I’ve been away from home often. For weeks, months and years. But nothing like being in a remote mountain village, with limited phone and internet connectivity and junk food.
It was an intense three months. I woke up at 5 on most mornings with the embrace of the sun. Usually with a smile on my face. And I was zoned out by 9 pm. 10 on a good day. In between I chased little kiddos to revise their spellings, complete their homework and write neatly. There was a lot of heartache, moments of self-doubt and frustration. Nobody warned me of the days they didn’t do their homework. And I usually came apart when they failed a test.
Their failures were all mine; their successes, theirs alone. Perhaps, I had learnt the art of being committed without being attached.
I returned home lighter and happier. With memories that make me pause in the middle of an ordinary day and smile for no particular reason. A while ago, when the mother reprimanded the father about his posture, in jest, I told her with great pride and a wee bit of longing in my voice, “You know I taught my kids about posture too. I made them repeat the spelling and meaning every day, for a fortnight.”
I don’t know when those adorably cute apple-cheeked brats had turned into “my kids.”
I got all the alone time that I had craved for, in the city. I got my silences. And the big bookshelf in the living room was the icing on the cake. It held all the books that had been on my reading list for a while. And the birthday barbecue will always remain a fond memory. Quiet, but filled with so much warmth.
I miss the buzz in Class Two. I miss the morning assemblies. And I miss sitting on the porch and doing nothing.
Would I go back and do it all over again? I’d certainly like to. With fewer clothes, lesser inhibitions and more enthusiasm.