Conversations of the little mind

Small gestures are very special. A kind word, a beautiful smile or just a reassuring nod… that’s what gets us through tuff times. I thought these silent conversations only happened between two adults, but I was wrong. Ana and I have an understanding about her staying close to me at all times. 

I’ve trained her never to go beyond arms reach and she listened. She wanted to be number 1, so would walk a few meters ahead of me, but only as far as I could reach her in a jiffy (if need be). One day, we were heading back from school and after the usual pit stop at the play area; we continued our journey back home. Ana was galloping with two other kids and I was chatting with their mother. Before I noticed, the kids took off and ran at lightening speed. 

Luckily, they only ran up to the elevator, but the episode was enough to scare me out of my wits. Ana got a good piece of my mind for running away, and the matter was settled with lot of wailing and a small punishment (we forbade her from using her favourite Frozen towel). Next morning, we headed out to the school as usual. As we were climbing down the stairs, Ana told me she would not run away anymore. I was surprised that she remembered, so I explained why I was so strict with her. 

I told her there was a road just beyond the elevator, where vehicles passed by at full speed. I told her if any of those cars hit her, she would get a big boo boo. She looked up at me with concern in her eyes, so I went on to say that I could protect her if I was close. But yesterday, she was very far away and could not have protected her even if I tried. I told her how scared and helpless I felt. For that, she turned to me and gave me a tight hug; I was surprised with her gesture. She actually understood that I was worried. I wasn’t sure if she understood what an accident meant or if she believed I could have saved her. But she did believe that I was scared and felt helpless. She wanted to reassure me with a hug. Children are far more mature than we perceive them to be!

– Rashmi –