Monday 11 April 2011

Head vs heart

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?!!


  1. It must be tough for Ads to let go of his just about formed friends and start forming the bond of friendship all over again. Particularly if he is slightly shy to make friends. Perhaps he will adjust better as he grows older and eventually cherish the exposure to newer places and friends.
    Parenting is sure a tough are doing good, dont worry.

  2. I am doubly sure that Ad will grow up to be a person fearkless of change and that I can tell you is half the battle one.
    On another note, parenting as I often say is one long guilt trip for me too! There are always things I could have done better and differently...but trust me we are doing just fine.
    Enjoyed reading this post!

  3. Thanks for the encouraging words, ladies. I know I am doing ok -- we all are -- but some days I just don't feel that sure about anything :(

  4. You both will be fine. Please do make sure he keeps a track of his earlier close friends. The only big regret I have with those moves. Other than that, I only see positives ! Both of you will be fine!!

  5. Ah hubbies and their pearls of wisdom.. always seem to make sense to our head and worth trying out, but when we are the ones facing the immediate consequences it just makes it very very difficult to agree with them in our hearts.

    Don't worry - though I completely understand how you feel as a mom, children are usually tougher than we know them to be, so in no time Ads will be reeling out the names of his friends and you'll forget you wrote this post :).

  6. I have a childhood friend all the way from KG days and it is a phenomenal thing. I think though that it is as much who she is.

    Ads sounds like a lovely, sensitive kid. Hard to find in these days of 'street smart' and 'able to take care of themselves' days (when all this just seems to translate into aggression!).

    Hang in there - you are there all the time for them and that's something a lot of kids don't have. Hugs.

  7. Ditto on the first few lines, my dad was in a transferable job and i hardly could get to know people and i changed schools all over again. But it was fun meeting new faces and new names. But i realize now that i have been very easy in making new friends. My daughter changed 3 schools and each time i see her staring the new thing with a gulp in her throat. After the first few days, she starts to get into the groove. So this year i asked the teacher if they would shuffle the kids from all sections and distribute them again. But she said no and i had a smile on my face. Other parents were wondering what gave me that smile. I am sure Ads will be ok in the long run and his little mind will get used to the thought that change is a part of life and there is nothing bad about it or nothing to feel scared about.


I would love to hear your thoughts :)