I spent most of my school life being the outsider. The new kid who joined school, often in the middle of the session, when the 'gangs' had already been formed. The kid who hardly ever stayed for more than a year. I had friends, some of whom I am in touch with even now, but until I reached high school, I formed no special attachments, either to school or to people. So I can't relate to people who have friends they've known from kindergarten - it seems utterly strange to me that such a thing could happen! Post- marriage and kids, the scenario hasn't changed all that much and I'm still the perennial outsider - the mom who isn't part of any of the mommy cliques, who has to stand around awkwardly at the bus stop before mustering up the courage to go up to other parents and introduce herself.
So if there is one aspect of life where I can totally empathize with Ads, it is this. I get it - completely. I know exactly how he feels on the first day (or week, or month!) of school - the choking sensation in the throat, the uncomfortable feeling in the chest, the need to go to the bathroom multiple times! I get the misery of not knowing anybody, the urge to have friends but the lack of means to make them, the dire need of burying one's face in amma's stomach and not letting go. I'm actually illogically angry at myself for putting him in the situation where he has to adjust to a new environment every year. 5 years old, and this is his 4th school already. I'm resolved that for the next 3 years (what's the magic in that number? I donno. It seems right though) atleast, we will stay put in Gurgaon and not move him around.
S and I have talked about this and S feels that for a kid as scared of change as Ads is, this experience of constant change, is important. My clear logical brain tells me that he is right. But who is to explain to my heart, that boils over with pain and guilt, every time my darling cries? I know from my own experience that all that shuttling around in the early years didn't do me any harm, however much I may have disliked it at that point in time. In point of fact, it did nothing but a lot of good.
How much of parenting is just second-guessing and hindsight, sprinkled over with insane amounts of ill-deserved guilt?!!