I am back to learning alphabets,poems,tables and playing hide & seek. Yes…, there are are so many things which I had almost forgotten (like,saying the hindi varnmala in the correct order!), I am learning again with my son.
The best and most beautiful thing about being a parent is that you get the opportunity to revisit your own childhood days. Every now and then I find myself telling my son, ‘when we were your age, we did this, we did that!’ Even he seems to enjoy those events, imagining me and my brother as little children like him.
We play, we fight and we laugh together.So many old fairytales, I had forgotten, I am reading again for my son. I remembered Ali- baba and forty theives, but I had totally forgotten how the stories of Arabian nights started. I remembered the name ‘Hansel and Gretel’, but what was the story exactly? Its wonderful going back to those fairytale days. I am really loving it.
Pillow fights, jigsaw puzzles, crosswords; I am even back to colouring with wax crayons. He loves to pluck the vegetables from our kitchen garden. I let him do so, just like my father let me pluck, when I was young.When we visit some children’s park, memories of my own such visits,swings, slides, comes back to the mind.
Parenthood is an amazing way of nature to let us love and live life once again. It reveals the miracle that life is. The growing up age of our children reflect how we ourselves started from nothing.
I was most wonderfully surprised by the learning process. One alphabet at a time! When my son was in the kindergarden, he felt so happy and excited whenever he learnt a single, new alphabet. He would be so eager to get back home and show me how to write ‘N’. Then the next week ‘M’. Gradually he progressed to three letter words, four letter words, small sentences, paragraphs and finally,a great achievement- reading stories! I wondered all the time- ‘God,is this how I learnt too? One little alphabet at a time?’ I wondered at the innocent happiness and pride a four year old feels on learning simple little new things. My son is seven years old now. He can read stories. But every now and then he stops and asks the meaning and pronunciation of some new word. I wonder, this is how we developed our vocabulary.
I cannot knit. But I had carefully preserved all the sweaters my mother had knitted for me and my brother, when we were young. My son is now wearing them and he loves to see our old black and white photos, wearing those sweaters.
Everytime I go to a book fair, I find myself buying books for him in all the three languages he knows; english,hindi and bangla. Just like my father did! I revise with him all that was done in school the same day. Just like my mother did!
School assemblies,prayers,picnics,festivals,vacations,memories of so many incidents of childhood keep coming back to my mind. Unconsciously we tend to train our children in the same way as we ourselves were brought up. We fully realize all the efforts and sacrifices our parents made for us. Revisiting the memories of our own childhood not only bonds us with our own children, but it also hightens the love and respect for our own aging parents, because of whom we are today responsible citizens and parents.