When my children were just about the age to be put in schools, I remember going through very frustrating times. The anxiety of building a good future for them, the hopes for their lives, my success as a parent and the competition for good schools kept me awake at night. Though looking back at all of it now, I feel that the anxiety those days was nothing as compared to what parents go through now! But anyhow, my husband and I went through all the rigmarole of speaking with parents whose kids were already in schools, consulting with teachers we knew, reading books and making big plans.
Eventually we zeroed in on a few schools that we thought will help prepare our children for a good future when they grow up. We visited their buildings, walked around, tried to approach the teachers and picked up application forms. We met some other equally anxious looking parents and swapped stories. Then we started filling the forms and waited for the circus to begin.
The school that was top on our priority list based on endless conversations, discussions, fights and what not was one that promised great education and a life that was of a ‘higher’ quality than what we could possibly offer our children. So after filling the form we were invited for an interview along with our first daughter one fine day, and we started our journey with heavily beating hearts. She had no idea about the state her parents were in and walked meekly along with us as we walked to the reception area.
There we were told to accompany the receptionist to the principal’s office as she was going to be ‘speaking’ with the parents; and leave our daughter in the play area outside. We looked at each other in a frightened way and then gave our daughter an encouraging smile before leaving her off.
As we sat in the principal’s office and tried to answer her questions in our most polished and rehearsed manner, one ear was constantly on what the little one was doing outside. At one point we heard her being joined by other children in turn as other parents started lining up for their respective interviews. After some time, two teachers joined them and started conversing with them. We could hear our daughter’s voice periodically.
After some time and a zillion questions later, the parent interview ended and we walked out of the principal’s office. Our daughter looked up at us in the middle of the conversation she was having with a teacher. The teacher smiled and gestured for her to leave so she came and joined us. We asked the receptionist about other formalities, finished some forms to be signed and exited the school campus.
On the bus ride home, my husband asked her what she had been telling the teacher. She said that she was narrating the story of her favorite TV show’s (He-man) last episode. Then she went on to an animated note about how He-man’s bravery inspires her and when she told the teacher about it, the teacher seemed very interested and moved.
My husband and I looked at each other and in that one moment, all our worries disappeared. We were filled with optimism and hope for the future, probably just what housing envisions with #lookup..