We befriended a family in the apartment who had also moved in, like us, in the month of May. They have a 5 year old son A and a 9 year old daughter J. The mom S and I hit it off very well right from the word Go. We used to also go to the park at the same time and indulge ourselves in hearty conversations while the kids played in the park. One of the days S told me that A was going to have Buddy Day at school and he was to get a friend out of school. When S asked who he wanted to ask to accompany him, he had said Tamanna. S asked me if she could take Tamanna on the said day. I told her that I was perfectly okay to send, but will ask Tamanna if she wanted to go and confirm. I also asked S if A could take along only one buddy or more, coz Mantam had never been to any place apart so far. She told me that only one buddy was allowed.
Once home, I sat both of them down and told them about the event that A would be having at school and that he wants to take Tammu with him. Immediately Mannu asked “Can I also go with them?” It was heart breaking to tell her that she couldn’t. She frowned and asked me “Why so?”. I explained to her that A had the choice of taking only one of his friends. Inspite of having so many friends, he had to pick only one. Mannu asked again “Why didn’t A pick me then?” Trust me it was so hard, I thought I should have told S that we couldn’t send Tammu alone. But then, I felt that this is just the beginning and they must learn to accept that they are both individuals. They can’t do each and everything together. Abbas thought I was expecting too much from them at a young age. He didn’t bear to see Mannu going through this phase. But I persisted because I believed that on explaining to her well, she will understand and be happy for Tammu.
I made her understand that both of them were A’s good friends. But perhaps he likes Tammu a wee little more than her, hence the choice. I gave her examples of how she would have picked Red over Purple if given a choice, even though both were her favourite, And also made it clear that we must respect other’s choices and opinions and not bother why they didn’t choose us. I did not expect her to understand so early but she did. She even went to the extent of choosing the dress for Tammu to wear on that day and was more excited than Tammu herself. She went along to drop and pick Tammu to and from school.
When we went to pick Tammu up, Mannu was waiting anxiously to see her sister. When both of them saw each other, they ran and hugged each other tight and acted as if they had met after decades. They kissed each other and whispered “I missed you so much” in each other’s ears. The teacher who came out with them said that she kept on speaking about her sister. They had given the kids a take home gift and apparently Tammu had asked to give an extra gift as she had a sister at home 😆 When the teacher told that she can get only one, Tammu replied – “It’s okay. I’ll share it with my sister”. I was so moved by their love. Touchwood, hope their love flourishes with each passing day and their bond grows stronger and stronger. Amen