Friday, September 26, 2014


Just yesterday I wrote something about trusting children and life, and today Life decides to give me a test on that! Much like a surprise test that teachers throw on us at school :)

I had gone down to meet a friend who was visiting and in my other friend's house, a few floors below where I live. Raghav decided to stay home on his own, as he has been doing quite often these past few months. I have stopped giving instructions to Raghav every time I leave the house when he is alone.

He doesn't know my mobile number or anyone else's by heart, but he knows where my friend lives. There is a sheet near the phone where I have listed out all the important numbers, which he knows about, but has never used. There has not been a need to do that. Nor have I felt a need to simulate a situation like that. So I really don't know how he would react in an emergency and what he would actually do. I don't know if he would be able to handle that. But I know that he will be taken care of by life. I know that that is all I can do - inform him about some of the choices he has. The rest is up to him. This shift happened recently when he on his own expressed a desire to be home by himself, while I did short, quick errands. And I knew that because it came from him, he probably knows what he can do and handle, much better than I would ever know about him.

This afternoon, while I was catching up with my friends on old times - I was meeting one of them after many many years - I lost all track of time. We were busy chatting away and suddenly the doorbell rang. Raghav was at the door! He told me how he thought I was taking longer than usual, and that he wanted to come and call me. He said that he had taken the stairs instead of the lift, because he felt safer doing that. This was the first time he was doing something like this. It was a huge moment for me.

He then got impatient waiting for us to finish talking and decided that he wanted to go home and bring his iPad along. I was wondering what to do, because I had only one key. For a few moments, I felt fear.....a fear of what would happen if I gave him the key and he forgot to bring it back when he stepped out again.....we would not be able to get back into the house then! I realised that the fear was that I could not trust him with the key. I was scared that he would be lost in his thoughts or world and just put it in the keys basket, like he usually does, out of habit, and not pick them up before leaving home again. I was scared that he would just forget about the keys. Once I touched this fear, the solution popped up on its own. I asked him if he had a pocket in his shorts where he could put the keys into, as soon as he opened the door. He looked, smiled and said yes, putting the keys in. I reminded him again as he stepped out of my friend's house, to put the keys in his pocket, with a little more confidence that whispered to me: "We will see what to do if that does not happen. Don't worry."

A few minutes later, Raghav was back with his iPad. I was relieved that he had brought the keys with him, while he very matter-of-factly said: "yeah...the keys are in my pocket," and plonked himself on the sofa, immersed in his racing game.

I realised that even when I did not quite trust him, myself and life in those few moments, I actually had no choice but to trust. Yes, I could have put my foot down and asked him to wait till I could go with him. But I  could not do that. Because deep down, I knew that this whole thing was about me and my being aware of my thoughts and my fears. It was something I had to allow to happen. For myself. For my son.

There is just no way we can be completely 'prepared' for emergencies, because no matter what you do to be prepared, it all depends on THAT moment and what you think, feel and do in the moment. In spite of all the talking and preparation, my son could have still forgotten the keys at home, or dropped them somewhere. How can I ever hope to prepare him for that?

It was a good experience for me today to reflect on my fears and my levels of trust. I love how Life gives me these surprise tests :) Life is my resident teacher, my friend and my guide.

You cannot prepare yourself for Life. 
You just have no choice but to trust it and live it. 

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