It has begun. In another 15 days, you will be entering the portals of ‘big’ school – complete with longer hours (four hours!), school buses, school lunches and more independence. And my greatest fear is – how will you cope? Daughter of my heart – I have sheltered you and taken care of your every need so far, ensured that you are well fed, well clothed and well loved. Now you have to learn to wear your own shoes, wipe your own nose and carry your own bag.
Your teachers say that you have to take the school bus, and I tremble with fear. I, who have never let you go alone down the corridor to the neighbour’s house, have to now let you go alone all the way to school and back. Will you be scared, surrounded by strangers and unused to being alone, or excited at the novelty of it all? Your teachers say that you will eat lunch at school. But who will watch over you to make sure that you have had your fill and are not forfeiting health for playfulness? No teacher is going to ply you with stories and songs even as they ply you with food – only a mother would! Your day is going to be long with a lot of activities packed in. No doubt you will enjoy most of it, but is it too much for your little body and brain to handle?I can’t help feeling that you are already losing a little bit of your carefree childhood in the pursuit of ‘education’.
And I am filled with sorrow when I think of your father. How little he will see of your growing years, for you will be fast asleep when he comes back home and will be well on your way to school by the time he awakens. He is going to miss your stories, your games, your laugh, your hugs and your waking hours…. As you take your first step towards a world filled with curiosity, enquiry and learning, I have no doubt that, while it’s going to be difficult, independence will come naturally to you. Like a butterfly tentatively pushing its way out of a cocoon, you will unfurl your wings and drawing sustenance from the sun, spread them out wide and take flight. And my greatest fear is – how will I cope?
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