button http://www.ireikinow.com and https://www.facebook.com/ireikinow/
...Once an MBA, forever an MBA....so what if you are on a spiritual journey now :) This is your chance to do good karma by liking and following the page. Lesson 2 - What goes around, comes around so go like that FB page, now or else..... :)
This year brought interesting career options for Ritesh. His new employer, Tech Mahindra has bequeathed him with plenty of opportunities to travel. We miss him terribly when he is away (trust me, driving the kids back and forth from school/ activities is a back breaking job). Fortunately, FaceTime and Skype ensures that the boys continue to roll their eye at him when he tries to help them with math. We are so glad the boys ensure consistency lest he would have withdrawal symptoms. Lesson 3 - to be in your children's memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.....so what if that means teaching them geometry while they whine.
Through the year, we loved hosting and visiting friends and family across the globe. We also travelled a bit. Spring Break was spent in a cottage in the Poconos, where we spent time with cousins playing foosball, air hockey, hiking, and enjoying at the Kalahari water park. We attended our first "family spiritual retreat" in the Catskills, NY, in the spring. The boys also visited Boston as a trip from school. Summer was wonderful ! The boys enjoyed their first chess sleep away camp in Connecticut. We created beautiful memories in Virginia Beach (Nidhi had to be rescued by life guards at a water park out there - the water was 3 feet deep !!!!) and Maryland with our extended family and friends. We soaked in the natural wonder of Luray Caverns in Shenandoah Valley, hiked the Appalachian Trail, zip lined on the Blue Ridge mountains, and went back in time touring the house, garden and grounds of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. We hiked the trails and battlefields of Harpers Ferry, a town in West Virginia, that exchanged hands 8 times between the Union and Confederate forces during the American Civil War. We continued to experience the history of America by visiting Jamestown and Williamsburg. We made a quick stop at Detroit en route to Windsor, Canada. Windsor has a pretty waterfront that culminates in the 1929 American suspension bridge across the Detroit River between USA and Canada. In the winter break, we toured Nashville, Tennessee and then found ourselves back in Canada to spend the holidays with family. We also made several visits to NYC - we watched "Wicked", visited museums in the City, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge (and attempted to pose as Shahrukh Khan of Kal Ho Na Ho) and played hero (Roshan saved a little baby's life on the streets of downtown) !
This year we end with a few awards for the family. In no order of priority, here are the awards:
- "The Most Rested Person award" to Ritesh for remaining horizontal on the couch while awake and then effortlessly falling off to sleep at any and all times.
- "The Dedication award" goes to Roshan for repeatedly watching the same chess interviews on YouTube and binge watching "Fuller House" and "Friends". He has now memorized the entire script.
- "The Agility award" goes to Taran for deftly switching the screen from video games to "Canvas" (Newark Academy's scheduling application) when Mom is around.
- "The New Lexicon award" to Nidhi for formulating her own own wordlist. "A" for acceptance (of the three men in her life), "B" for blessings (God, grant me the serenity to accept the the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference).
Feel free to send us your congratulatory messages on these awards. We thrive on applause!
Wishing you and your loved ones good health, good luck, and lots of happiness in 2017. May you always take time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life !
The Idnani Family