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As parents, we teach and we unlearn. We learn new lessons from our children, knowingly and unknowingly. Here's a mother's beautiful account of her lessons.
As parents, we teach and we unlearn. We learn new lessons from our children, knowingly and unknowingly. Here’s a mother’s beautiful account of her lessons.
Motherhood brings many changes in a woman’s life; it’s both a physical and emotional roller coaster ride. My son made me look at life from a different angle, he questioned my behaviour, my opinions and my lifestyle. Every kid learns from his or her parents, but every parent also learns from the child. I do not know what good lessons my son has picked up from me, but he has definitely taught me some of life’s important lessons.
Kids do not have back logs. I bring my leftover work home and take home issues to work, so every day is a total mess because nothing is perfect! He wakes up smiling every single morning and every day is a fresh, new opportunity for him to learn something new. He enjoys whatever he is doing – arranging the lego blocks or dismantling his toys part by part, or even biting me. If he loses interest, he drops it then and there, and moves to something else, but I cannot force him to do something he doesn’t like.
His world consist of only two people – Amma and Dada. He is friendly with everyone, but doesn’t really bother about them. You may think, everyone would be polite with kids, but that’s not the case. In shopping malls, restaurants and temples, I meet people who are rude to my kid, and it upsets my entire day. However, he is never bothered by them. He starts crying only if his dad or I shout at him. I wish I can be like him, and not bother myself about too many people outside my family.
We tend to think, a mother’s love is unconditional. But I feel my son’s love for me is unconditional. I lose my temper and shout at him if he steps on food, opens the mosquito mesh, switches off my laptop and for many other silly things. Sometimes, I even take it out on him when I am irritated with someone else. When I shout at him, he cries, but comes back running to me. He hugs me and sobs, but he never gets angry at me. I am amazed at how much he trusts me. I don’t think anyone can love me the way my son does.
He never pretends like we adults do, and tries to please people around. Anger, pain, happiness or fear – he expresses his emotions. He is not ashamed of his weaknesses. He cries and laughs out loud, never really bothered about what others would think of him. My husband and I take the blame for other’s actions and try to behave as though everything is normal. But my son is not like us. He closes doors on the faces of children who try to steal his toys. If he doesn’t like someone, he has the courage to slap them on their face. I know, I cannot be so direct, but I want to be true to myself at least and tell myself, “If they are mean to you, it is not your mistake and it is okay to keep them out of your life.” He doesn’t pretend to be liking something he actually hates.
We take everything for granted, but kids do not. They want to know more about everything they see or touch. They question everything around. I do not remember the source, but I’ve read somewhere that we learn more in the first 3 years of our lives than in the next 30 years. As adults, we do not bother learning about small things around us – what matters is the latest technology, new tools and new Operating Systems. Weren’t we more amused learning about the planets, physics and geometry than now when we learn new software tools?
After my son was born, we started laughing out loud, and more often. We stopped arguments (ninety percent of the arguments my husband and I have are about people outside our marriage). We get very less time to think about the nonsense in our lives. Our lives revolve around the little wonder at home. Looking at my son play, sometimes I forget why I was angry with my husband ten minutes back. He gives us reasons to love life. Kids add lots of fun to our lives.
Unfortunately, it is the grownups who give more importance to factors such as religion and status. But, children love others for what they are. My son eats from the same plate as my domestic helper, and he plays with the watchmen and their children. Some members of my family do not like such behaviour, but I do not stop him. The world would be such a better place, if we could love people around us for their good hearts, and not their bank balance.
I know as my son grows, he might lose his innocence, curiosity and humour. He will learn to act smart, sophisticated and busy. Like many of us, he will stop living, and will be busy running another rat race. But, I am hopeful that when he becomes a father to another little wonder, he will learn to live.
And that is life: learning, unlearning and then learning again.
Image of a mother and child via Shutterstock
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I huffed, puffed and panted up the hill, taking many rest breaks along the way. My calf muscles pained, my heart protested, and my breathing became heavy at one stage.
“Let’s turn back,” my husband remarked. We stood at the foot of Shravanbelagola – one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres. “We will not climb the hill,” he continued.
My husband and I were vacationing in Karnataka. It was the month of May, and even at the early hour of 8 am in the morning, the sun scorched our backs. After visiting Bangalore and Mysore, we had made a planned stop at this holy site in the Southern part of the state en route to Hosur. Even while planning our vacation, my husband was very excited at the prospect of visiting this place and the 18 m high statue of Lord Gometeshwara, considered one of the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic statues.
What we hadn’t bargained for was there would be 1001 granite steps that needed to be climbed to have a close-up view of this colossal magic three thousand feet above sea level on a hilltop. It would be an understatement to term it as an arduous climb.
Every daughter, no matter how old, yearns to come home to her parents' place - ‘Home’ to us is where we were brought up with great care till marriage served us an eviction notice.
Every year Dugga comes home with her children and stays with her parents for ten days. These ten days are filled with fun and festivity. On the tenth day, everyone gathers to feed her sweets and bids her a teary-eyed adieu. ‘Dugga’ is no one but our Goddess Durga whose annual trip to Earth is scheduled in Autumn. She might be a Goddess to all. But to us, she is the next-door girl who returns home to stay with her parents.
When I was a child, I would cry on the day of Dashami (immersion) and ask Ma, “Why can’t she come again?” My mother would always smile back.
I mouthed the same dialogue as a 23-year-old, who was home for Durga Puja. This time, my mother graced me with a reply. “Durga is fortunate to come home at least once. But many have never been home after marriage.”
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