A small step that is a big leap
by Anjali Sharma
“A girl is innocence playing in the mud, beauty standing on its head, and motherhood dragging a doll by the foot” — Alan Beek
EVERY parent wants the best for his or her child. The best of opportunities, education, career, company, friends and future. Parents even sacrifice their peace of mind, for the apple of their eyes. Every step of a child’s growth is a mystery which unfolds with time and through experience. Sending your child, for the first day to school is a bitter-sweet experience. It may have led to anxiety attacks and given sleepless nights to many parents. I am no exception.
As my little darling turned three years old, we landed in the national capital, Delhi and school hunting for the tiny-tot began. Because of our Army background, the preference, of course, was an Army school. Accommodation was allotted in the civil area, so we opted for the best school nearby. This requirement was fulfilled by one of the most prestigious schools of Delhi, but now the big question was, will she get admission there or not. But, all thanks to the point system, the distance from the school to home played the major role in overcoming this hurdle.
Finally our little Miss got admission in the premier institute and with that began the real roller-coaster in my mind. How would she adjust to the new environment? How would she cope with the challenges awaiting her? Whom would she share her initial thoughts and needs at school with? Her hesitation coupled with my apprehensions, ensured that all these thoughts kept on flashing in my mind, giving way to turmoil, day in and day out. I was restless. She was about to enter a whole new world all together, a world away from the safe environs and cosy comfort of home, a world full of strangers, the outside world, a world made of friends as well as foes. I was sure that I would not allow my love and concern to mar her very first step to the this new world.
Then came the Big Day, the day when my darling was to enter a new world. The mere thought of parting from her, even for a few hours, gave me goose-bumps. To my surprise, when she got up for school in the morning that day, she was all excited. With great enthusiasm, she got ready and with pride wore her school dress. Her joy knew no boundaries when she saw her new schoolbag, water bottle and her lunch box. Like an obedient child, she folded her hands to pray and seek the blessings of our ancestral goddess.
Finally, came the moment when she was to enter her class for the first time. She surprised me yet again as she took to her class as fish does to water and waved at me, much as to say: “All is well, Mama I am a big girl now!” After waiting for three long hours, my princess was out again with us with all cheers and smiles. She wanted to rush back home, so that she could come back to school again, the next morning. Watching her on her first day of school left me wondering how time flies.
From a newborn, to a toddler and now as a nursery kid, all by herself in school with no parents around. Her infancy has given way to her magical years; which will soon turn into years for discovery. Let her make most of it. She will always remain a little girl for me, but for her to learn worldly virtues and vices, I must also learn to share her with friends, work and play.