‘Tina, why don’t you go for a swim? We have a big pool here.’
‘No, mom, I want to watch tv.’
‘They also have some games on the ground floor. Go, have fun there.’
‘I want to sleep for a while after I watch tv. This is my favourite episode. Can we talk later?’
‘Tina, I want you to go out and have fun. You know that other parents don’t take their kids out as much. When I was your age, we didn’t even have holidays. It was more time spent in tutoring other kids. I don’t want you to suffer like I did, so use the resources, get out and have fun. I want you to excel at everything. I couldn’t do that because I lacked the resources. I don’t want you to miss out anything.’
‘I don’t like going out, doing things just because you couldn’t do them when you were my age and I am a lazy person. Sorry for not being as active as you hoped I could be. Let me watch some TV!’
I called Hema, my best friend. ‘Hema, you know how I was when I was her age. I had to save for months to go out and watch a movie. Why doesn’t she enjoy everything she has when I work hard so she doesn’t have to struggle like I did?’ I asked.
‘If she were in your place, only then she could appreciate your journey. There's this summer camp, where they're made to adapt to living with the bare minimum. Maybe you should get her enrolled in this?’
Tina was excited about the camp as that gave her a chance to stay away from me. I don’t understand what's the deal with kids these days. Since I had to cancel the earlier holiday plans I had made with my daughter, I joined a meditation retreat, to destress.
A few days went by fine, then I was irritated by the constant bossing around by everyone. I was told when to eat, what to eat, how much time to sleep and how to breathe. I wasn't five. I knew how to live, I didn’t like being told what to do. Then I understood that that was the exact same thing I'd been doing to Tina. Maybe she didn’t want everything. Maybe I should've let her have things her way instead of forcing her all the time. That’s what I wanted to say to her, when I went to meet her the next day. I found out that she was suffering from slight fever, for the past few days. However, that didn’t exempt her from doing the daily chores.
Tina hugged me and said, ‘Mom, I am sorry for dismissing your hard childhood. All the time I felt you were forcing things on me. I didn’t see that you were trying to shield me from the hardships.’
I went there to apologise for being demanding. Instead, she said that I was right. Maybe I really was right all along.
So I said, ‘Im so happy you figured that out, sweety. Tomorrow we're leaving for that holiday I had planned. I want you to remember, I always want your best. I got through enough pain for the both of us, I wanted you to have the everything. I don't think that you should endure pain to gain.’