Thursday, September 13, 2012

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction?

Well, that is one of the first things I learnt in Physics I remember! But does that really hold true for other things in life and the actions you encounter on your way? I wonder.....

This post is different from all the other ones here, as this has very little to do with my son or what he said or did. It is all about me. For the first time today, I can proudly proclaim that I was not hurt one bit by what someone said to me. :) I was surprised at myself for being able to handle this so matter-of-factly, especially since it was a close family member. Sometime ago, I would have reacted to this action. I would have got hurt, felt miserable, cried and fallen into the trap of getting bogged down with my emotions......helpless....unable to get myself out. Not today though!

"So Raghav is seven now? right? And he still needs you to talk for him?!", he said grinning nonchalantly. We had gone to say our goodbyes to family that was here from the U.S and leaving tonight. Raghav wanted to ask him something about his cousin. But he was hesitant to ask and wanted me to do it for him. Before that, he was stopped short with these words :"I will not answer if your mother asks me. I will answer only if you ask me." Usually, Raghav would have walked away and just been quiet. But today, Raghav surprised everyone (including me!) by actually asking him what he wanted to know! Whew! My boy had grown and evolved and could actually speak for himself when confronted directly!

But there was more to come. The topic of homeschooling Raghav and future plans had to come up from them, and so it did. While it is something I have become used to, I have usually responded to some people from the family, with a little reservation, diplomacy and irritation - to counter the cynicism and fear that their words stem from. This time however, I found myself responding very differently. Something inside perhaps has changed. I have evolved.....I don't know how or when it exactly happened.....but it has.

"So you guys are still homeschooling him? How long do you propose to do that?"
"Yes we are.....for however long he wants to....", I said.
(He laughs) "So HE decides?!"
"Yes, he does....he was the one who even decided that he would not go to school!"
"He doesn't like structure imposed from outside and direction; he likes to learn by himself", I replied.
"So he knows what he wants!....well you guys must save up a lot of money for his future education!", he said.

I must say that this has been the first time I have heard someone say to us that we are actually saving money by not sending him to school! That has never occurred to us before! It amazes me as to how people can think of such creative reasons for us to homeschool! The reality of course is very different and doesn't really matter - we actually spend the same or sometimes even more money with the frequent holidays, more toys and resources, etc.

Just as we were leaving, they went up to Raghav and asked him to be obedient and listen to us - his parents. I smiled. In the same breath, they said that they should actually be telling him to get us to listen to him more! I cannot believe that I actually laughed it all off, without reacting at all. I could look beyond the sarcasm, the condescension and the intent to hurt me. I could look into the being that was struggling to be something it actually wasn't, yet again. Why? Why would they do that? I don't know. But what I know is that they couldn't touch me or my son today.......because we stood grounded and centred with our own inner selves....a safe place where we could go back to renew our strength......where noone or nothing could shake us. I realised today that I had that space within me that had been shrouded by the mindless chatter inside.....and today the veil was lifted reveal the truth and beauty of a soul that has started loving itself. I know now, that there is no stopping and no turning back.

The cocoon had broken. It had served its purpose. What emerged was a beautiful butterfly.... ready to take on the a different way!

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Today we celebrated Janmashtami and just like the last year, Raghav wanted to dress up as Krishna. These are the few occasions when he likes dressing up! On ordinary days, he doesn't really bother choosing what to wear - anything would do! But today was an extra special day for him - he wanted to wear a green kurta, pajama,  the 'naamam' (mark on the forehead), a crown that he had made last year (checking to see if the peacock feather on it was intact!) and a flute to go in his hand!.....our little Krishna was ready for the day! The rest of the evening was spent prancing around and blowing hard on the flute. He called his grandparents over and also invited his friends, to partake in our small puja and enjoy all the snacks that I had made. Raghav helped me make some of the snacks too - he rolled out small balls for the sweet cheedais.
It was fun to watch him explain to his friends what the celebration was all about and how he liked to dress up as Krishna. There were discussions among the three about how one of them was a Christian and so only celebrated Christmas, did not wear the 'naamam', and so on. While they were eating together, one of them asked if a bag that was hanging on the door was Raghav's school bag. Raghav promptly said that he was homeschooling and that he did not go to school. Soon, there was a heated discussion about school and teachers.... and how even if teachers got angry and scolded them, they liked to go to school because there was playtime and they learnt a lot...questions about why Raghav did not like school.....and Raghav saying how teachers got angry even if they did nothing wrong!.....with the final words from Raghav (for which there was no answer): "I like to homeschool.....because just imagine.....I don't have to go anywhere away from home at all to a place called school! How nice no?!""

Here are some pictures to share the fun that we all had today! :)