Recently, a lady we met for the first time asked the girls which school they go to. She was quite taken aback by the possibility of home education and going by her questions, it was clear the picture forming in her head was one of us sitting at home at a desk in front of a whiteboard. That is a common notion and of course, nothing could be further from the truth. She asked if I am in sole charge of the teaching. My reply that I was learning with the kids as opposed to teaching them set the cogs in her brain working. Once she had given it some thought, she was genuinely interested in finding out more, though her children have long since flown the nest. We could tell she was sad and missed her children because she mentioned several times that they only visit once a year and then, only for a day.
That conversation was a like a kick in my stomach.
When our kids are little, it sometimes feels like this is forever. A life, pre-kids, seems to belong to someone else in a distant past. And yes, while being a parent is indeed forever, this time we have with our kids is not.
I can’t seem to go past that sentence. My fingers are hovering, motionless over the keys. There is a tightness in my chest. Slow deep breaths.
Dear Mum Bear, don’t you go wishing these years away by wanting the kids to grow to the next stage and the next. Pause. Embrace this moment. Pour your heart into it. After all, the statement “this too shall pass” holds true for every situation – for these beautiful, loving times just as much as for life’s toughest moments.
And so, I am doubly grateful for the blessing that took us down this path of home-education, a blessing to learn and grow together into a future filled with as much love as we have now, and more. This abundance of time – to be together, to enjoy one another’s company – is to be cherished and hugged close. The future’s not ours to see, but may this togetherness never fade even when we are apart.
PS: On a lighter note, for my friends who love old Hindi music, the song that came to mind as I typed the title of this post –
Abhi na jaao chhod kar
ke dil abhi bhara nahi