the mother was off to collect her daughter from the coaching classes. The classes were just down the street. But there was this road which had to be crossedb - heavy with traffic at all times of the day....
Rash driving with no respect for rules . the mother wasn't really keen on taking any chances.
As she walked , she couldn't but thank her stars that the daughter was still open to the idea of being collected from her classes. She hadn't objected or even thrown the typical adolescent tantrum.
The daughter came out of the building straight upto her and hissed..".why do you have to come right up to the gate??. you could wait for me at the signal , up the road."
the mother was livid and retorted... “if you really want to be so independent why don't you do the entire stretch by yourself? Walk home by yourself?”
the next day the mother once again was walking down the same street,,. to pick up the same brat from the same class. On the way she saw 2 little girls.. about 6 yrs old… in Std 1 probably. they were wearing the same school uniform as the daughter. They were prancing outside a store as their mothers picked up school supplies for them. The looked ever so cute in their tiny pig tails and pony tails.
The mother went back in time ..... why oh why do children grow up so fast ! the cute bundles are now fire breathing teenagers !
the mother was a little late and she kept craning over the crowds in the street looking for her daughter. Yesterday’s insults were forgotten and her heart had been softened already with the sight of the 2 little girls
and then the mother spotted her daughter , she wasn’t alone. walking with her was a young boy from her coaching classes. the mother tried to place the boy. he didn’t look like any of the classmates she knew. she really didn’t think she would be able to recognize the boy as they all looked so different from the cherubic schoolboys they had been. they were growing up too, with young moustaches, pimples, a lanky frame….
seeing her daughter with a boy, outside the background of school had shaken the mother a bit.
looking at them from a distance, a bit detachedly.. the daughter looked different. she didn’t look like the baby of the house anymore. she was a teen... a young lady.
she spotted me. i smiled at her and then her friend. he smiled back awkwardly . when i reached them they said their goodbyes and he walked away.
I asked her who he was. "from school?"
"no. from the coaching class, from another school," she said
I was trying to collect myself, when the daughter faced me and asked, “can i walk with him? “
I looked at her hard, studying her face. the expressions that flitted across .she was trying to act indifferent, but the look in her eyes - almost pleading. I surprised myself and the daughter by saying a yes.
she happily ran ahead towards her friend, bridging the distance in a jiffy.
bridging the distance... that was what i want to do with the brat pack. closing the distance between us .. or atleast making the first moves at doing so…,attempting , to build that bridge - of trust
The daughter and her friend were chattering away.. laughing . Soon her friend had to take a lane on the right, to his home.. and my girl came back to me .
so what was the big deal....
For one.. until now, the frame of reference had been home, school and a circle of close friends. I keep harping away at her at home - you are a grown up girl .. but to me she had only remained the younger child. I had not accepted that she had really grown up. seeing her with another who was unknown to me was a first time. the thought that soon.. very soon.. her loved ones would include a whole lot of new people.,, the thought that i might not approve but i might not have much of a say…....
Ouuuchhhh !! That hurt. I guess , it is not so much about control, but that part of being a bystander that is painful.
it is time i grew up.