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Opinion » musings

Posted at: May 16, 2018, 12:39 AM; last updated: May 16, 2018, 12:39 AM (IST)

My child, my perfect teacher

Seerat Kaur Gill
My child, my perfect teacher

Seerat Kaur Gill

My daughter is my teacher. She, by being just herself, teaches me lessons precious, which I wouldn't have had the opportunity to learn otherwise, within the confines of a conventional classroom. 

 I recently bought a bright polka dotted frock for her, the kind she had been wanting, ever since she saw Belle wearing it on the pages of her favourite story book, Beauty and The Beast. I found something similar online and ordered it for her. She was beyond thrilled when the package arrived. I watched her unbox her prized frock with twinkling eyes, followed by high-pitched endless chatter which meant that the gift had certainly lived up to its hype! It took a copious amount of convincing, threatening and cajoling to make her keep it in the wardrobe, and equal amounts of 'pinky promises' to make her wear it over the weekend. The D-day arrived. My little one lay the frock on the bed, with matching accessories and sandals. She bathed and dressed up. She wouldn't stop twirling around in her new frock, whilst catching a quick glance of her bedecked self in the mirror!

 Some relatives were visiting, and one of them casually remarked that she could've worn "something prettier, better fitting" since we were all going out for a meal. The brazen, careless remark pinched the mother in me, who had painstakingly dressed up the apple of her eye. However, I saw my little one's face, who in all innocence continued to twirl and play in her new finery. It mattered little to her about who thought what; she was happy and nobody could ruin her happiness. And look at me, beating myself over something so minor! Look at the largesse or maturity of the five year old. 

There, I had my first lesson in courteous disengagement. When either party practice it, relationships have a higher chance of remaining cordial, feelings have a lower chance of getting damaged, the twirling and prancing around remains bonus! 

The second realisation I had from this incident was, about how seriously we adults tend to take ourselves, how easily we take offence, and unknowingly how much importance we begin to attach to our whims and fancies. We end up holding onto grudges longer than life! We adults, who choose to think of ourselves as rational, serious people; who choose to run helter skelter doing serious business; who believe in having serious conversations revolving traditions and politics; who are adeptly unable to laugh at ourselves; who are conditioned to become serious to a fault; have unfortunately become immune to imagination. That is the reason why people with imagination are viewed 'differently'. 

"The misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in square holes, the ones who see things differently, ... the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world and are the ones that do...", famously said by Rob Siltanen are actually the kids who refused to grow up! How beautifully they let their imagination and creativity flow, without shackling them in masquerades of 'seriousness' or 'growing up'. They didn't take offence, remained disengaged from the unnecessary, and look where prancing and twirling about got them? 

Every once a while, when life gets a tad too serious, pause and look at the children in your life. They indeed make for wonderful, wonderful teachers.

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