Writing 101-A new year

After 73 days of being home-bound, away from school, assignments, deadlines, classes and more, today,my baby girl returned to a new academic year. It was a little unsettling, to be honest. But, here’s the surprising thing. It was I who felt it, not her.

She waltzed right up to the bus, fell into an animated conversation with all the other kids at the stop, exchanging notes about the holidays, where she’d been, what she’d seen and how she had completely enjoyed her time with her cousins.

As I stood there, watching her step into something akin to maturity, I felt a hollow space in my heart. That space which jealously held her close to my own, not letting the world touch her,now could not but feel deprived. She still was my baby and always will be. There’s no denying that. But what was this strange green-eyed monster doing, nestling in my chest? It didn’t feel right.

She hopped on to the bus and I walked around, trying to figure out where she was seated. Her face lit up when she saw me and motioned me to come over so I could see her clearly. Her smile was so wide, it was so incredible. She excitedly pointed to her best friend, seated next to her and I smiled at them both. With a wave, she settled down and turned to the companions on the bus.

I felt a tightening of the chest, but let it pass. I couldn’t afford to show too much emotion. Sighing, I looked around and smiled at a couple of other parents. Most of them looked relieved. The idea of spending two and a half months at home, entertaining the child, seemed too harrowing, I suppose. At some level, I could relate. But, truth be told, I had enjoyed my relaxed days with her.

There were days when she would wake up past 9.30 a.m, see the clock and roll back into the covers. And I would let her.

There were days when she would take a swim that lasted well over an hour. And I would sit by and watch her.

There were days when she would play on the swings well into the night, after all the kids had gone home. And I would sit there, swatting mosquitoes away, but enjoying the quietude of her joy.

I am going to miss all that. I am going to miss the relaxation and I will have to substitute that for punctuality. I will have to let go of the long swims and make do with a few quick laps. I will have to nudge her off the swing and direct her to finish her homework.

Deep in the recess of my mind, I wonder if it is all worth it. All the running. All the hurry. All the schedules. Am I taking too much away from her?

Then, the pragmatist in me steps in and says, ‘If she never experienced schedules, how can she appreciate freedom from them?’

All these thoughts hurtle through my brain and suddenly, a parent nudges me and points to the bus. I turn anxiously, since the motor on the bus’ engine has revved up.

There she stands, face pressed against the window, looking into my eyes, waving frantically, with a large, happy, pearly-white smile. She does not stop waving until the bus disappears into the distance.

That’s when I let my tears fall. The ones that are a mixture of joy and longing. Without one, the other does not make sense.

writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2kids running

This post has been written in response to today’s Writing 101 Prompt

Day One’s prompt is:Β Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write.Β Just write.

Linking this post to Yeah Write Moonshine Grid #164

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39 thoughts on “Writing 101-A new year

  1. Each moment is precious, and they go by so quickly! Enjoy them. My daughter just turned 21, and I feel like she was a baby just yesterday.

    I love the exercise of free-writing. I used to do it every morning. It’s fun to see what comes out.

  2. My feelings exactly. As the kids are growing older they are becoming less demanding and it’s getting nicer and nicer to have them around. I actually missed them when they went off to school.

  3. Awww! Hugs Shailaja!
    It took me back to my school days.. of the excitement of seeing friends and new books. New teachers as well!

    made me smile this post. Though I’m quite sure my mom was more relieved to get rid of us at the beginning of the new school year!! πŸ˜›

  4. I loved the post. Exactly the feeling I have, well that’s a feeling I get each day when she leaves..whether to school or anywhere else. Anyway, I guess we can never have too much of them. I always feel there is so much of her that I still have to experience. Lovely, lovely post!

  5. I confess that I cry when my son returns to school after the summer vacation. πŸ™‚ Even now. I hallucinate I can hear voices all the time. Hugs to you, Shailaja! Blessed that they love getting back to the routine!

  6. I get it…I suppose most parents go through this somewhere along the line with their kids. As the parent of four adult children, I can remember this feeling as though it were yesterday – lump in throat included!

  7. OMG that made me cry!!!! I so feel for you, I know that feeling but not the intensity yet as mine are 11 and 8. I have seen my 11 yr old gain independence and some things he has done cutting me out because of his maturity that is growing yes stab you a little but you know it is natural. Amazing post, really loved it xx

  8. Seems like you just let the heart speak as you were writing this! Emotional, touching, full of a mother’s heart. Loved reading this, Shailaja πŸ™‚

  9. Such a spontaneous write up! Guess this is a dilemma all parents go through. You just can’t have enough of your child!
    Enjoyed reading this since I could completely relate to it πŸ™‚

  10. Lovely post, Shailaja… Took me to my first day in school. Mom says, I was a very obedient girl and never cried. She took me till the school gate and waited for the classes to finish. I was one happy kid who was fascinated by a whole new world, excited for the new uniforms, books, school bag and water bottle πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  11. …this is the most coherent freewrite I’ve ever read in my life. Also, sounds like you have the basis for story here if you want to use it.

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