Thursday, February 23, 2012

Flap your wings......and let you go!

Parenting is all about loving and nurturing your little ones, prioritizing their interest over yours, providing them with the best you can and finally the toughest part, letting them go! Letting them go, while sounding lofty, is easier said than done! You need to let go not only when they are all grown up and want to break free, but the necessity of “letting go” arises even in the early days of parenting. When your infant just doesn’t want to nurse anymore, even though you are pretty much sure he is hungry, when your two year old insists on doing something on his own when you know he cannot, or your four year old does not want to pursue something you know he is good at, or your five year old refuses to do something that is a must for his well- being. To let go or not to let go – that was the question I battled with yesterday as I saw my son come home with his lunch box untouched to the extent of even the aluminum foil remaining tightly wrapped – that too for the 15th day in a row. Did I let go ? Well, let’s just say I let my anger get the better of me last evening, leaving me to stew in my own guilt, after that! While everyone talks about letting go of parental control, nobody ever talks about letting go of guilt!!! 

So in order to assuage my guilt, I turned to the known comfort of reading a book with my son, at bedtime. “Flap your wings” is a 1969 classic by P D Eastman figured on the Much Loved books of 2011 on Saffron Tree, one of my favorite children’s books blogs. So I had picked it up from Hippo campus days ago, only to forget about it as soon as it landed on my book shelf. As I randomly chose the same to be our bedtime book, little did I know that reading this book would be a therapeutic experience for me, and for the state that I was in! Mr and Mrs. Bird come home to find a big egg in their nest. Mrs. Bird squawks that the egg is too big to belong to them and it is surely not theirs. Mr. Bird observes that it doesn’t matter whose egg it is, since it is in their nest, they are to keep it warm. So Mr. and Mrs. Bird sit on it and keep it warm. One day, the egg cracks open and out comes, what is obviously a baby alligator. Having no clue as to the kind of creature it is, Mr. Bird proudly christens him “Junior” and proclaims that he is a beautiful baby. Mrs. Bird though appears unsure and expresses doubt as to whether this funny looking creature is their baby after all. But Mr.Bird declares that if he is in their nest, he most certainly is their baby and orders Mrs. Bird to bring some food for their hungry baby. The Bird parents bring worms, berries, cherries, butterflies, caterpillars, dragon flies, ladybug, centipedes, hour after hour and day after day. Whatever they bring, Junior never stops  eating and he never stops  growing. He grows bigger and bigger until he can no longer fit inside their tiny nest. So the Bird parents decide it’s time for their not-so-little one to fly out of their nest. So both of them try to teach him to fly and demonstrate how to jump into the air and flap his non-existent wings! So Junior jumps into the air and flapps his limbs hard but down he goes and falls into the water in a splash! And so both Junior and the Bird couple discover who he really is and where he belonga. So when Mrs. Bird concludes that Junior may not have been a bird at all, Mr. Bird reflects that it doesn’t matter at all, now that Junior is happy!  I can almost feel the author speaking to me, conveying a subtle message as to ‘let go of the small stuff’ and it doesn’t matter in the long run, as long as Abhay grows up to be a happy man!  

1 comment:

  1. True..Letting go is going to be a big struggle for me, I thought abt it lots of time...nowadays he does not want to hold my hands on the road, says he is a big boy he can walk by himself!! Know cant protect him all the time still not able to leave the hands :) I feel papa is little easy on that :)