Parenting is TOUGH and BITTERSWEET in all it’s stages. But what is the toughest part of being a parent? Many would argue child birth and seeing their kids going through pain..something on which they have no control on. And that’s what I thought till I took my kids … okay not kids- my young adults for their driving lessons.
Metaphorically kids being in the driving seats is what every parent is waiting for. But literally, kids in the driving seat and you in the navigator seat means the kid is in control of his and your precious life. And that in my opinion is the scariest and toughest part of parenting.
Before every driving lesson I have to prepare , prepare hard and push myself out of my comfort zone, wear my brave armour …tell myself ….if I can teach them to talk and walk, how much difficult can this be? Parents who are in the similar stage as me … I think know what I mean. To see your child growing and blooming into a tall,handsome, pretty and confident , sure of himself or herself adult is Aaaaaaaawwwesome ….but God can’t it just end there. Do I have to go out everyday and fret and have my heart in my mouth while they take the wheel. And me doing what? …..helplessly pressing and pushing hard to find the brake in my feet on the other side of the vehicle. And when I can’t find that brake , a difficult realisation sets in everyday ….I am now the “Navigator” and navigators are guides….controls aren’t supposed to be in their hands and feet.
Why didn’t Mr. Henry Ford and his counterparts not think of putting the controls on both sides of the cars?
Why Why ?
The toughest part of parenting is to see your children put themselves at risk again and again with you sitting as a onlooker on the other side. Praying hard and hoping other people on the road can see the “Learners” sign on the back of our car and have their brakes well oiled. (That reminds me, I need to put the red danger sign in the front and all the sides of the car too).
My anxiety level keeps growing by the minute during their driving lessons. With my heart talking aloud and legs shaking I am short of screaming my lungs out, dying to take the control back. But the bullet has left the gun, my kids aren’t willing to let go the control anymore. How much ever I want them to go back being babies….it isn’t possible. They are in the driving seats now. How well or not so well they drive their cars and their lives is in their hands and my control is diminishing and soon will become zero. I am waiting patiently actually not so patiently to see them manovering their cars and lives well.
They aren’t there yet…But HOPEFULLY will be soon. With this thought…I ready myself to get into passenger side of my car everyday , give them the wheel and hold my breath and keep reminding myself ….that I am not and cannot be in the driving seat anymore!
We are forever wanting to teach our kids …something or the other.The problem is just because we are older , we parents sometimes feel we are in a position of authority to put down our opinions about life and how it should be lived …as rules. Rules which should get redundant because times, exposure and understandings have changed.
This works till our kids are in environments which are comfortable spaces for us.. places where we have grown. And then a time comes when it stops working. We come down from that high chair of knowing more than them. We start seeing that our understanding of the world around us has limitations too… but we resist as our position of authority keeps making us feel otherwise.We keep believing wholeheartedly in our own version of our story and it’s righteousness. We sometimes forget , everything has changed … the characters , the plot , the circumstances, the exposure.The protagonists now are different. Though they come from us and we have created them …..our kids have grown up into their own people who are writing their own stories on the face of the earth. And we are watching and sometimes judging and comparing their stories with ours.And when we listen more and step down from that high horse we have been riding which made us feel that we know it better since we have clocked in more years on this planet……we grow as people and parents.
It is good to see their self assured , very straight forward versions and it makes me sigh with the satisfaction of fulfilling my legacy of what I had set out to do with my parenting… freeing my kids go much further than us. Becoming people who are seeing and experiencing life from their own eyes, ears and their own understandings.
The opportunity to see another way of living and getting advise on our work and life from our kids gives us parents a huge high….Glad I have reached there thanks to my children who very often show me the other side and keep making me step out of my very old shoes. The pressure of teaching them and doing everything right for them is gone. The current scenario has changed. My kids are teaching me everyday and they don’t judge and nudge and are more patient. And I am loving it!
Keep pushing me my children, keep making me want to grow, step out from my comfort zone and to hopefully become a more interesting version of me.
Let’s all, let our kids force us to step down from that Silly Slow High Horse we have been riding!
Hiccups are continuing since I saw “Hichki”( “Hiccup” )the Bollywood saga about the harsh reality of the sharp divide between “have and have nots” in our society and in our schools.
Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE Act) is being blatantly violated by private schools in our country. As per RTE Act, government should monitor whether a private school has earmarked 25 per cent of the seats for EWS students. Is that a good idea? Should be …because ideally the kind of education that our children get must not be based on the amount of money their parents have. The schools that are true to filling these quotas are not too sure too. Teachers talk about huge challenges in having kids from various economic statuses in one class . According to them and somewhere rightfully so they feel in big size classrooms … a lot of time gets wasted to handle issues which are specific to EWS kids. And the rest of class suffers. The have and have not divide stares us in the face in these classrooms. The debate why does government not invest in making government schools better instead of forcing private schools to follow the rule continues. We live in a society which runs on money…people who don’t have the money to travel look at people who travel …..who can travel look at people who can travel to foreign lands …. people who can travel in economy to foreign lands look towards people who are occupying the business class seats.
Ok that’s how our world works, we all work at different pace and our circumstances vary but education should not have economy and business class seats. Should it? Because when we work with children, it doesn’t matter what seat they are sitting on,when given equal opportunity …they can do similar wonders. Every experience I have ever had with EWS children has left me wondering….. what if our ESS ( economically strong children ) had the same hunger to learn like their counterparts. And these EWS children ….they can sing, paint, draw, do math , problem solve, debate and learn at similar speeds….that also without their moms and dads stimulating their brains at home and helping them with their homework. What they lack is their ability to express themselves in English. And what a big and a very sad roadblock is that in our country.
There are lots of Hichkis in my throat since yesterday. Watch the movie to see what I mean.
Was Rani Mukerjee( Protagonist of ” Hichki”, a very talented Bollywood actress) right in saying that we all have Tourette syndrome (TS), but ours is in our brains. A societal disorder which makes our brain to hiccup and forces us to be repetitive & stereotypical about judging people and childrens’ ability based on their economic statuses.