Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Trials and Tribulations

Today seemed like any other day. Raghav has been back in his Lego world for some time now, watching Lego Undercover videos on the iPad, when he is not in the midst of his cherished bricks. Every morning, for the last week or so, he has been a man on a mission - waking up, lying in silence and staring into space on the bean bag ( his most favourite space in our house), and then suddenly getting up to go to his room and get started on his project for the day. Today, he announced to us that he was going to build a movie theatre, before disappearing into his little Lego world :)

Over the last week, most of what he has built have had name boards on them, which he painstakingly creates and makes on his own, with little or well-defined help (usually for sticking them on; not even asking for spellings) from me, as and when needed. He has chosen of late, to write rather than type out the names for the buildings he creates for his Lego city. He has chosen to stay with the trials and tribulations of writing - something that he rarely did in the past. He has chosen to be with his pain and wait for the elusive joy of creating well-formed, perfect (in his opinion) words with pen and paper.

He made five attempts today to get these name boards done. After every attempt, he would scream in agony, angry at himself for making a mistake, and go away to another room to be by himself. He did not want any help. He did not want a quick-fix solution this time. He wanted to be with his frustration, pain, anger and sadness of knowing that no matter how hard he tried, it was just not coming out right. All that I could do, was to be with him, hug him and kiss him. The first few times, he did not even want  me to talk. And so I sat with his pain in silence.

The last time however, he was heartbroken as he had got all of them right, except for the last one alphabet/number. He couldn't believe that he had got the last one wrong.
"I am very sad, frustrated and angry Amma," he screamed, throwing himself on the bed, his arms and legs flailing, body contorting, like an injured worm.
"Amma, why is it that it never comes out right for me?", he sobbed.
It is hard to be a perfectionist. I saw myself in him. I had felt the pain of falling from my own self-created pedestal and benchmark so many times before. It is a raw, deep pain when you feel that you are not good enough, not because of some image that you have of yourself from listening to what others think or say, but because you have fallen in your own eyes....when you want to be who you cannot be.

There was room for me to get in there - finally. I acknowledged how he was feeling in silence, and then when he had calmed down a bit, asked him if what he was feeling was really true.
"Was it really true that nothing came out right?", I asked quietly.
"No," he said with a faint, transient smile brewing.
We then listed out all the alphabets that he had written correctly. We spoke about how they were all neatly formed, how they were in a line and not dancing elsewhere :), how they were all fitted within
the space he had drawn out, and how he had got only one alphabet/ number in the whole string wrong.
"When you see a doughnut, do you see the hole or the yummy doughnut?", I asked him.
" I see the doughnut only," he replied, with a beaming smile.
"So can we see the doughnut here?", I wondered with him.
He had got the message.
He jumped up and was off to make another attempt! And then, he also went on to make the name board that said "CINEMA" on it! Each and every letter was made by drawing around a Lego block to get the square shape, writing the letter inside that square, without any help, and sticking it up on the Lego name board.

           Failed attempts.....


The joy of finally getting it right :)

The Cinema - complete!

the snack counter inside
inside the theatre

McQueen on the screen!

It was hard for me to believe that a child who had developed a hatred for writing at school, years ago, was now making a sincere and happy attempt to do just that! It was harder for me to understand how a child with absolutely no practice or even attempt to write, for months together, could actually write with such finesse!

Trials and tribulations must (happen to) bring out the best in us.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, when the reluctant writer sees a need to write he will. Loved the building!


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