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I must confess that this is my very first blog post (and I hope I am spared for any errors that might crop up!). Reading has always been my passion. It has helped me through the ups and downs of life. And now, I have turned to writing to put down my thoughts and feelings in return...
Being an only daughter to my parents, I was doted on right from the beginning - apple of my father's eye and pride of my mother. I worked hard through my education, passed out with flying colors and even worked for a while. Eventually I got married to a wonderful guy and soon after that my darling daughter stepped into our lives. I was overjoyed. Every moment spent with her in the initial few days of her birth were precious. But then the hardships of raising a toddler alongside running a household soon took over. As time passed my daughter became more and more naughtier (obviously!), and I began feeling more frustrated. Every night I felt so tired and exhausted. Soon she was 2 years old. A lot of people started suggesting I enroll her in a playschool/preschool to channel her energies into learning something productive. And after much deliberation and numerous advice from all, we decided to start searching for a suitable preschool for my daughter.
When I informed my mother of this decision, she voiced her concern saying, "But she is so small, how will she cope without you?". I replied, "Ma, let her go to school, it's becoming very difficult to manage her at home. At school atleast she'll be learning something". There was a pause after which my mother smiled and said, "You see, you will miss her once she starts going to school". I wasn't concerned though. I thought she will be with kids of her age, she will enjoy her time and meanwhile I can also get time to sort out my affairs. Dad was delighted and immediately launched into recounting the events of my first day at school. "We thought you will be the one crying, but you were fine! Your mom was the one who ended up crying though!" he laughed. I stared incredulously at mom and said, "Ma, why would you cry for that! I was just going off to school!" Mother replied, "You just wait for the day when your daughter goes off to school, and you will realise on your own".
So after hunting for a while, we found the perfect preschool for our princess. We did our best to ensure our daughter got enrolled there. Finally the day came when we completed all the official admission procedures and confirmed my daughter's place in the school. I was delighted and soon called up my mother to share this news with her. She was happy as well. "Our little doll has grown up!" she exclaimed. "Ma I want you to come along with us on her first day at school", I said. Mother agreed.
Days passed, and soon our daughter's first day at school arrived. I had spent the previous evening making sure everything was ready for my doll's first day at school - uniform, bag, books, and so on. I got her ready on time. She was looking so delightful in her pretty new uniform! After clicking a few photos, we headed off to school and reached there on time. Mother had already arrived there and positively beamed at the sight of her granddaughter in her uniform. After a few last minute hugs, I led her to the doorway of the school where a teacher was ushering the new students inside. My daughter held my hand tightly as we neared the door. As the teacher took her other hand to take her inside, she refused to release my hand and looked at me, her eyes wide with uncertainty. I gave her an assuring smile and patted her back and told her, "Beta go inside, all your new friends are waiting for you." With a last nod and a small smile, she went inside.
I still cannot fathom what exactly happened to me then, but the moment she went inside, I broke down. Streams of tears were rolling down my cheeks, and my bewildered husband could not understand why his usually strong wife was crying her eyes out in the middle of the school. Her awkwardly patted my arm and kept saying it's okay, it's okay. Mother noticed me then. She came over and held me. I hugged her and said, "Now I realise exactly how you must have felt on my first day at school, Ma". Mother comforted me saying, "Our little doll is brave, she will be fine".
As I stood there, I realised my mother was right. I was missing her indeed. The very moment she went inside, I started feeling her absence. But then I comforted myself thinking, all young birds do have to leave their nest some day. Today was that day for my daughter. My little bird had taken her first flight into the outside world with all the bravery she can muster. And I am a proud Mama Bird... :)