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!