This December, I am looking forward to the New Year with equal parts anticipation and apprehension. This is because my little one is soon going to ‘graduate’ from her cozy little pre-school and transition into the ‘big’ school. This is the first of many such transitions that she will make in her life. I think I am more nervous than she is at this moment.
Among other things, she has to travel by a school bus. Which means that I will be depending on strangers to ensure my precious one’s safety for the duration of travel to and from school. Having spent the last two years doing the largely thankless job of dropping and picking her up from school – this seems like an especially difficult transition to make.
The Kidlet however, is not as bothered by these eventualities as I am. Sometimes she does wonder if the ‘many-many’ children in the big school will squash her (by virtue of them being many-many!) – but that by far is the extent of her concerns. The more she is nonchalant, the more I get stressed. Why does she not realize the magnitude (Ok, I exaggerate a bit) of the change that awaits her in the next term? New premises, new teachers, bus travel and then of course the many-many children!
Many parents have told me that it will all be fine and though I do grudgingly believe them I find it difficult to let go! Yes, that indeed is the root of my problems. Despite all the noises I may make about being a liberal mother – with my identity not being completely defined by motherhood, I must sheepishly admit to the contrary.
In the last five years, there’s been nary a moment that I haven’t been near my little one as she went around doing all the learning and growing that she was meant to be doing. With every success and stumble, I’ve had pride of place right next to her. Now I need to give up on that – and much stomping of feet has ensued. Maybe I’ll just sign up as bus-conductor or teaching aide, maybe I’ll just sit and pray at home for all the while that she is out. But I know that I’d rather be going about catching up on what constitutes my own life independent of motherhood charges.
I am looking at this as a weaning off phase. Because that’s what it feels like at the end of the day. I may have been responsible in bringing this little human being into the planet and helping her take her first few steps. But it is now equally my responsibility to let go of her hands and trust her to find her way into the future. And even as I do so I need to relearn to walk by myself and assure the both of us that we can make it on our own in this world, come what may.
New Year Transitions? Bring ‘em on!
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