I remember when I was in school there was this girl and her kid sister who used to bully everyone in our rickshaw especially one of my friend. These girls belonged to an affluent family. The elder one was beautiful, intelligent, outspoken and had all traits of a confident teenager. While my friend and even me, we were shy, introvert, average students having all traits of lack of confidence 🙂
One day I and my friend had enough of their bullying. So when we reached her home and their beautiful mother came to pick them, I complained about her younger daughter and how she pushes everyone around. The mother was alarmed and told us she’ll definitely fix her. We were happy, assuming that things will change for good – after all her mother had assured us.
However, the very next morning, when our rickshaw reached their place to pick the kids, surprisingly this lady started scolding us, especially my friend. She went on telling that my friend belonged to a lower class and is not fit to be studying in a convent. Shocked and dismayed with her behavior, we later realized that the elder daughter seemed to have convinced the mother about being us out of ‘class’ and our complaints being false, roused out of our inferiority complex. My friend was heartbroken and terribly hurt.
That day I learnt an important lesson of life. With all the beautiful virtues which transpire out of motherhood – there is one vile thing which manifests itself naturally – blind love and ego for one’s offspring. Mother is naturally protective for her children. But then I have often wondered whether that means recklessly supporting your kid even when he or she is wrong.
One day, I took my 2 year old to play and took along her tricycle. Another girl, probably 3 years, tried snatching the cycle. I tried to dissuade her politely in her endeavor and calm her down, but then she wanted my daughter’s little Minnie doll which she was holding. I again calmed her down. But this time she was annoyed at not having got what she wanted and started pulling my daughter’s hair. My kiddo was just looking at her and me, unable to comprehend that little girl’s behavior. Somehow I managed to get out of the place and the situation. I did not want to be hard at the little girl as she was innocent just like my daughter unable to fully understand right from wrong and the accepted societal behavior but at the same right time I was angry that she was bullying the younger one and I am responsible to protect her.
And then there is this boy, also around 3 years, who is crazy for balls. Sadly, many times when he is with his Nanny, he pushes every other child around for balls. I had this surge of anger when I was caught unawares and he pushed my daughter who was just 1 year to seize her ball. She started crying helplessly innocently. It is a tough situation as I cannot scold the kid as he is too young and I know complaining is not taken very kindly by all parents.
It would have been nice had the mother of these kids been there as they would have stopped their kid but this cannot be always. Even I won’t be there always for my doll. She herself had to fight from such and more grave situations in best possible ways. She will have to decide for right from wrong and to stand up for right without hurting the sentiments of others.
And this made me realize what an important job we have as parents. We are not only parents to cute kids but custodian of the virtues of respect, care, empathy & selflessness to maintain the sanity of civilized world. Being the Guardian of our Angels, it is imperative that we raise our children to be better human beings. And this certainly requires us to be in control of our own emotions and selfish traits. There is good and evil in all of us. The seed is there in our kids too. But which one of these two gets nourishment and flourishes is really dependent on how conscious we are in imparting a strong, honest, impartial set of virtues to them.
If I can teach my daughter how to trust her conscience – and if I can help her develop her conscience in the first place – I would feel I have been a successful mother. I want my daughter to know herself when she has done something wrong and own her mistake – and move on! I am sure she will make some wrong choices. And I am sure she will certainly wander off many a times from the right path. But as long as she knows how to come back, and as long as her conscience brings her back on track, I will feel I have fulfilled my karma as a mother!
Roohi Bhatnagar is a passionate writer and an artist who also works for IT industry to earn her living. She is a doting mom of a cute daughter. Her stories have been published in “Chicken soup for Indian Souls” series and her paintings have been part of local exhibitions. These days her life’s mantra is to clutter the platter. Apart from the dream world where she often wanders you can also find her at her blog “Soulful“. Her twitter handle is @roohibhatnagar.