The little brat woke up at 5.30 a.m. on Sunday morning! I being an early riser was obviously irritated that my “me” time will be messed up now. I tried to put him back to sleep and failed miserably. At 6 we left the bed and freshened up. I packed his bag with some fruits and biscuits, dumped the laptop to pick up the beauty from bookshelf which I wanted to complete by weekend but had no idea where to source time from. We hit the garden at 6.15! A small picnic followed with fruits and cookies. Then he went to the slides and swings and seesaw. His time remained his, mine came back to me — a little unusually though. Two hours of reading, 120 pages down. We came back to our apartment, but I couldn’t put the book away. Reading it was stressful, as if things were happening to someone seated next to me and I genuinely cared. But I read on, at times putting it aside and gobbling down gallons of water before resuming, taking a break to mutter a small prayer for my child who was blissfully playing away, and still remaining absorbed in a life that is many successes apart — yet connected by basic identifiable insecurities.
Emraan Hashmi’s The Kiss of Life, co-written with Bilal Siddiqi, isn’t just about the battle of a family against cancer. It is also a fantastic parenting guide which falls back upon life time and again. The following insights scooped out from the book would help us to look at life as a larger whole and imbibe these qualities among our children so that they are better prepared for their own challenges.
Unlearn, and relearn:
Hashmi bringing Batman to the rescue of his ailing son’s temperamental hangovers was a spectacularly creative way to deal with it. He ends the book with the realisation that every soul has super-powers in them which needs to be aroused to fight their battles. Most of us wonder how to tame our kids and reinforce obedience, till they know what is right for them. It lies largely on the parents to recreate a pleasant story out of sticky situations and bail out victory.
This is a learning for us, and for our kids when they grow up. The idea is to explain to ourselves that bigger goals have bigger rewards and there is always a reverse perspective towards looking at the dark sides of life.
Redefine the equations with self:
There are moments in parenting when parents need to shed inhibitions and grow up. Identifying the scopes of that personal growth and parenting ourselves along with the kid, is a Herculean task. As our kids grow out of the sheltered environment we create for them since they are born, they would eventually face the times when they can’t be protected any longer. Self-analysing and self-parenting can be a virtue they inherit from us, if we can lead them with appropriate examples.
Hashmi beautifully justifies that as his family took some tough calls to deal with an unfortunate phase of their lives.
We came back to our apartment, but I couldn’t put the book away. Reading it was stressful, as if things were happening to someone seated next to me and I genuinely cared. But I read on, at times putting it aside and gobbling down gallons of water before resuming, taking a break to mutter a small prayer for my child who was blissfully playing away.
This is something we had discussed in one of our earliest parenting articles. We should be able to accept it, when on a given day, our children aren’t particularly happy: (You can read that article here: http://www.sundayguardianlive.com/lifestyle/2169-three-vows-parenting-all-us-should-take).
Emraan Hashmi’s decision to come back to work, leaving his child in Canada with his mother, explains that state of detachment where the situation is accepted and is fought back with best foot forward. Shedding tears doesn’t help. You need a strategy. Best option then is to stand apart as a different person, do what is logically correct and let the misery pass. It usually does.
If you don’t feel positive, borrow it :
It is so very important for all of us to remain positive, when times are grave, especially if it has something to do with our children. Easier said than done, the book advises how to leave space for that positivity to creep into an otherwise dark phase. We must allow other’s positivity to reach us if we are lacking it ourselves. Distractions can reenergise at times, since it pulls us away from the fear and anxiety which refuses to set us free.
Don’t judge, let go of rigidities:
This is a realisation that I myself take home after reading “The Kiss of Life”. Given my conservative upbringing, I had easily formed an opinion about this actor which wasn’t too flattering. As I read through the pages, my inhibitions put me to shame. The book introduces a scared father and committed husband who is pretty sorted about his professional deliverables and can explain it logically. We shouldn’t try to judge, blocking our brains from adapting to something new. That’s rigidity. We must try to understand perspectives that may or may not gel with our ideals; that’s learning and growth. I would try my best to ensure that my child doesn’t inherit from me such mind blocks and grows up with the flexibility to welcome the earth more openly.