This post is part of A to Z Challenge for April 2016. As I missed a post yesterday today I am going to club two letters D and E and I am choosing Dreams and Expectations.
A to Z Challenge April 2016: D for Dreams and E for Expectations
Growing up, I had so many dreams – to be a teacher, a TV anchor, a doctor etc. Then there were some dreams and hopes and expectations that my parents had for me which meant some of my dreams had to be put on the back burner. No complaints. Mum and Dad only wanted the best for me. They did not want me to miss out on opportunities that they never got to experience. They wanted me to do better in life than they did. When I met Preeth, I found him to be very supportive of my dreams and passion. As cliched as it may sound – he is the wind beneath my wings. Thanks to my Mum and Dad and Preeth, today I am happy where I am – a wife, a mother, an IT professional who enjoys cooking, baking, housekeeping, graphic designing, programming, doing arts,crafts,reading and writing with my child, blogging, chatting and above all living life to the fullest doing all those little and big things that make me happy.
I am constantly entranced by the variety of life and still have dreams and goals but today my life revolves largely around Bambi and just like my parents and for that matter all parents, I want only the best for my child. I want Bambi to do better than I did, achieve more, learn more, grow more strong and confident.
A year ago Preeth and I applied for Bambi’s admission to an expensive and private school in our town. It is a much sought after school and not that easy to get into. So when our application was accepted and Bambi was invited for assessments I was very excited and felt we were one step closer to getting into that school. I started preparing Bambi for the assessments by teaching her numbers, alphabets, rhymes, crafts etc and Bambi cooperated with me very well .
On Day 1 of the assessments I had very high expectations from Bambi but to my dismay Bambi presented herself like she never did before. She didn’t speak to the staff, she did not participate in any of the activities they had lined up for the kids, she didn’t play with other kids . She did not give the school any opportunity to get to know her. I tried several tricks and positive reinforcements to engage Bambi in the activities which she normally loves to do but all my efforts were in vain. She just stood clinging on to me and blowing kisses at me and showering me with cuddle which on other days are very welcome but on that day was making me more furious. I was getting worked up with each passing minute and this in turn made it worse for Bambi. She pleaded to be taken home. I was very disappointed but did not lose hope as there were still two more rounds of assessments over the next few days and I hoped that Bambi would do better in those.
On Day 2 of the assessments, prior to reaching the school, I instructed Bambi how ‘I’ wanted her to present herself and all along the journey to school I was constantly getting her to revise all that we had worked on for weeks together leading up to that day. I was assured Bambi would do well but to my dismay this time she didn’t even want to enter the assessment room, let alone performing like the way ‘I’ would have liked her to. The teachers did a great job at calming Bambi down and Preeth helped me calm down. As we had agreed from home, Preeth took Bambi to the assessment room while I waited in the lounge impatiently. Seemingly this time around Bambi was better than the first time but still not her usual self. So once again I was disappointed and wondered if Bambi had lost her chance of getting into that school.
Luckily the school was making their decision only after all three rounds of the assessments and not after individual assessments in which case we would have not made it through after day 1. The day before the final assessment I was quite nervous about how Bambi was going to perform next day and I shared my fears with Preeth. He listened to me patiently and then made a polite remark that Bambi’s strange behavior at the two previous assessments were perhaps due to the expectations that I had set for her and the pressure that she must have felt to please me. He further advised that it is good to have dreams for our children but the best thing to do as parents is to allow our children to explore the world around them, allow them to decide and do things for themselves, allow them to make mistakes, experience life on their own terms and grow strong and confident. In simpler words, Preeth asked me to allow Bambi to be herself.That was a very valuable lesson for me.
On day 3 of the assessments, parents were meant to wait in the lounge and only kids were to enter the assessment room. We had prepared Bambi for this from home and also advised her that when in the assessment room, she was free to do whatever she wanted to do or do nothing at all if that is how she feels. As I led Bambi to the assessment room, I said , ‘’ just enjoy and later come and tell us all about it’’. I genuinely meant this as I wanted Bambi to be herself and just give it a try. ‘ If not this school, there are plenty of other good schools around’, I thought to myself. An hour later when Bambi joined us in the lounge she looked happy and relaxed. Apart from whether she enjoyed we did not ask her anything else.
A week later the school headmistress rang up to say they were pleased to offer Bambi a place at the school ! Apparently Bambi came on very well that day and amused staff with some chatter and rhymes ( eg. She built a wall with blocks and kept the puppet Humpty on top of it and said, ’’this is how Humpty had a fall’’ and went on to sing her version of the famous rhyme – ‘’ Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall. Humpty Dumpty Fell off the wall. He was an egg but there was no yolk and all the kings men couldn’t put Humpty together again’’ 🙂 ). Phew! I was beyond happy that day.
The headmistress had some valuable feedback for me too– ‘’ Let your child decide what she wants to do. It’s ok if on some days she doesn’t want to do what she normally loves to do and is good at doing. Children have a lot of potential. Let them believe more in themselves . Appreciate them just the way they are‘’.
Bambi is doing well at the school and enjoys her time there. Today my dreams and expectations for Bambi are:
Enjoy Life: I want Bambi to play, laugh, do crazy things and just have fun and enjoy her childhood. Life is so much better when you are doing what makes you happy.
Make lots of memories: I want Bambi to have a happy childhood and hold lots of fond memories. It is these memories that help us get through sad and difficult times in life later.
Be responsible, Understand Consequences: I want Bambi to be responsible for her decisions. Like the time she wanted to wear beach slippers to school. If that is what she wants to do, she can do that but she must know that she is not expected to wear beach slippers with her school uniform and must be ready to face the consequences of wearing them to school.
Dream Big: I want Bambi to have dreams and I want her to soar high and achieve them. I want her to gain independence and confidence to be all that she can be.
Follow your dreams: I want Bambi to know what she wants in life on her own. No matter how crazy it is I want her to follow her passion and achieve it. As my Dad used to say, ‘’visualize yourself doing that which you really wish to do’’. If you wish to be a singer, don’t just limit your dreams to your living room in front of your microphone. Work hard, practice more, go out, and jump at all those opportunities where you have a chance to sing. Visualize yourself as a singer and work your way up in that direction.
Accept challenges, Explore new horizons: I want Bambi to be fearless in taking risks. I want her to try new things. I want her to be able to do things that will challenge her, provide her the opportunity to reinvent herself, express her creativity.
Stay focused: I want Bambi to focus on her goals and stick with them without allowing life to get in the way. Quitting should never be an option. No matter how the path is but there should be only one direction and that is forward.
Rise when you fall: I want Bambi to know that it is OK to fall. But when she falls I want her to rise. I want her to be able to face failure with courage and positivity.
If they laugh at you, laugh with them: I remember the time Bambi got scoffed at for doing something silly. I want Bambi to laugh with those that laugh at her. But I do not want her to give them a chance to laugh at her for the same reason next time.
Look back only with a smile: I do not want Bambi to have any regrets in life. I want her to follow her inner voice and choose her decisions wisely. I do not want her to miss out on any opportunities due to fear or uncertainty. I want her to grab all the opportunities available to her and learn and grow from her experiences.
Love everyone, respect everyone: I want Bambi to be kind, empathetic and respectful towards others. I want Bambi to have lots of friends and I want her to cherish those friendships.
Stand up for herself: I want Bambi to believe in herself and be assertive and confident and do what she thinks is right. I do not want her to be limited by what others say . I want her to be able to speak to voice her opinions and ideas.
Above all, I want Bambi to always know that Preeth and I love her over everything else and will always be there for her when she needs our support.