When I was in the 10th STD, I decided on my own without consulting anyone that I was going to quit my piano lessons. My reason was pretty simple. I was called deaf, dumb and blind all my life and I wanted to prove everyone that I wasn’t dumb by getting higher marks than my sister. I felt I couldn’t handle the piano practice every day and my studies. When my mother found out, She told me, how so and so who happens to be the son of her colleague and scored the 4th rank for SSLC practices Piano every morning. I wasn’t so and so, I was Sarah and I hated Amma comparing me with someone else. I was even more adamant to quit and when my mother realized that I was as stubborn as her and there was no way she could change my mind, she told me ” Mark my words,one day you will regret this”. She was right, to this day I regret giving up playing piano. I am still hopeful that one day when all my children have left home and I have nothing else to do, I will hire a hot young piano tutor, yup hot and young, you read it right and learn to play piano again. What is the fun in life if I am going to be a boring old woman?
Geez, I got distracted. Back to mistakes.
Few weeks ago, it was the sign on day for basketball and Yaya told me as I was leaving to register them ” Mom, I am not playing basketball this year”
“Why not?” I asked a bit stunned, for the decision was rather sudden.
“My friends are not playing and I don’t want to do it”
It is true her best friend had gone to S. America for her gap year. But the team has 9 players and there are still 7 other players. But most importantly, Yaya needs to play 3 different types of sports for a total of 50 hours as part of her CAS. (http://www.ibo.org/diploma/curriculum/core/cas/). Basketball is very easy on me, because the training center is about 18 km from home, often my son and Yaya has training one after the other and their games are also held in the same venue, most often on Friday evening. I don’t have to do too much driving around ! Besides a friend of Yaya who is doing the IB is also playing for the same team.
I made my first mistake by pointing out to Yaya that So and so is also doing IB and is getting her required hours certified by the coach, my second mistake was to tell my child that, I know all the coaches and I can get them to sign more hours for you. ( I think there is a gene mutation for corruption and most Indians have it)
She stared at me for a very long time..you know the cold hard stare and said ” I can’t believe that you want me to cheat and get the coach to cheat and sign my hours. I also can’t believe that you compared me to someone else.”
We argued back and forth. My points were simple. She is my child and I know she doesn’t like to do any sports that involves sun or water. I don’t mind jumping in to the pool on a hot day, but I am not inclined to join a swimming team or want to go for practice early in the morning. I like to drink my tea in the morning, not the chlorinated pool water, thank you very much. She has to do 50 hours minimum and there are not many sports that doesn’t involve the sun or water. I find it easier to drive her to basketball training and we get a family discount too. So all in all, basketball was the safest, smartest, easiest and cheapest sports option available.
“No, I am not playing basketball this year” she said.
Eventually I told her “fine, I respect your decision. You are old enough to make your own decisions and make your own mistakes. My mother told me I will regret quitting piano lessons and I do, my job as a mother is to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes like I did, but if that is what you want to do, it is fine by me”
To be very honest, I thought Yaya would change her mind after hearing about how much I regretted quitting the piano lessons, and how one should listen to their mother’s advice.
She didn’t and I learned a valuable lesson from her..