My Triumph As A Parent
Getting elected as the Head Girl of the Primary Wing of the school, winning the n number of prizes for the various inter and intra school events and competitions or reading out her self composed poem to the living legend, Ruskin Bond, who in turn said that he would be borrowing the first line of her poem in one of his future works – honestly, for the first time, I was in a dilemma as in which one would I write about first or which among these have made me the proudest, as the mother of my twelve-year-old.
Whether it’s my child’s academic excellence or her consistent and complete holistic growth, I wondered exactly what would define my biggest parenting success.
What’s the index of measuring parenting success? The question left me thoughtful.
I kept pondering the matter as my eyes ran over her certificates, photographs, trophies, and medals displayed in the showcase mounted on the wall of her room. Each one, so priceless!
Which one is the most memorable? I tried to recall. Apparently, the awards attesting my daughter’s achievements spoke of her victory, her success story. Those mementos induced joy and pride, indeed, but my heart was looking for something else.
I wanted to get back to that moment that reflected my success as a parent.
Suddenly my eyes fell on her laptop kept on the study table. These days, from education to entertainment, the children are bound by the device… the online classes, events, games! My daughter left it on and was playing with our pet in the other room.
I went closer to her table to shut it down… and while doing so, it brought back a memory that instantly flashed in my mind.
I was busy with my chores in the kitchen one Sunday afternoon when she came running from the other room, huffing and puffing. Her face was red, and that bothered me, “ What happened? Are you okay…”
“ Yes, I am, Mom, but you made a mistake… a grave one.. please come with me to the bedroom!”
I couldn’t leave my work at once but was equally eager to know what she meant, “ Why, what happened? Is it the AC… have I left it on again?” Well, that’s something I keep often doing and then run back to switch it off, once pointed out by someone.
“ No, mom, it’s something more serious this time, and you better come and see what you did,” the way she spoke, I became a bit worried this time.
Keeping my work aside, I ran to the bedroom, followed by my girl. Nothing seemed wrong in the room.
“ What is it, dear? Everything seems fine,” I said as I looked around to find my fault.
“ Just look there, mom, your laptop, you’ve forgotten to shut it down. I came to this room and saw this… imagine what would’ve happened had I peeped into the screen of your laptop!”
I stared blankly, actually to understand where she was heading to.
The girl probably got it and said, “ Mom, remember what you told me in the morning? That you’re setting question paper for our forthcoming Unit Test. Now, if I had accidentally looked at the screen of your laptop, which you forgot to shut down, I would’ve seen the paper, mom! Unknowingly I would’ve committed a sin then, and you had to redo your work. All your hard work since morning would also have gone down the drain…
” Finally, I knew what bothered her and why she looked so petrified.
I happened to work with the same school where she studied. Being the coordinator of their class, it was my duty to set the question paper for the forthcoming examinations for my subject. In that particular session, despite my daughter being in the same class, the authority did not remove me from the post of coordinator, as they trusted my honesty.
More than me, my daughter was, in fact, always very cautious of this fact as she never wanted a blemish on her character that could question her integrity, as well as mine.
“ So it was a golden chance, isn’t it? You could’ve quietly seen the paper without letting me know and scored full marks!” I said. I was tempted to see what she would have said or done if I had ever given her the opportunity to do the wrong.
“ No way! Are you out of your mind, mom? That would mean cheating!” She exclaimed in disgust. “ Is this what you’ve taught me all these years? I’ll never do that… never in my life! It’s better I don’t score a full mark this way… and you know that I can score full without doing this.” She panted as she spoke. Perhaps she never expected me to say what I had just before.
I smiled and pulled her in my arms. Hugging her tight, I said, “ Your mom is so so proud of you, my darling! Don’t worry, even if the laptop isn’t shut down, the question paper is locked; your mom is careful that way,” I chuckled and continued. “ But what you said, your words, made me feel so proud of you. I was just testing you, dear.”
“ That’s so mean of you, mom,” she complained as she dug her face into my bosom for warmth and assurance.
I stroked her head gently, and we broke into laughter.
Yes, that was one moment when I felt that I am definitely on the right track as a parent.
My child’s innocence, her honesty, her righteousness attested to her right upbringing. Could there have been anything better to prove my parenting success? It was such a gratifying moment to see my ward so virtuous- to have understood the difference between right and wrong, where no amount of temptation could change her mindset.
It was above and beyond any recognition or award!