I picked him up after the exam and he asked me as we walked towards my car, “Mom, if you have the power to ban one thing, what would it be?” ( It was a question in the humanities section)
Without any hesitation, I told him I would ban (narcotic)drugs..
And I asked him, what would you ban?
I can’t really explain what I felt that moment when I heard him say that.. My heart grew few sizes big with happiness and I thought it would explode !!!
I was just so proud of him..
But the journey to this point was not easy..
If there is one word I can use to describe my son, it would be “rebel”
If I told him not to do something, he would do it for sure. It doesn’t matter that I explained to him why he shouldn’t do it. The fact of the matter is,I told him not to do..and he has to do it and he will do it, just to see for himself what will happen..
If I am strong willed, he is one million times more strong willed than me.
He pushed every boundary that I set for him..he still does..
When he was little, every morning I woke up thinking, what is he going to do today? By then he had flooded the bathroom, drove my car, locked me outside the house ( when I went to get the mail)..
the list is endless……..
He has been perpetually in the “terrible two” stage.
When he started going to school, He was getting in to trouble every single day..He refused to listen to the teacher.
His kindergarten teacher was a very capable albeit crabby lady who didn’t tolerate any nonsense..She had a tough job, she had to train strong willed children like mine to fit in to the school system.so I volunteered to be the “classroom helper”. My presence in the classroom sort of balanced his naughtiness!!
I worked with his teachers..
Few weeks ago,I attended the grade 7 orientation at his school. His teacher was talking about the importance of reading and casually mentioned, there are some children in her class, who hides the book in their lap and read while she is teaching. 22 pairs of eyes ( parents of his classmates) looked at me!!! Everyone knows, it is my son the teacher is talking about. My son has been getting in to trouble for reading story books during class since grade 1.. His teachers and I have tried everything to stop him read during class. Nothing worked. He wants to read, he will..
In my journey raising a rebel..one person helped me immensely..
When my son was little, my bother in law visited us one time and he asked my son..” What would you want to be when you grow up?”
My son smiled happily and replied “garbage truck driver”
My son has been fascinated with big machines from the time he was little. He loved green colour DBKL garbage trucks. We could see the trucks from the Condominium corridor and every time, the trucks came, he would ask me to take him to the corridor..but if I had any inclination that my son was thinking of driving a garbage truck, I surely wouldn’t have taken him to the corridor to watch the trucks..
I was shocked and ashamed..Garbage truck driver? My son?
My brother in law hugged my son and told him, that is exactly what he wanted to do when he was growing up and the two of them talked about the merits of driving a garbage truck..( and every merit, added a layer of stink to my unhappiness with my child’s choice of future career). I also wanted to smack my brother in law for trying to encourage my son..to become a grabage truck driver..
When my son went to bed, my brother in law clearly saw how annoyed I was with him and asked me to imagine..
8 year old boy, raised by a hippie mother, who decided she wants more adventure in her life, decided to quit her work and go to US with her only son and travel around US. She did just that. For two years mother and son travelled around US. She did whatever odd jobs she could do for cash, they stayed in camp grounds after the gate closed at night and left before the gates opened in the morning ( so they didn’t have to pay camping fees), if the boy wanted a new toy or a block of cheese, mother parked the car in front of the shop..and waited for the son to steal it and run outside..The boy didn’t go to school for two years..
My brother in law asked me, what do you think happened to the boy?
Well, it was not too hard to imagine what would have happened to the boy..
But the reality is.. that 8 year old boy..is now a president of a large company..multi millionaire..my brother in law..
I will never forget the one sentence he told me..’ remember, this world still needs garbage truck drivers..if that is what your son wants to do..stand by him..”
I do..( it wasn’t easy, especially coming from a Malayalee family of over achievers, where education and achievements are the only reason for living!)
Yesterday, my son registered for the Circuits and electronics course at MIT.( http://www.mitx.mit.edu/).. He is very excited..
from Garbage truck driver to MIT.. what a journey..