Yesterday was the orientation day for parents at the YO’s sooner-than-you-can-sneeze-and-get-blessed, Montessori school. The place also happens to be the EO’s ex-school. The first ex in my young son’s life.
Sitting there, I felt many emotions running up and down my esophagus and buzzing around my eyeballs.
The first identifiable emotion was, of course, déjà vu. Was it really only just three short years ago, that I was sitting with other eager-faced and nervous parents, taking in my surroundings as well as every single word the EO’s future-teachers were telling me then? Alright, this time I felt more experienced and worldly-wise, after all, I had been-there-done-the-same-things…hence, the déjà vu. I had already heard the rules, been a part of the school, seen a son walk in a toddler and out a little boy.
Then there were the unmistakable twinges of guilt…they came hand-in-glove with the déjà vu. It was only three years ago that I, along with a bunch of other parents who had little babes-just-out-of-arms, was getting an orientation on how best to push my tiny tot out of parental shadow and into a future of ABC’s, 123’s, Do-Re-Mi’s and Mother Goose…and here I am getting ready to do it all over again. Were we rushing them through their childhood and shoving them towards independence too fast? What was wrong in having my beautiful little boy wrapped around my legs as I stood in the kitchen getting his milk ready? For just a while longer?
I felt many, many twinges of sadness. My youngest is ready to test his wings and fly out of the nest. My baby is growing up. Well and truly. He is ready to have a world of his own, away from home, away from me. He will now, at the tender age of 23-and-a-half months, have a life that will not include me. (Yes, that sniffling sound is coming from me.)
I also felt like a fossil. I was surrounded by young girls! A couple of them looked like teenagers! Having gotten married in my exact mid-twenties, producing two babies in my late-twenties and crossing a certain decade in my life to enter a new chapter in my living history, I felt old. Dinosaur-old, all dusty and fossilized. Most of the moms there were first-time moms. I am pretty sure I’d be encountering some pregnancies before the year was up…as was the case during the EO’s time. Seven us had gone ahead and opened up our manufacturing units again for the second time “Since the first one’s already in school and learning to be self-sufficient.” Yes, that was a popular refrain back in those days and I’m willing to bet good money that I’ll be hearing this popular ditty all over again. My only sorrow is that I won’t be the one singing it this time round!
So, anyways, I’m going back to school again. No, no, not in the way you think. The class has been split into three smaller batches, allowing the kids to get used to the whole experience and not get overwhelmed by big numbers. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I accompany the YO and sit with him in his class for an-hour-and-a-half. Then they’re on their own for half-an-hour a day from Thursday onwards until most of the little dudes and dudettes, across all three batches, have settled in reasonably well. This will most probably take a month, and there are many holidays to consider as well…Durga Puja and Diwali breaks. After that, once the teachers are satisfied…three hours a day, Monday to Friday.
Welcome to the other world, my little one. God bless you, my YO. May you spread your infectious smile to all who come in contact with you and win many hearts and friends. May you have fun and learn all the things I want you to learn…about the value of sharing and friendship, good manners and respecting your elders, table manners and getting down in the grass and rolling around.
Run with the wind against your face, dance with the trees, laugh till your tummy hurts, cry and get your rages out, calm down and embrace those who love you, learn to fight your own battles. I’ll be watching from the sidelines, with pride in my heart and tears in my eyes. I’ll be cheering you on and sending up fervent prayers for your safety and health.
I love you, my sweetheart. And I watch you with bated breath...
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