I open the door to Laddu’s class and hear a piercing wail from a boy standing next to his teacher. I freeze and then laugh as I figure out what is happening.
‘I don’t want to go to the other class!” he sobs while his teacher holds him. She is rubbing his back while pressing his sobbing body to her all the while murmuring “Shh! baby”
Laddu joins the small circle forming around the teacher. I put away her water bottle, winter jacket and spare shoes in her cubby and turn. The sobs have quietened. The soothing voice of the teacher is hypnotic.
“It’s OK. All of us have to move someday. You are a big boy now and you will be with other big boys. It will be fun. It’s OK…”
Laddu fixes her teacher with piercing eyes as if wondering if the message was for her as well. As if on cue, her teacher gathers her and repeats the same thing to her.
I leave closing the door gently behind me. The drive home is quick, the radio is on NPR but the news does not register. My mind is busy pondering why we are afraid of change. Or specifically why some people resist change so much.
All my life I have craved change so when I see people intimidated by change, I pause trying to figure it out. Is it the ties we create with things and people around us that makes the idea of tectonic shifts so scary? Is it that we see ourselves floundering in a new setting? Is it perhaps the fear of losing all that is familiar and comforting?
I look back on my life and at least seem to identify the things that shake me. I am moored to certain ideas than things. To me home and comfort are things I carry in my head. I am triggered more by sights and smells rather than homes and neighbors. New things look like adventure (at least initially) that help take the edge off the fear that I should be feeling.
My thoughts are back to the little boy and Laddu who will soon turn a year older and move into a different class. I think of Ammu and Pattu who are progressing to more difficult concepts in math and reading. I think of Saathi who revels in the placid waters of our life. I think of me always searching for the next big adventure. I realize we all eventually reconcile, move on and settle down to new normals until the next wave hits us.
If anything, change seems to be the only constant.