I am informed that the ‘International Father’s Day’ falls on the third Sunday in June – meaning tomorrow. Inevitably the fact makes me think of parenting and childhood. The month of June along with the monsoon, heralds the start of the new academic year in schools in Maharashtra and the frenzy of new parents. This starts me off on a trip down the memory lane.
I remember when my first born began her primary school. For every parent and the child it is a big step and so it was with much trepidation that I set my young one among the strangers while putting up a brave front, raving to her about how she was sure to love it all. She was fine with it, in fact quite happy to go but I was not ready. Is any young mother ever ready for stuff like this? Not really.
My anxieties were made worse by my overworking imagination that included scary mental pictures – right from big rude boys shoving and pushing my little girl to sharp edges of the benches coming in contact with her soft small head…yup, a classic example of how a rational sane adult can become a neurotic, irrational individual.
I had another small worry gnawing at me when I went to collect my precious bundle at the end of the first day – which was barely a few hours later.
What was eating me was whether I’d be able to recognize her when all of them would tumble out at the final bell! Will I miss seeing her? Will she feel abandoned because Mommy couldn’t find her? Wow! Now it is so easy to laugh about it all. Back then at that time I was never farther away from laughing!
What a fool I was! How could I have ever imagined that I’d fail to zero in on her face among the crowd! When the gong sounded and the waves of sky blue-gray uniforms tumbled out it took me a fraction of what I am sure was a nano-second to catch her face in the crowd! Oh! What a relief! I still remember the thrill of gasping out, “there she is”!
Almost instantly it also dawned upon me that ALL of us young mothers had done the same! In a flash all moms had their wards and the excited, energetic sharing had begun.
Well! Well! Learning has never stopped since then and I am now listening to my young friends and colleagues narrating their tales of the “First Day at school” while smiling inwardly at the memory.
But to tell you the truth, I am grateful that it is over. The skinned knees and injured pride, the lost friendships and in general the whole gamut of the pain of growing up – finally it is all behind us.
Life of course throws up new challenges one after the other but the intensity has come down quite a few notches as far as newness is concerned.
I am glad we all –my kids and I – finally are grown up.
A peaceful weekend all!