I heard my cellphone buzz at the office this afternoon. "Hello?" I whispered, wondering who the unfamiliar number belonged to.
"Are you .....'s mother?" enquired a voice steeped in military authority.
"Yes, Ma'am," I replied and stood up automatically. Like it was the most natural thing in the world.
"This is the Kindergarten co-ordinator from your son's school," she introduced herself.
I knew the woman well, and now, having heard her on the phone, it became clear how she managed a few hundred boisterous kids without losing her sanity. I stood up, remember?
"We have chosen your son to lead the marching parade for the Kindergarten sports meet on Saturday." Oh wow, I thought. But there was more to come. "You need to hire a Subhash Chandra Bose costume for him from Sujay Stores in Shrinagar tomorrow afternoon after school. Do you know where it is?"
"Well, first you need to go to..." she rattled off the directions and finished by telling me I had to pack one set of the school uniform because my son was also taking part in the relay as well.
Ah yes, the relay. He had declared earlier in the week that he was glad he was in the relay and not in the Cinderella race. "What's that?" I asked him.
"You have to run to your 'girl partner' and help her put on a shoe and then hold hands and run to the finish line. Yuck!"
"Which part is yuck?" I asked again.
"Who wants to hold a girl's shoe? And the girls take sooooo long to put it on. So even if the boys run fast, we may not win."
Hmmm...right. "It's about winning together," I said.
"It's a race, Mamma. It's winning. And we win together in the relay too," he declared with a confidence that amazed me.
He had a point. Reminded me of the time when he wanted to shave his head to look like an authentic Mahatma Gandhi at the fancy dress competition. I'd told him he might regret shaving off his head just to look like the real Gandhi just for a couple of hours. "What's regret?" he'd asked. What indeed!
All the best, kiddo. :-)