As my 4-year old is ready at the door step to leave for her school, I can’t resist taking her in my arms and raining kisses all over her face. She patiently takes in, even enjoys this display of maternal love for a few seconds, before she starts resisting as if to say – Okay, mama, enough. It’s not as if I am leaving the nest or getting married.
Well, you may not understand it, sweet darling, but whenever you step out of my vision, there’s a sense of dread and foreboding that envelops me.
I may scold her or hit her at times, but when she is looking so cherub-like, freshly scrubbed and smiling, all set for the school, that’s when the pot of guilt spills over. Yes, like every mother I carry a huge pot of guilt too, that somehow never empties. The guilt for all those things I could have done or not done with my daughter, seems to surface and re-surface at the time when she is stepping out.
It suddenly dawns on me that I am not going to see for the entire day, and that’s the reason I want to prolong the morning’s parting as much as possible. And, I want to gather her in my arms and keep her there forever, if I can. Safe and sound.