Quite a lot, I would say.
“I hate this thing!” shouts my 6-year old as I make him try out his kurta for Diwali celebration in school. The same kurta was lovingly hand picked by me, during my recent visit to India, from dozens of similar colourful clothes. Visualizing how handsome my sons would look in it, I didn’t mind exceeding my budget for these comfortable loose shirts. “Fine, just wear what you want or just wear your uniform then!” I stormed out of his room exasperated. My elder son who was a silent part of this drama, and who would have preferred to wear his football t-shirt, quietly donned on his kurta with a pair of jeans. He expected me to smile, to feel happy as he had followed my instructions, but I was quite indifferent by then. This is not what I had visualised. Fine, I knew there would be no squeals of delight or showers of ‘Thank you mummy’, but downright refusal is something I can’t accept. What’s wrong? Why can’t my kids enjoy this festival as much as I did when I was their age, a festival that is an integral part of their motherland?
When our kids are too little to understand things and participate like robots, we think its a matter of time till they grow up and learn to share our happiness and enthusiasm. But when they do grow up other things take priority in their lives and our grand plans seem to face a roadblock! “But we did this every year, what’s wrong now?” asks a mother. If only a child would answer I have grown up Mummy, that’s whats wrong! Its easy to say that I won’t have any expectations from my child. We all say that when our kids are small and yet we all demand the attention, the response that we think we deserve for all our hard work over the years. Its our hopes, our expectations, our dreams vs their wants, their priorities. It has happened in the past, is happening now and I am sure it will continue happening in the future. This eternal Diwali vs Halloween war!
Have you faced this kind of a situation with your children? Would love to hear your thoughts!