Hi! Here I’m addressing all the mothers and not the fathers because as Beverly Jones once said – “Now, as always, the most automated appliance in a household is the mother.” Once I was having a conversation with a mother of one of my students (he was 4 years old) about how early a mother should start worrying about the career of her child. I said “Rome was not built in a day” and she quipped that “Since Rome was not built in a day so we’ve to start early.” I said, I agree, but here it’s ‘You’ who has decided that your child will grow up to build a Rome, it means you’re trying to typecast him to become an Engineer or whatever (Here, Engineer is merely symbolic). Now, isn’t it unfair to rob off the choice from the child? We all are gifted in a way or the other so isn’t it distrusting the God’s gift in the child? Isn’t it doubting the child’s creativity? Isn’t it an encroachment to the child’s decision? It is!
I tried to explain this further with an example. I told her: “Take some water and put it into a glass. You already know the shape of the water in the glass; in fact, in a way it was predetermined by you. Now, take that same amount of water and spread it on the floor. Now, observe the ever changing contours of the water; free to move anywhere, ready to take any shape. In this case as you’ll observe that since the shape was not predetermined by you, it’s more complex and sophisticated than the shape of the water in the glass.” In a nut-shell “Let your child paint a Monalisa (become an Engineer) only if he wants to otherwise let him paint his own Masterpiece!
We know youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall but a mother’s secret hope outlives them all! Every mother hopes for something surprisingly great for their child. I can understand that it’s not easy being a mother as Faye Hallman once said “At times a child is a combination of a thousand questions, all asked at the same time, a miniature rocket blasting off exactly when you want quite. Ten little fingers, getting into trouble when at rest or else acting like ten thumbs when trying to do something extra special. A head full of ideas – not always appropriate at the time but bursting from every seam, a mouth that can’t stay closed for even a slightest moment. Giving information that won’t be needed for at least another twenty minutes. A pair of beady eyes that question your authority, your age, but with an innocent, calf like depth that breaks your heart when you want to scold. A set of ears that never seem to be aimed in the right direction at the right time. They are never on your wavelength when you call his name or mention work. But as soon as you say ‘Play’, ‘Lunch’ or ‘recess’, he is the first to communicate to his sister what he has just received. A nose that always seems to be sniffing or needing to be wiped. A body that never sits still but is in perpetual motion and ever seems to run down even when you haven’t another puff of energy left but is always completely tired when you are in an enthusiastic mood. He has a voice that startles you, questions you, idolizes you and can melt the strongest, coldest heart to be focused. His desk resembles the ingredients of an atomic bomb – a few erasers, two chewed on pencils, a scratch pad with doodles, chalk, paper clips, rubber bands, a comb, his snacks and of course a few dog eared books. He has the energy of a wild horse; sometimes he looks like he had just raced one. A temper as changeable as the weather, the patience of a caged lion, the smile of a new-born baby, the laugh of a hyena but the pure heart of an angel. He gives you trouble, a bad temper, a sore throat and a wish to resign but yet he makes your life the most enjoyable one on this earth.”
I am asking particularly to Indian mothers that – “Do you know why there is a dearth of Led Zeppelins and Roger Federers in India?” It’s not that we lack talents but we’re too afraid to take the risk as we don’t believe in God’s gift. We are too busy adding successful engineers and doctors into our family but not ready to make way for a successful human being. I believe sometimes, it’s today’s parents that need counseling and not always the poor child.
Best of luck to all the mother because “a mother will always be her child’s favorite toy!”
Take-care! Spokesman of Children
PS — “There is only one pretty child in the world and every mother has it!” – Chinese Proverb