My Elder One (EO) is my teacher. He has taught me so much already in his young life. About love, patience, understanding, fear and so much more! And he continues to teach me, taking my breath away every time. Here are two anecdotes that I simply must share with you all...
Lesson #1 : About Forgiveness
Some time back, I was sitting dow with EO and making him write a few letters and numbers, but he just kept playing the fool and goofing off. Telling him nicely didn't work, nor did cajoling. Showing him how it was done, making it into a fun game, doing it to music were not working either. Finally the scolding happened, but even that failed to improve the situation. So I got up and stopped speaking to him while he prattled off his hundred questions. When he finally realised that he wasn't getting any response, he asked me why I wasn't saying anything. I just said, "I'm not speaking toyou now, I am really angry and upset and you know why". He quietly went off to do his own thing. Now you have to understand that EO is a huge chatterbox! I am talking 25 to the dozen, here! He can't sit still for a second with mouth closed. So the 'Silent Treatment' is pretty much akin to torture!
Soon it was time for lunch and I was making dosas, for him and my Daddy Dearest. He came and sat down.
EO : Mamma, you are making lunch today? (He loves it when I cook)
M*4 : Yes.
EO : What are you making?
M*4 : Dosas.
EO : Mmm. Yum. (Then, after eating a few bites) Thank you Mamma, for making me dosas.
M*4 : (visibly choked) You're welcome.
EO : And thank you also Mamma, for making for my Daduku also. (What he lovingly calls my Daddy Dearest)
EO : (visibly wonderstruck) ......speechless
I was so incredibly moved by my son and his words. Not only did he not carry a grudge, but he also had the sensitivity to thank me for making his grandfather lunch. I'm pretty sure he was still sad thanks to the 'silent treatment', but he was'big' enough to not let it hold him back from showering me with his appreciation.
I'm not like that, though I should be. I hold a PhD in the Art of Self Pity. I carry grudges and can't let go of feelings of having been wronged. 'Forgive and forget' is not a dictum I live by, and it saddens me, because I'd like to. I've tried, but it's too damn hard. But I should learn. From this adorable little boy, I should learn. For his sake. For his younger brother's sake. For their father's sake. And above all, for my own sake. It's time to let go of past hurts and wounds. I'm not a competitive person by nature, but in this game, I hope I kick ass!
Lesson #2 : About Living in the Moment and Loving it
For the EO, everything is his 'fraverit in the world'. (ie, favourite). If it's a toy he's eyeing at the toy store, he clutches it close to his chest and pleads for it by saying, "It's my fraverit toy in the world!" He has many such 'fraverit toys' languishing in his toy cupboard...headless, armless, armourless, wheel-less, headlight-less, door-less, and the Toy Gods alone know what else! (Hmm, I have to stop buying this line whenever we're out!)
If it's a restaurant that we are about to enter, "This is my fraverit restront in the world!" When I last checked, his 'fraverit restronts' were Pizza Hut, Mainland China, Flury's, Subway, McDonald's, Comics and the Food Court at a certain city mall.
The same goes for meals that I personally cook for him. "Mmm Mamma, this is my fraverit food in the world!" Whether it's mac & cheese, spaghetti bolognaise, baked fish, grilled fish, cheese omlette, even boiled corn with generous dollops of butter! When I put on that apron and enter the kitchen, I have an excited little boy following me in, eager to sample whatever 'delicacy' his mom serves his way and firmly declaring it to be his 'fraverit' even before he's tasted it, secure in the knowledge that Mamma's cooked it, it has to be his 'fraverit!'
When we're about to show him a new movie, whether it's on the TV, at the movie hall or on a hired DVD, "This is my fraverit movie in the world!", even before he's actually seen it! He spins off his own tale, after observing TV promos or studying the picture on the cover of the DVD and his mind wanders off to the wonderful world of imagination.
Everything in his life has been labelled 'fraverit'. And it's really something to observe him when he's busy pattling off one of his 'fraverit' speeches. Eyes bright, eyebrows disappearing into the shock of hair that flops onto his forehead, voice forceful with absolute and unwavering conviction, "This is my fraverit!" And you can't miss the earnestness and enthusiasm in his voice. It's impossible not to believe him, for what is there not to believe? He is living and loving the moment he is in. He is reveling in and acknowledging the great joy of that particular time that he happens to be a part of. He is sending out a message that he is happy to be where he is, who he's with, doing what he's doing.
I should be like him more. I should shoo some of my cynicism away and make a longer list of 'fraverit' things. Eat your heart out Julie Andrews!
But one thing I know for sure, the EO is my fraverit almost-five-year-old in the world!
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