My daughter’s school project this year is on the theme: Water. Very fittingly too, given that we live in a state that faces drought this year. And even as we continue living our urban insulated lives it is heartening to see that the little one is learning about something so very critical to our existence.
She makes sure we turn off the taps between rinses, while brushing our teeth. Indeed she gets angry if we leave the tap running a second longer than necessary. She has been learning about the power of water in enriching our lives – from providing our daily sustenance to powering electricity grids. She knows about how humans abuse this gift through pollution and wastage. She also knows of the wrath of water– floods, seepage, illness etc.
There are so many things that my 5-year-old child is reminding me of as she learns about the world around her. As I help her cut out paper for yet another collage I see her eyes sparkling with discovery and surprise. When was the last time your mind boggled about the human body being 70% water? It’s not like I am learning something new, yet there are many long filed away snippets in my mind that are coming out alive.
Though I may crib about the heightened levels of ‘parental involvement’ that schools expect nowadays, heart of hearts I am very grateful for it. Not only does it mean that it forces me to spend more time with my child it also gives me an opportunity to re-appreciate so many things that I have come to take for granted. It also reminds me of what is actually important. Take water for instance, a natural resource that’s being plundered away recklessly. When you look at your child’s face and think about it – the future does not seem so distant and you are forced to consider your actions more meaningfully.
I am thoroughly enjoying this opportunity to be part of her learning experience. It has been a great relief to hang-up my parent boots and be a co-conspirator instead. And honestly, I find that keeping my eyes open rather than pre-judged has done me a world of good. It also has an unlikely side benefit – I feel less tired and worn down by school commitments. There was a time when I would hem and haw and roll my eyes at yet another obscure requirement for schoolwork. But now I find myself doing it with enthusiasm.
After all, getting an education is a once in a lifetime privilege – but getting it twice over is just being blessed!
Nidhi Dorairaj Bruce is a Freelance writer from Mumbai. With no formal education in Parenting, she has been getting on-the-job training ever since her daughter, affectionately referred to as ‘the kidlet’, arrived on the scene 5 years ago. On Twitter, you can connect with Nidhi @typewritermom