It was a beautiful story called ‘Gay-Neck’ that I had read as a child, many years back, about a pigeon that was teaching its’ little one to fly. That night, unable to sleep, I was once again reminded of that story.
As a mother, I have learnt quite a few things about parenting. By far, the toughest thing has been learning to let go. I’m still taking things one day at a time because changing the way we do things don’t happen overnight. On the one hand, I feel the need to shield my son from all the hardships and the ruthlessness of this world, and yet, I feel time has come for him to learn to face the odds and stay prepared for the volleys of life. You have to let go of your child even if it breaks your heart. The sooner the better, for both the child and the parent.
I’m reminded of an incident that took place some time back, when Arjyo came home from school one day, complaining about a boy who was troubling him a lot. Initially, he had refused to talk about it, but after some persuasion, we had an honest chat and I learnt that the bully was an older child at school and that it had been going on for quite a while, although Arjyo had never mentioned anything to me. Unable to handle the issue at hand, he felt miserable and it was beneath his pride to tell us that he was being victimised. Clearly, we could not have left the situation for him to handle, as this was an exception. We immediately shot off a formal complaint to the school to bring the matter to light and get the errant child to realise his mistake and stop the bullying. Having sufficiently wisened up after this incident, Arjyo has been more proactive than ever in trying to resolve his problems himself. It didn’t happen overnight though but we had made an important start.
Over the following weeks, our conversations were about the fact that not everyone was going to love us and that’s perfectly okay! That no matter how hard we may try, there would be times when things wouldn’t work out for our best. At times, even our most sincere efforts could go unrewarded.
And yet, after trying so hard to let go, some nights, I still find myself worry at the thought of sending him off to study in a faraway city, some day. Will he be able to tell the good from the bad and make the right decisions, when the time comes? Will he be able to manage on his own? What if….? They are countless worries…with no end in sight! Time alone will answer my questions.
I guess, when the time comes, he too, like that “iridiscence-throated” bird in the story – Gay-Neck, will fly off to faraway lands just as I did at 16! He will explore life through his own experiences even though I’ll be watching him from far. It is his life at the end of the day, that I cannot live for him, no matter how much I love him. So, like the baby bird in the story which had to be pushed by its’ mother because it was too scared to fly, I know I too will need to ‘push’ him out into the real world. Daunting but possible!
(This post is linked to #Monday Musings on Everyday Gyaan)
The point that you have raised here about learning to let go our children to spread their wings and learn to do things on their own is so relevant to every parent whether the child is just starting school or is going out after completing school. I remember the first day Dhruv went to school. It was so so difficult to let him go, the attendant was taking him away and all the time he was crying profusely. Both husband and I were heart broken. After we came back home after dropping him we could not talk. Husband, without saying a word got ready and left for office and I waited anxiously for the school bus to arrive in the afternoon, all the time creating positive thoughts about him being all fine. He was fine. That day was overwhelming and I wrote a post on it to record the first day – ‘Surviving the first day of school’. That day was the starting. Nearly everyday I attempt to give him the strength to tell a loud NO to whosoever troubles him and does something to him he does not like, tell/complain to teacher and me. Once I also saw him curtly telling a bigger boy who pushed him not to that again and to keep his hands to himself. I felt proud to see him flying. Your post made me nostalgic and my comment, looks like, will become a post in itself hence I must stop here 🙂
Thank you so much Anamika! Glad to know that the post resonated with you and to see you share your thoughts so freely here…comments are always deeply appreciated anytime 🙂 I guess as parents letting go our kids is our biggest and toughest challenge and at every stage it seems as difficult. Our own sense of self-preservation forces us to hold onto things dear to us as if it were life itself! Applies equally well to any relationship in life and not just to our children. And, speaking from my own experience, all I can say, when one does it, it feels very liberating, at least until the next big challenge comes! Once we stop worrying for our children does our life really begin! Here’s to many more challenges ahead…the journey has only begun 🙂