Child is the father of man.
It was a frenzied Monday morning. She was rushing to the classroom. She made her way ducking and dodging the morning rush-hour crowd.
Ushering the squealing bunch of ten-year olds, she made her way to the dais, to position them debuting to make their first morning assembly presentation of the year.
She was more nervous than her bunch, even as they took over and sailed through with aplomb! All did well, except the one who presented the news.
Back in class, she congratulated her class, with high fives and handshakes. There he stood, trying to hide from her sight, the one who fumbled and faltered with his news-reading. And she was not one to shy away from admonishing.
"Well, you think you are too good to need any practice. How dare you come on to the stage without any preparation? "She continued her tirade, "You couldn't take some help from your father?” she fumed. He stood eyes down cast. Tears welled in his eyes, threatening to flow down, against his spirited attempt to hold forth. Words escaped "But ma’am, I don't have my dad ...”
"OH! My God, how could I be so cruel" she thought. The scene flashed before her. How he entered her class a kid of five, clasping his mother's hand he came in reluctantly, while others his age romped in holding on to their dads, their heroes, while their mothers pampered them. She had read the hurt in his eyes, and promised to herself, to take extra care, never to let him feel his loss.
Now, all that she could do was mumble a sorry. She had shattered his trust. That very moment she made the decision.
Imperfections, let them be. What matters is that learning be a joyful experience, to be treasured and feted. The bonds forged thereafter, they stood the test of time.
The teacups, adorning her kitchen shelf, the parting gift, are a constant reminder of the lessons learnt from cherished moments.
The leaves etched on the cups, teach her to take a leaf from lives that touched her.