Watering the plants

As she hesitantly opens her notebooks to do the day’s homework, she steals a look at me and asks if she can skip it just today. It is a question she has been asking me for the last month. The cursive whorls that purl the pages are more angular than what is expected of her. If she had more patience she would make them curly but her handwriting is a mirror of her personality — edgy and quick.

I think back to this time last year. Today, we are attempting to teach her to connect her alphabet but last year she didn’t even have a ‘handwriting’ so to speak. Lines, standing and sleeping were the only arsenal in her armoury.  

It is natural to take pride in things when you watch them grow with your involvement. This is why some people get a kick out of making money multiply or the plants that are tended to with care and love. This is why a rented place will never hold the charm that an owned house will beget. When our children do well, we feel that pride. Because we are invested in that growth. Because we contributed to it.

My daughter started her schooling comparatively late. She did pretty alright in her first year of school. More than academics, she enjoyed the extracurricular activities. The stage was her forte. And with each activity, I watched her unfurl. A relatively self-conscious child, she shone in the spotlight. Her voice never wavered, her feet stood firm.

And every rhyme she recited, every number she wrote, every story she told, I witnessed with wonder. Sometimes a hostile negotiator, sometimes no less than an angel, my daughter amplified my growth. As her first academic year drew to a close, we went for the final parents-teachers meet. When the teacher handed me her report card, she and I spoke about the journey that my daughter had made, both the guru and the mother proud of our contribution to her development.   

We returned home and celebrated. I was happier between the two of us. I danced more than her, I laughed louder. My pride was more in her achievements than I have ever felt in my own. Over pizzas and cake, we raised our lemonade glasses in a toast for the adventures that lay ahead. We concocted our own bubble of nostalgia and lay there cocooned in its warmth.

There are facets of her personality that we are both discovering together. What is new to her is new to me as well. We have become our own band of pirates — exploring the seas, sometimes choppy, sometimes redolent of peaceful morning sunrises.  

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Watering the plants


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