Lessons from Myra: Inspired Beginnings
The other day my lil’ one, Myra, stood holding on to the side-table, desperately trying to reach out to a red pen on the other end. I tried to distract her, by following the ‘principles of good child rearing’ from the book I was reading the last night. In trying to merge play with learning, I clapped my hands with a sing-a-long-song. Myra ofcourse rebuffs all ‘principles’, gives me a am-tolerating-your-bad-singing look and continues with her quest for the red pen. Her stubbornness can be genetically tracked to me, so I too, continue to sing-a-long with my clapping.
After every other attempt Myra would turn, look at me and then look at my hands. Just as I would show a spark of hope at emulation, she would turn back towards the more promising pen. Five minutes into this game, my voice was becoming much worse and tired. It was becoming increasingly difficult to listen to myself. A failing patience was re-ignited by my daughter’s eyes. There was determination in the way she looked at the pen and attentiveness in the way she looked at my hands. Her eyes were alive.
After about ten minutes and several failed attempts to reach the distracting pen, Myra suddenly turns to me with a there-you-go look and claps her hands. Just like that. She learnt to clap. All while I thought she wasn’t interested in me. She had been so absorbed in her struggle that I was only a complicated distraction for her little mind. But even while she was busy in her quest to reach something new, she kept learning a new skill on the sidelines. I might have taught her to clap at that moment, but it was me who was applauding her. I was inspired.
I thought about the innumerable times I have put off learning something new unless it’s on–the-job. I always had an excuse: deadlines while I was working and diapers pails now that I am not. Every woman is uniquely placed in the milieu she inhabits. Different permutations and combinations of experiences lead to different ways we perceive and tackle challenges, roadblocks and difficulties. But what should remain a constant, is the willingness to be inspired. While we juggle our innumerable roles, let’s give our minds space to breathe… open a few windows for inspiration.
Meanwhile, after once clapping to pacify me, Myra returned all her attention to the red pen. Maybe I should start with learning to sing.
Lessons from Myra #2: Look around you with the wonder of a child. There is always something to learn.