I have a few confessions to make:
I have greater respect and regard for those who possess academic brilliance than those who do not. I believe a human being ‘s value is enhanced by coming first in class.
The problem is that I always stood first in class . I came first in school in the Class 10 boards. I made it to the top medical college in my state on my first attempt, and likewise to the best medical college in the country for my post-graduation in Ophthalmology. I was awarded for being the best post-graduate resident in my year, and was ranked first in the interview for super-specialisation training.
I think this has skewed the way I look at others. The main reason is, I feel, that in my own eyes, my own worth is linked to my having always been an excellent student.
I know I am wrong. A child coming 20th in class is no less precious to his parents than one standing 1st; a young boy studying English or History or Geography is as gifted as the one studying engineering or medicine.
I worry I will put undue pressure on my son to excel the way I did.
I only studied- no sports, no elocution and even no quiz competitions. I did learn singing for a few years, but gave it up in my higher classes- so that I had more time to study!!
I love to study.. as long as I was in school, mathematics was like my best friend. I practised sums when I wanted to relax!! Does that sound absolutely crazy?? I turned to Maths to keep me calm, sane and grounded. When I joined Medical College, I actually missed my Math problems.
In my journey to becoming and being a practising Ophthalmologist, I have studied with complete sincerity, and I will continue to..
But I worry when I find myself expecting my son to love his books the way I did. I tell myself that he is an independent individual, and the best thing I can do for him as his mother is to hone his own strengths rather than trying to shape into a mould of myself. And I’m working on that.. I am trying to be better..
When I see photographs or hear parents discuss their children’s certificates and scholastic achievements, I long for the day my son will do the same.. and a small worry, hidden away somewhere, that maybe he won’t , tugs at my heart..
I want to let my 6 year old enjoy his childhood.. to come into his own, discover his strengths..and I want to help him become the best version of the person he is meant to be.
I hope I get better soon!!