red and gray seesaw in the playground

Sunday Musings: Innocent Childhood Memories Week 2

Hi all. Happy weekend. Childhood memories are so strongly etched into our hearts. When we try to remember them, they just playback scene by scene as though they happened just yesterday. Our personality has so many traits that are built from our memories from childhood. Today’s personal story relates to one such event that happened in the early school years. It taught me that when you decide to do something on the spur of the moment, you might repent it later and would like to rectify something that is a mistake in your own eyes. The best way is to accept it, laugh at it, learn from it, and move forward in life.

The Incident that taught me it is ok to make mistakes

Fear. One of the first factors that prompt a child to lie or hide his/her mistakes. I take pride in spending my formative years in a small town called Roorkee. The town and its simplistic lifestyle had a tremendous impact in shaping my personality. I distinctly remember my first lesson in honesty that stemmed from the lemon tree in the courtyard of the residential quarters of my missionary school sisters. A few branches of the lemon tree would hang over the seesaw, a ride of which was a part of the fun time during the recess. Spending time on the seesaw was more fun than having the homemade paratha with “aam ka achaar”, my preferred accompaniment to paratha as compared to any vegetable.

We, as children, used to wonder how the personal lives of the sisters were? We were in awe of their discipline, melodious carols, impeccable English-speaking skills, and their neatly starched dresses. Do they have fun? Do they pray the whole day? What kind of food do they eat? There were many more questions than there were answers to our innocent queries. When the side of the seesaw you were sitting on reached its highest point, one could glimpse their residential quarters.

The quarterly exams used to take place in September every year. The school used to get over at 11:30 am. However, since my mother taught in the same school and had to stay till 1 pm for correction work, I used to stay back with her. Since she was busy, it was siesta time for me and one of my classmates, whose mother also taught in our school. One such day, we were frolicking around the open ground in the school and decided to play on the seesaw next to the residential campus of the sisters. Every time I reached the high, I could reach the branch of the lemon tree. The bright yellow, inviting lemon was just within my reach. Its citrus smell was influencing me to pluck it. However, I was resisting the temptation knowing it would be wrong to pluck the lime from the garden without permission.  

One moment in time, the temptation took over, and I plucked the lime. As luck would have it, I saw sister Louisia walking towards us, noticing that we were playing on the seesaw. Looking at her approaching us frightened me. The thought that she has caught me made me nervous. My mind started racing. What would happen next? She would complain about it to my mother, and that would bring her pain because of me. My mother was the most gentle person I had in my life. Being a reason for her sadness was something I could never think of.

My heart was pounding inside my chest and I could not understand how to undo the mistake I had just committed. In a frenzy, I tried to re-attach the lemon to its original position the next time I reached the branch. Looking at the evident fear on my face, sister Louisia smiled. Her warm smile melted my heart, and I felt so much at ease. I asked her for forgiveness for plucking the lime without permission. She just smiled and let it be.

That day, I made a firm resolve not to give in to temptations and resent my actions later. Sometimes, however hard we try, we cannot undo our actions. At such times, it is best to accept your mistake, learn from it, and move forward in life. To read the previous in the series click here. I also found a pleasant read here on how happy childhood is necessary for the overall development of children. If you like my post, do check out my home page.

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