At the feet of a guru
Gopal’s 4-year-old surprises him with an unexpected gesture.
We live in an age in which it has become fashionable to study at the feet of a guru. Being a bit of a personal growth junkie myself, I must confess to feeling just a tinge of envy for those whose spiritual journeys have brought them in contact with such remarkable feet.
Pic: Getty Images
Article originally in Parent24
But for those of us who are parents it is scarcely necessary to step out of doors. We can enjoy the pitter-pat of gurus' feet and the rich life lessons generously handed out by our children from the privacy of our own homes.
It was a rainy Sunday afternoon in Somerset West, and we had come from Cape Town to have lunch with my wife's parents. After a delicious meal, my son, who has just turned 4, was off like a shot to the goldfish pond in the garden. The rain had stopped and he wanted to feed the fish. So while grandpa and I cleared the dining room table, my wife accompanied granny and grandson to the fish pond.
A few minutes later there were shrieks from the garden. My wife had slipped on the wet steps and bounced to the bottom. What we initially assumed to be just a severely sprained ankle, turned out to be a cracked tibia. So we drove back to Cape Town with a pair of crutches in the boot.
As we approached our house my son said: “I want my chocolate.”
Remembering that there were a few squares of his chocolate left in the kitchen snacks cupboard, I replied: “OK, as soon as I've helped mummy into the house and made her comfortable.”
While trying to assist my wife up the stairs to our front door, I just made matters worse. We both fell over into the garden and ended up entangled in the Cape Honeysuckle and Arum lilies. My son said: “I want my chocolate.”
I replied: “I'm trying to help mummy. Just be patient!”
My wife was now settled in bed, and I was propping up her foot on a stack of pillows. My son said: “I want my chocolate.”
I replied: “Just wait a few minutes! You'll get you chocolate!”
As I finished settling my wife in a comfortable position, the phone rang. It was my sister. My son said: “I want my chocolate.”
I replied: “CAN'T YOU SEE I'M ON THE PHONE? YOU'RE BEING VERY UNHELPFUL!!!”
He started to cry. With the phone in my right hand, I went over to the snacks cupboard, and felt around on the top shelf for the chocolate with my other hand. Since it was close to bed time, I wanted to minimize the effects of sugar in his bloodstream. So I pressed the chocolate against the shelf to break off one square. I fumbled the process, and the square of chocolate fell onto the floor. In exasperation I said: “THERE... THERE'S YOUR CHOCOLATE!”
He picked up what he believed to be his last square of chocolate, and headed for our bedroom. I think my sister on the other end of the phone heard my jaw drop as I heard his little voice say: “Here Mummy, this will make you feel better.”