It’s been 3 months, and 15 days since I started my reduced working-hours. But, it’s been only 3 days since I’ve actually started spending time with Anay. Sounds shocking? Sounds infuriating? What was I doing all this while?
I don’t know.
I wasn’t really busy with house-hold work. I wasn’t busy doing puzzles or watching movies either, which I would really like to do. But doing something always. I never slept after coming back, before night, all these days. So, I must be doing something. Whatever.
Well, that’s not the point. The point is that it is too easy to fall into wastefulness and procrastination rather than meaningful work, when you’re free. All my life, while I was growing up, I have been told meaningful work is doing your homework, preparing for your exams, learning or reading something new, important. No one ever said doing house-hold chores or minding a child is a meaningful task. And, trust me when I say it, it needs a lot of mind-training to accept it now. I need to make myself believe and accept that this is also important and spending time in it is not wasting time. Perhaps, the biggest conflict I have between me and my MIL is because she wants me to spend time in house, on the house, and I find it wasteful.
So, how did the transition happen. It was instantaneous. My MIL suggested, on Sunday evening, why I not take Anay to the park, instead of her, and spend some time with him. She said Mother should give time to the child, and be happy in it. I was already bored being home all day. It was precisely the outlet I needed. And, so I took Anay to the park. I decided to take his badminton set with us to play with. We did some playing, some running, some walking and we came back. It was the beginning of a bonding. I felt like the 1 hour I spent with him was the only time I could talk to him freely. The time when there is no one questioning me on what and why I’m saying that to him. What am I trying to teach him. The only time when there is no distraction he has. He can be completely himself, with me, and I can be myself, completely with him. Normally, there is always something else. His new game, his Dad came home, his Daadu came home, now he has to go to Badi Amma and eat Namkeen. While I am happy to see him getting all the love from all the world, it hardly leaves space for me and him.
Next day, I tried to make time and space just with him and me. So, I played his game, with him, in our room, instead of the drawing room, or MIL’s room. I know it’s disturbing for her because she likes to be a part of everything happening around, but it’s important for me and Anay. So, that’s how it would be and she’ll get used to it. And, as it turns out, she’s not objecting. So far. 🙂
All this while, spending this time with him, I’m teaching him counting, explaining him the need to be fast, why it’s important to touch the feet of elders, trying to make him comfortable with english, identifying letters. All this is done subtly. Softly. Play-way.
I feel like this way I’m imparting what I would like him to have. The things I have learnt all these years and would like my child to know. And, it’s not all education. It is values. The real sense of values that ‘I’ have. Not what the world has. But, what ‘My World’ has. To learn what the surroundings teach you, not just what the books teach you. I was initially doubtful how I’ll explain the complex concepts of God and mind and heart and soul to a 3-yr old!? But, it turns out it’s extremely simple. On the contrary, it’s much simpler than explaining to a grown up. You know why? Because they know nothing right now. They are an empty page. A blank slate. So, they are just taking in all that you give them without any questions or hesitation. A grown up will always have conflicting ideas or ideologies to question your statements. But, to your child, it’s only you and you who put it in.
And, that is how you mold your child.
Make him yours.
And, in this way, I grow up as a mother. I learn a lot from him too. I question myself and my beliefs. 🙂 Yesterday, we went to the temple once, which is a ritual for him. He loves to go to the temple, (to take the prasad). So, when we were returning from the Dance class, he took me to the temple again. I said we can’t take prasad twice. What will Panditjee say. Anay says, ‘You stand outside, I’ll go inside the temple and come.’ So, in he went. Did his ‘jai’ to all the deities and then he starts coming slowly to me, out of the temple, away from Pandit-jee…,waiting. And, he hears Pandit-jee say ‘ Aao’, and I see the jubilation on his way. And, he runs back. Takes the prasad, and comes to me saying, ‘Dekha, do baar prasad le sakte hain. Aap jitni baar temple aaoge, utni baar prasad milega’. 🙂 🙂
And, I think in my heart, ‘So true. As many times you turn to God, as many time he’ll reward you with his Prasad. There’s no counter running there at least.’
Thanks God for everything.