Between my husband and I, we definitely have 4 left feet, if not more. Imagine our shock, then, when our enthusiastic 7 year old daughter (yes, by some miracle of God, she actually loves dancing. Since it can’t be genes, we can only thank the school, the daycare, her friends or just her God-gifted twinkle toes) decides to take matters into her own hands and teach us dancing. And she is, of course, one strict teacher. She won’t allow us us breaks to peep into our laptop screens for mails which might have come from bosses or respond to facebook likes and philosophic comments that might have come from friends. The word stops. We need to dance to her tunes.
So, that night after dinner, we clear the table and our throats and stand in attention. The lesson starts:
The fact that we almost collapse in a heap and hardly manage to get a step is quite besides the point.
As our daughter, by then, her inept students forgotten, stands, lost in her perfect ballet stance, it strikes me, what more can she teach us, if we allow her to?
Do parents always need to be the teachers or we can leave aside our egos and let our children take the lead at times? What lessons can they teach us?
-“She was hungry, Mama, I gave her my tiffin”. Lesson – compassion and kindness, ability to give regardless of what we have. The most powerful lesson our children can teach us.
-“Don’t use the plastic, Papa, let’s get a paper bag” Lesson – they care for the environment and refuse to take short cuts even if we do at times.
-“Today is Saturday, time for a long story” Lesson – not plan every minute of our lives but just enjoy unhurried and unstructured moments that unfold leisurely.
-“Eat this Papa, I mixed chocolate in the chicken” Lesson – creativity, in the smallest of things, the wonder, the amazement of learning and the complete lack of cynicism and ‘I know it all’ that some of us get used to displaying, as adults.
-“No problem, Mama, if you have a call till late, just talk quickly and come home early” Lesson – solutions before cribs, when we often get lost in stating the problem.
-“You are the best Mummy, Papa in the world, and now give me a Kinderjoy”. Lesson – Inspiration in the people around us – maybe appreciate friends and colleagues more, they might also be happy and give us our version of Kinderjoys.
In her own amazing, funny and creative way, she teaches us something new everyday.
We may never be able to learn the complicated ballet steps, but hopefully we can at least do some Bollywood jhatkas with her and in time, maybe dance the Lungi dance together a-la Sharukh Khan.
And learn to be a parent worthy of being called her mother.