Monday, 7 July 2014

Sometimes, learning happens thus…

Parenting is a university. Life takes us through different learning stages. We study in school, then we graduate to college. We do our degrees in various disciples and then when we think we know it all, we become parents.

Maybe this is God’s way of telling us that we don’t know anything yet! What we have seen thus far was just the tip of an iceberg. The great Tamil poet Avaiyaar once said that what we know is just a handful of sand grains, while what we do not know is the sand grains in the entire world.

On one occasion, especially, I experienced this. It left me humbled.

My son was in his Senior Kinder Garden, when one day his teacher asked me to meet her. When I met her, her face was grim and she showed me his dictation paper. He had scored a zero.

In spite of teaching him repeatedly, he did not seem to understand. His teacher  was concerned that he was not able to internalize what was being taught, as he had scored a nil in recitation too!

I assured her that I would look into the matter and ensure that he does not repeat it. I did not want to talk to my son about it as he was only 5 years old and had a life time ahead to learn spellings. Yet, as a parent, I was nervous. I had chosen a system for my son and it was my duty to ensure that he survived in that system.

For the first time, the pressure of parenting got the better of me. I was never a pushy parent and my daughter did well in school. Though she never topped the class, I was happy the way she grew up. I insisted on an overall development rather than lop-sided achievements.

The snake that ate the dragon that killed the snake!
As I sat with my son that evening, I could not focus on what he was doing and he used the chance to scribble on the freshly painted wall! He drew a giraffe and called out to me to have a look. I was amazed. It felt like the eyes of the giraffe were following me.

What is the difference between drawing and writing?
I gently started talking to him. I told him that he had not written his test well and had given a blank sheet to the teacher.

“But, Amma, she never asked me to draw anything,” he said, innocence filling the room.

In a flash, I told him to draw ‘F’ on the wall. He drew it perfectly. Then I gave him a few three letter words to draw on the wall and he ‘drew’ them perfectly!

Relief poured out of my eyes as tears as I hugged my son and told him that if someone asked him to write something, he had to draw it!