… says the Bean to me this cool winter morning, shivering dramatically.
And I’d promised someone that I’d dig around in archives and put up posts I’d written on the old blog. Here’s one that I wrote on Thursday, January 17, 2008. When the Brat started playschool. Anyone from those days still around?
…when you can see your breath go up in wisps of smoke…
and a silver van drives away – a tiny little gloved hand waving through a fogged up window and a little capped head barely showing above it….
…that makes a grown woman hug herself and feel a shiver run down her spine? It’s more than just the chill in the air.
Two year olds should not be going off alone in vans on cold, grey mornings. They should be home and warm and cuddled against their family like little puppies.
Edited to add: I wrote this early in the morning and had it lying in my drafts. I planned to publish after breakfast and reading my newspapers. And then I found this piece of news. A school van carrying little children overturned. I feel a sob rise and I hold it back feeling silly. This happens all the time, doesn’t it? Road accidents in Delhi are common. Fortunately until now it’s not been my child.
I know I shouldn’t be so morbid, but tiny little toddlers the Brat’s age are delicate. Remember my post on the little toddler who fell down in the garden and didn’t get up? I can’t bear to imagine the trauma of an accident. The confusion. The being rushed to hospital by strangers. Not knowing what happened. Most of them can barely frame a sentence at this age. And we’re risking their lives and sending them in school vans – choosing an education over safety. I feel like a fool.
And it’s common in Delhi. School van accidents. Drivers talking on the phone. I am torn – I want my child to lead a normal middle class life and I want to do my little bit to save the planet by not sending him in a chauffeur driven car BUT I hear of this stuff and I want to strap him into a car seat and send him in our own car, driven slowly and safely and handed over to the school authorities. It was particularly bad this morning because I saw him off, felt miserable as I watched the van disappear and came in to read this piece of news.
Every morning I wake up and the tussle between the hysterical, protective mother and the calm woman begins. And I know that all I can do is send him away with a little silent prayer.