As a child I was in a boarding school since my kindergarten. I saw my parents once a week for an hour on Sunday and went home for vacation for 15 days during the fall break (usually Dusherra festival) and two months during the summer time. I always wanted to tell my parents so much, but time was so limited on Sunday that I felt that the stuff I wanted to share with my parents were too small to take up such valuable time, but were not that small that I would forget. And so I always wanted to know most of what was going on in my kids' lives. I know it sounds very stupid - what is a mom going to know from her pre-schooler. But no harm in trying, right? And that is exactly what C and I do as parents.
Ever since S and A started going to school (or day care) in Green Bay - Children's Montessori, whoever picked them up made it a point to ask them different questions about what happened during their day - whom did you play with? did you eat all your lunch? did you like your lunch? whom did you sit by during lunch? what games did you play? did you learn something new? etc..etc..etc..This gradually became a part of our schedule and we just loved every bit of it - A usually gave us lots of answers (rambling when he was 1yr old, broken words when he was 2 yrs old and complete sentences once he turned 2 and a half yrs old). But S never spoke much; he gave us half baked answers and did not show much interest in sharing his pre-school happenings with us except on very rare occasions like playing the violin or making a new friend.
On such evening C had the following conversation with S while driving them back home,
C: Siddhu, whom all do you love?
S: I love 4 people - Akhi(brother), Amma (mom), Nana (dad) and myself.
C (feeling positively amused that he included himself): How can you like yourself, Siddhu?
S: I like the way I am, Nana. See I am so cute. I study when Amma asks me to. I play with my toys, I help at home, I don't cry... And it is very important that I love myself because only then I am very happy. Thats why I love myself too…
I really never gave it that much thought until then (30 yrs of my existence on this planet) but when C told me about this conversation, I had a shocking realization.
...Love yourself for what you are and you feel much more happier…
This was one of the first few lessons S taught me - he was just a naughty little 3 yr old...