A couple of months ago Himmi came home and said, “God! Mom! Want to know what grade I got in Bio test?” We don’t talk about grades anymore but I said, “Sure, if you want to tell me.” “Mom, I got a D.” I said “Well! Congratulations Himmi!” He said he still had other tests and assignments left before the final grade. I replied “I am sure you have and I am sure you might end up getting an A or something like that” and we both smiled because we both have a clear understanding of the expectation “Very sincerely does your karma” rule. What he does every single day and how much he learns is absolutely 100% more important to me than what his final grades are. It is as simple as that. To talk about this we need to go back to when Himmi was between age five and eight. By the time he was nine he was almost on his own doing his home work with an occasional prompt or I had to participate in just a few of his projects. I am a “Yes” Mom, I say yes to whatever Himmi asks most of the time. He does not ask much from me at all, anyways.
Well anyways, a few years ago when Himmi was in third grade in India, one evening he came home from school gave me a big hug and said, “Thank God you are a good Mom and you are the best” or something like that. What happened was report cards were sent out that day and his best friend was crying most of the day worried about how his mother is going to punish him and be upset with him. Himmi was really surprised. He said, “Well, my Mom doesn’t do all that at all.” His friend wouldn’t believe and asked what if Himmi get’s low grade. Himmi said, “Yah I have a bad grade in Telugu, but I know I won’t be in trouble because my Mom knows I did my best.” But here is a catch: Himmi’s mom insists on doing the school work right, doing it every single day until it is done, meeting all the deadlines, submitting every assignment on time. If we have to keep an alarm clock and wake up the next morning then Mom will be up, ready, with a cup of coffee, for home work. I learnt this from my Mother; I had a good role model, you see. I think in India it is common practice; almost all of the mothers are very committed to helping with homework. The only thing I can think of that was different in our case was that Himmi never had to stress about results. Since I believed in do your karma/action part correctly, if we focus on completely doing it every day results are automatic, right? And I am very careful and picky about not criticizing, not saying a word to anyone or to him regardless of the results and to totally accept and embrace them while encourage the good things about Himmi. My Mom was pretty good at this when it came to learning and education and I thought it was a good idea – why not use it for Himmi and in all other areas of life as well?
Here is what happened. As you know not all conversations with teenagers go well.. . aren’t they always testing boundaries? Some time back Himmi came to me and said “Mom you are very Indian, right?’ I said “Ok, so what is it now?” He said, “What if I hang out with four girl friends? Will you disown me?” I said, “Himmi first of all I hope you are not serious; if you are, then you are in big trouble with your girlfriend. Second of all it is your girlfriend’s problem, not mine, so don’t bring it up with me.”
Anyways let us now hope “Freeman” Himmi at Berkeley focuses more on his academics for the time being. As I always say, there is no rush. There is time for everything in life. There is nothing I can do now other than wish him Luck, all the Happiness and joy to be always with him.
“Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us.” – -John N. Mitchell