Sometime late last year, I browsed the local schools online trying to find out what the process was like to register for Kindergarten. I got on mailing lists. I marked dates on my calendar and let it be. One fine morning I woke up to a gentle reminder that registration was coming up. The choices were few and simple. I gathered the requisite documents, filled out a ton of forms, checked and double and triple checked everything before I sent it off. Then I marked a few more reminders on my calendar and waited. Impatiently.
It happened. Saathi knocked on the door rather hurriedly midway through shoveling snow. “The letters. They are here.” His voice was laced with disappointment. I hurriedly wrapped up the conversation I was on over the phone and took the letters inside. They spelled things out clearly. One twin had an admit. The other was wait listed. The joys of a lottery system. I read each word carefully and marked a few more reminders and dates on my calendar before placing the letters at the feet of the Gods in my altar.
It sunk in over the days. We were on Plan B now. The next deadline looms up in a week. I am back at my desk downloading forms, printing them out and filling them in. I scan documents and assorted things and file them in folders. Labeling each folder after Ammu and Pattu, I realize this is a milestone that has crept up on me. Whilst I immersed myself in the mechanics of what must be done, the emotional and psychological import of it is dawning slowly.
This year my daughters will become part of a new, exciting world. One that will shape their beliefs, their values and what they eventually make of themselves. The past few years have exclusively been ours. Ours to impress their fledgling minds. Now, in addition to what they see at home, their lives will be dictated by teachers, peers and the outside world. One over which we will have little control on.
I am excited and scared in turn. I know this is a rite of passage for all of us. Yet, the illusion of control I had is slipping. I look back and wonder if there is anything I could have done differently. If there is anything I can do now that can chart a different course for my children. I sigh and let go.
The day will soon be here when I will be packing school supplies and adjusting to a new routine. I remind myself that I have a few more months to make the most of. To take advantage of the unstructured lives we lead. To give in to the moment and do things I would usually think twice about. I promise myself that this summer will be one of adventure. Of finding joy in our backyard and the local attractions. Of exploration and getting out more than staying in. Of hugs and cuddles and sleepover. Of staying up late and sleeping in.
It will be our summer of indulgence.