2018 ended on a high note for me. I was hoping for 2019 to have an equally great start. After welcoming the new year by organizing a picnic with friends followed by a family get together, we returned back to Kolkata in the first week of this month. The pending writing assignments got me busy immediately after and then it was time for the toddler to get back to his preschool post the holidays. My 3.4-year-old happens to be one of the most gentle, caring and compassionate souls in my life till date. In an era of eroding humanity and decaying conscientiousness, he is unbelievably empathetic and understanding for his age. It wouldn’t be unfair to say that I am learning to be a better person through his actions.
Within three days of joining back preschool, he fell sick because of a stomach infection. We had to coax him to skip classes on Thursday and Friday to help him recover. It saddened me to think of the consequence of this sudden illness. In all probability, he was likely to miss the preschool carnival scheduled on 12th Jan (yesterday). When he woke up yesterday morning, I was furiously typing on my laptop trying to attempt writing a few words for my second novel. I had expected him to start nagging me to stop working and attend to him instead. But to my surprise, he asked me if we could go to the carnival for a little duration.
Despite the fact that he was still too weak for an activity that involved a lot of fun and energy, my heart went out to the little boy and I nodded smilingly. I had assumed that his interest lay in the games, delicious food, and the gala celebration but to my surprise, he spoke about how Aunty M was going to miss him if he didn’t show up. He didn’t want his class teacher Aunty M to be disheartened owing to his absence. In the past nine months that he has been a student of this preschool, I have seen him transform from a child terrified of going to school to an eager toddler waiting for his weekend to get over so that he could be back at school. He shares an amazing rapport with not just his teachers but also the nannies who take care of these little ones. Honestly, I am learning how to build and nurture relationships from him these days. So, not only did he go to the carnival yesterday, but he also managed to win four out of the five games that he played. The cherry on the cake was a beautiful kite that he created with the help of his Aunty M. I couldn’t have been more proud.
Often, we tend to be judgemental about an individual based on their traits, especially if these are vastly different from ours. As a kid, I have always been quite fearless and assertive. My son, on the other hand, is extremely cautious in nature and gets easily intimated. I am vocal about my opinion in a loud and clear voice while he is soft-spoken and selective about his words. Unfortunately, his introvert and sensitive nature often get labeled as weakness. It did affect me initially because he was everything that I wasn’t. But with time, I have learned some of the biggest life lessons from him. Today, I think it is a privilege for me to be in a position to imbibe certain virtues of his. I have learned to pause and observe my surroundings, soak in their beauty and act from my heart just like he does it effortlessly.