Wednesday, May 24, 2017
I love growing up with my daughter – by being part of her daily experiences. Unless I am rushed by an inevitable meeting or work, I make sure that I attend her school’s morning assembly because getting to stand in line with students and say the Jamyang Soeldeb (Prayer to Manju Shri) and National Anthem is a rare opportunity. And I take it solemnly. I have recently been transferred to Ministry of Labour and Human Resources and this gives me time to do that. The walking distance between her school and my office is only four minutes.
This morning, she woke up early, which gave us time for her bath as well as have a relaxed time for breakfast. After getting ready for school, she still had time while I got ready – so she used it to read a story, ‘The Folk Museum’ by Madam Chador Wangmo. She sure does like the imaginations it gives her.
So we arrived at her school on time today. She could join her friends to sing the nursery rhymes which gives students a nice warm up before starting the classes for the day. I don’t know about other schools but Early Learning Centre (ELC) has the schedule of singing nursery rhymes before the morning assembly. After the assembly, they recite poems or rhymes that have good themes. This morning, they sang quite a few but the one called ‘I like Myself’ by Karen Beaumont caught my attention quite hard. I felt tears well up in my eyes as I listened to them repeat it in chorus after Madam Namgay.
It immediately made me look back to my own childhood. Did I have such a time where teachers told us that we are all different and we are all good in our own ways – and that we must love what we are? It was a different time then, but both teachers and parents did their best. It also made me feel a profound gratitude for my teachers and now hers. It is from them that we learn quite a big share of what life is and how we must see it and live it. There are people who have good things to say about ELC. But there are also those who think that it is academically backward compared to other private schools. But I made my choice of sending her there because I don’t want her to miss the joy of her childhood in the rush of being schooled. She probably does not read as well as others her age. But that is okay because she will read on her own pace. But I do want her to love reading so that it will give her the benefit of knowledge that only reading different books can give. She is a difficult child sometimes. But that is okay too. If she were tame as a toy, I would not have the experience I now enjoy.
Here is the poem. I hope you will be moved by it too and you will feel inspired to tell your children what it says so that they know that they are lovely the way they are.
I like myself! I'm glad
There's no one else I'd rather be.
I like my eyes, my ears, my nose.
I like my fingers and my toes.
I like me wild. I like me tame.
I like me different and the same.
I like me fast. I like me slow.
I like me everywhere I go.
I like me on the inside, too,
for all I think and say and do.
Inside, outside, upside down,
from head to toe and all around,
I like it all! It all is me!
And me is all I want to be.
And I don't care in any way
what someone else may think or
I may be called a silly nut
or crazy cuckoo bird-so what?
I'm having too much fun, you see,
for anything to bother me!
Even when I look a mess,
I still don't like me any less,
'cause nothing in this world, you know,
can change what's deep inside, and so....
No matter if they stop and stare,
can make me feel that what they see
is all there really is to me.
I'd still like me with fleas or warts,
or with a silly snout that snorts,
or knobby knees or hippos hips
or purple polka-dotted lips,
or beaver breath or stinky toes
or horns protruding from my nose,
or--yikes--with spikes all down my spine,
or hair that's like a porcupine.
I still would be the same, you see...
I like myself because I'm ME!
When I was a student, many years back, I read that it is not always possible to repay the kindness to the same person. But we can pay it back by passing it on. I think love often lives that way too. I think we can spread love, care and kindness through our love for children. Because if they are brought up in the abundance of these emotions, they know them and they will reciprocate the same. And that gives each of us a role to make the world a better place!
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