an unexpectedly early interlude to this tragicomedy

Who would have ever thunk that after spending two entire years at home with my little child, I’m feeling completely clueless now as to how to spend a day during the week with him when he doesn’t have to go to school!

D was such a brave sweetheart on Monday morning. He was nearly teary-eyed at the realisation that it was a day for school. Over the weekend, he had whispered to me a couple of times “Koo? Koo?” So apprehensive of the answer he was that he couldn’t bring himself to say the entire word “school” when he wanted to know if we were headed to school. “It’s a holiday,” we replied as straight-faced as we could. No trace of excitement in our voices. We don’t want him to latch on to the idea that holidays are better than school days. Neither any trace of disappointment. Yes, school can be exciting but that is a conclusion he needs to arrive at, at his own pace, to his own satisfaction.

So yesterday morning, as we started to get ready for school, he protested but when he understood there was no backing out, he couldn’t wait to reach school! He was apprehensive but he himself came up with reasons to look forward to school. Mrs. Kim. Miss Laroche. Cookies. Snack time. Backyard. Mumma waiting right outside school. He kept up with his narrative while we only sports-casted. We never tell D to not cry. Crying is such a natural form of expression how can we tell a child to not release his emotions. But somehow he himself tried to hold back his tears, tried to focus on what’s in school rather than on who’s not inside the premises. He very willingly walked to Miss LaRoche. And perhaps for the first time since this saga began, I walked out of school with soaring spirits, with a purpose, my mind on the work-related tasks I intended to complete while D was at school.

So imagine this. When I went to pick up D yesterday, Miss LaRoche told me that he had a bout of diarrhoea that morning. (Eventually turned out that was not the case, but it meant that he had to stay home from school on Tuesday.) He fell asleep on the ride back home, and when we reached home he continued to nap while I lay beside him wondering what on earth was I going to do to keep him engaged on Tuesday. And, without any trace of guilt, I also thought of how much I’d miss those precious couple of hours in the morning, walking on the beautiful roads of Oakville and tackling some work. I was chuckling to myself silently beside a sleeping D as this thought popped into my mind!

It is amazing how quickly the human body and mind gets accustomed to change. Though I spent months agonising over whether or not school was the right decision for D at this point in time, it took me barely a week to get used to the new normal. And this was threatening to change, albeit for only a day, and I was already resisting the very idea of it.

So the big lesson for me is this: “Change happens, and we adapt.” Nothing new or enlightening here but it’s something we quickly forget as we fall into a new routine or out of it into another way of life.

It’s Tuesday afternoon and D is napping. I always take time to look at him when he’s asleep. It shifts everything into perspective. All the effort we put in to raise this little child … it is a labour of love … We do it because we love him. With zero expectations of anything in return, either on this day or at some later point in life. Because for all our effort, D is rewarding us this very moment by showing us remarkable new ways to look at and enjoy life. And these moments are so precious. The time that I have at home with him … the time that I have for myself when he is at school … Both are just as joyous and beautiful in their own ways.