Monday, October 21, 2013

Thank God for Avi!

Just finished reading a post where the writer talks about creating a legacy - something that will remind the world of you long after you are gone. In the real world though, not everyone can create a legacy - not everyone can write books, make movies or build business empires, but almost everyone leaves some part of themselves behind - in the form of their children.

One of the greatest joy of being a mother is being told that the child is a reflection of her - the face, the mannerism, the voice and even the quirks. I know, I am not among the most doting mothers but I do love my children and the fact that they are a reflection of me - somehow it makes me feel good about myself. There however is a flip side to this - isn't there one for everything? - that often your child will also have to go through some of the difficulties that you did, by the virtue of her being like you.

Mishti, my elder one, is a lot like me and therefore I feel responsible for the problems I see her facing - now and in the future. At thirty four, after working for ten years, being married for eleven and being a mother for almost six - I have learnt to make peace with some of my demons and learnt to live with the rest. At just five, she is yet to figure herself out. That, the world, the parents and the peers expect her to fall in line adds to her woes.

She is headstrong, dominating, emotional, independent and rebellious, and like me, she takes very long to make friends. However, once she does, she is totally devoted, often the other child does not reciprocate with the same intensity and then the drama unfolds - the tantrums, temper and sulking. At such times, I am reminded of myself and realise how much pain I must have caused to my mother.

In a way, therefore, it was normal for her to be indifferent to children in her new school. She would not talk to anyone, stayed aloof and complained that other children do not talk in or follow English - the only language she was comfortable in until then. I completely understood her situation and was worried about her loneliness.

It was a great relief, therefore, when she met her match in a boy called Harshveer. After many months, she started coming home happy and talked about him all day. That he could talk in English and had as much interest in cars, animals, maps, sports etc was an added benefit. They became inseparable.

As luck would have it, he had to go away. She was heartbroken - another long period of sulking, tantrums and loneliness followed. While I encouraged her to make new friends and she did talk to other kids in school, I knew how difficult it is going to be for her, I after all have faced this many times.

After months, one day, she came home talking about Mummies and Egypt, quite natural for her since she keeps reading and exploring. Soon the topics became varied and she seemed happy. Sensing her growing excitement, I finally asked who was talking to her about all these things. I came to know that there was a new boy in the class who tells her about the Planets and the Solar System and talks in English too. His name is Avi.

I thank God for Avi everyday and pray that he doesn't have to go away.

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