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I sat on the corner of my bed still holding onto my comb. I looked at it and a single tear fell. It’s begun. My girls are growing up. I didn’t know what to feel.
We don’t realise that some of the things we do for our children— is so that we feel wanted. Some kids understand this and still empathise. Read the story of Lona, Meena and their mother.
The alarm rang everyday at 6:30 am like always.
I heard it from two rooms away. I smiled and waited. Five minutes later came the second alarm. That was time for me to make sure they were out of bed.
I smiled when I picked up my comb and walked towards the girls’ room. She would be stretching and one foot would stick out. Inspite of air conditioning one foot had to peep out. She said it made her feel balanced. She liked one foot cold while the other remained warm.
I opened the door. Meena was up and almost ready, just about finished buttoning her crisp white shirt and tucked it neatly into her skirt. Lona cuddled deeper under the blanket.
I scolded her like I do everyday to be up early and be ready. I combed her hair, took a middle parting from the front all the way to the back, braided it and set her plaits straight, and sent her off to brush her teeth.
I hugged Meena and told her to go eat breakfast. This was our routine. Our everyday. My everyday.
The second alarm rang. I picked up my comb and headed towards the girls’ room. I grinned knowing I would find Lina again under her sheets. Instead I found her dressed and grinning at me instead.
She had brushed her teeth, combed her own hair and even tied her shoe laces properly. Her whoop of — “Surprise!” — jolted me out of my little heart break.
“Yes! A lovely surprise, Lona. How come the sudden change?”
“I wanted to show you I am big and I can take care of myself like Meena does, Ma.”
I hugged her tight and smiled at Meena who shook her head at us.
“We’ll see you downstairs ma,” Lona said.
That was my cue to leave their room.
What just happened?
I should be happy she combed her hair but it made me feel like they didn’t need me anymore. I didn’t feel like this with Meena. She was always independent, even at age 3. Lona always needed me.
I wiped away my tear feeling silly and went downstairs. The girls had finished breakfast and waited to say bye. Lona hugged me turned around and waited.
I looked confused, then spotted her ribbon which had somehow come undone. I braided her hair quickly and retied her ribbon.
I wasn’t useless after all. I smiled waving them out the door and began my day.
Image source: Bhupi from Getty Images, free on CanvaPro
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Chitra Govindraj grew up in Dubai, was educated in the US and now lives with her family in Bangalore, India. She dabbled in the corporate world as a banker and a soft skills trainer and read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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As parents, we put a piece of our hearts out into this world and into the custody of the teachers at school and tuition and can only hope and pray that they treat them well.
Trigger Warning: This speaks of physical and emotional violence by teachers, caste based abuse, and contains some graphic details, and may be triggering for survivors.
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