Today is one of those days when I reflect back on my childhood.
I know I was lucky to be blessed with two loving parents and a sister who pretended to be older than me (despite being two years younger) and usually succeed.
I was blessed with a normal childhood, something that I found boring at that time, but now see how lucky I was to have it.
And just like my normal childhood, I’ve have about normal amount of times I threw tantrums and projected my mum and dad’s stubborn nature in me.
Those were the times I wished different things.
Different parents, different household, different life, different me maybe.
I didn’t understand what I had. Or I was too immature in every way to see it.
During one of my tantrums, my mum came over to me with a fresh plate of food and started feeding me with her hands because I refused to have lunch.
That move that made me forget all my attitude and give in to her, (because I was just an angry child, not a dick)
I remember asking her what made her do it when I’d been an ass to her just 10 minutes ago and, she told me, “I couldn’t let you go out of the house empty stomach no matter how mad you make me, honey. You’ll understand when you become a mother.”
I didn’t understand then. And ofcourse that wasn’t the last the I had conflicts of opinion with my parents. Especially, my mum.
Both of us looked at the world differently. We didn’t understand each other and worst part was we were both too stubborn to even try to.
I never understood why she was as uncompromising in her opinions as she was and she didn’t get why my world view was upside down as compared to hers.
But I loved her and she loved me more than anything else and we survived some of the nastiest spats.
The rebel in me went on to become a professor, something she didn’t approve of.
Now, I can’t be called the most favorite professor around.
In fact, I’m pretty sure half of my kids wants to see me dead and other half wishes to kill me themselves.
And I had my uncompromising attitude to thank that for, even if whatever I did was for their own good.
Like not letting them play on school grounds when I heard that a snake was spotted prowling the area, or asking them to drink less water during recess because, well, three litres of water in half an hour is just insane.
Just this morning when I was contemplating handing in my resignation for greener pastures, I experienced an emotion that took me by surprise.
I felt worried for my kids. The teacher who will be replacing me was a total idiot.
She didn’t even bother listening to their problems, just replied with a, “don’t complain when I’m in class.”
In my mind’s eyes I saw this little dyslexic girl in my class who was generally too scared to even open her mouth. Or the trustee’s son everyone picked on.
Or an excellent student who got shunned by teachers because her older sister was a menace in school.
Who would take care of them? Who would coax the shy girl out of her fears? Who would appreciate a deserving student for her excellence instead of shutting her off or dismissing her?
Who would cover for a lost -in-his-head little boy from too strict rules of the school that he just couldn’t grasp?
And it was this morning that I realized I referred to them as my kids instead of my students.
Usually I’m the first to scold them or point their mistakes out. Usually I’m the one who never takes them to play outside in free periods, but I realized I loved them.
That my uncompromising attitude was just like my mother’s. Exactly like that. And it didn’t matter that they hated me, I knew I did it all for their good.
Even if they prayed everyday that I get sick and not come to school that day, (a fact) I still dragged myself there everyday to make sure the naughty little one doesn’t jump off the bench today or no one picks on this little boy because of his shorter height.
And so, as I left school today, I understood a fraction of what my mum meant when she said, “you’ll understand when you become a mother”
I wasn’t a mother. Not yet. But I got a tiny idea of being one.
It didn’t matter what my kids felt for me, it was a compulsion that I loved them boundlessly. I vowed to kiss my mum when I got home, which I did. And never fight with her again, which I’m destined to break soon.
But I know for a fact that I’ll never again wish for the different.