Last week, I took my kids to the society playground for a stroll. The place was rather scattered with many young folks having a good time under the warm evening light. At one of the corners was a small group of young teenagers playing football. Most of them were in their early teens. My nine-year-old son, who is a great fan of soccer, stood there totally engrossed in the game. The boys knew that my son played a good game. And as a wonderful surprise, they beckoned him to join in. Now, a small lad getting inducted into a group of slightly bigger guys than him, it is truly a moment of pride.  He was on the top of the world and extremely thrilled by the honor he gained to play with the older fellows. The entire time in the playground was of immense joy to him. I and my daughter waited there staring at him, relishing the happiness and confidence that flashed on his face all the time.

Time really flies when you have fun; Dusk was setting in and mosquitoes were growing more active. It was time to go back home. I coaxed him a lot, to return, but he tried to ignore me. Actually, his whole attention was on me, but he pretended not to listen. I started calling him lovely names like ‘baby come we are getting late’. ‘Honey, come let’s go’, shanu, babu, ladu, and all of the possible names I could recollect, so we could go back home in the same excited and lively mood. I did not wish to drain off his excitement. As I was calling out those lovely names, I saw him sort of blushing. But he avoided seeing me, pretending he could not hear my voice. Now it was growing dark and I gave a final firm call on which he left the game and we returned.

Later after dinner, he said to me, “what mamma, you were calling me honey bunny shanu. I was feeling shy.”

I restrained my smile and said, “but you always ask me to call you with those names.”

“Yes, I like it when you say it at home but not when I am playing. All the boys will laugh at me”

I could sense the embarrassment he felt on the playground.

“But nobody was laughing dear.” I pointed out.

“No re mamma,” he came running and hugged me, “it is so funny; the other boys will tease me.”

I understood and promised him that I will not call those lovely names in presence of his buddies. I have realized that the kids are growing up, and the time has approached when they may feel embarrassed in front of their friends.

So my resolution for the coming year is rather very simple. To take my child’s requests more seriously. Because something that we might find very frank may feel like a  huge burden to the child.  So being more mindful when my kids are around, will be one way to avoid many problems.

Image Credit: liana mikah unsplash