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Time flies way faster than we realize. The biggest indicator of that is the pace at which we see our kids growing up. They grow up at a monthly rate as babies and, even when they move out of toddlerhood and become preschoolers and eventually move over to become grown-ups, their growth remains superfast-paced. With growth here, I mean not only the physical and mental growth, but also the growth in terms of their behavior, learning and activities. And, with this rapid growth comes tremendous amount of change – change for the child and change for us as parents. However, there is a key difference in these two kinds of changes. While the child soaks in the change effortlessly and without a consciousness, we as parents find it difficult to accept such a drastic change. While we diligently work toward the healthy nutrition and care of our kids to ensure growth and development, our children constantly keep reminding us that time is slipping out of hand fast and, in a very short time, they will be ready to be on their own with minimum dependency on us.
But, as beautifully said by someone, “If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.” So, “the only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” (Alan W. Watts) Indeed, the smoother the acceptance of change and the positive the outlook toward it, the happier we will be in our lives. And, I started doing that with a little bit of effort on my part.
Recently, I was in my son’s room, folding away his winter clothes and replacing the wardrobe with his summer stock while he was playing with his toys. He turned to me and asked, “Mamma, what are you doing?” When I answered his question, he immediately started asking questions about season change, how will the animals react to it, what happens to the earth, which all places are affected, if it is going to be summers in the poles too, if the weather is going to change at his granny’s house too, and so on. The questions opened up a new platform for a conversation between us about earth, solar system, geography, etc. We both took the globe placed on his table and started looking through, surfing on the Internet for specific information on how season and climate changes happen. We got so engrossed in our discussion that within a few minutes, I found myself discussing the cause of tidal waves, rainforests, the Tropic of Cancer, and Equator with him. I started discovering things that I didn’t know or I had forgotten long back and enjoyed the afternoon overall. During our discussion, we were desperately looking for some related books in his little library, but to no help. The realization dawned upon me that I need to be equally rapid in replacing his book shelf and toys as I was with his winter and summer wardrobes.
There’s another very significant change I am noticing in my son lately. He is discovering a world outside of ours and relating to things outside my purview. And, it’s a wonderful feeling to see him build his own way into the world! He was solving a worksheet and came to me after finishing it so I could check his answer. On a blank against ‘Fruit with a seed,’ he had written Sapodilla. I had always known Sapota as the English word for ‘chiku’; when I read Sapodilla, I guessed it but still asked him what fruit was that. He was very prompt in responding, “Mamma, chiku.” In another instance, I overheard him teaching my mom how anacondas don’t have poison but swallow their prey.
There are many instances now and then when my son is surprising me with something. And, all that is part of a beautiful change we are going through as a family – a change toward independence and self-reliance.
And, what can be better than to welcome and amalgamate this change with the multiple other changes we are going through already – season, grades, uniform, school timings, and so on. As spring stands as a transition between the two major Indian seasons, winter and summer, so let the month of March be a transition for me to welcome the myriads of change that the rest of the year is going to offer to me as my son goes up into a new class and continues to surprise me more and more with new things. Together, we will live each moment to celebrate the wonders in the world of #Khuljaye Bachpan, with me smiling and guiding him and he laughing and surprising me.