a reclaimed smile

In a few hours Utpal will leave for school. We spent yesterday packing all his things: his unwieldy homework - a chart of roman numerals made with matchsticks, a wall hanging made of bangles and a cartoon character made with lentils to name a few - have to travel safely and reach school unscathed. It was no easy task as there were more charts, scrap books and so on. Wonder why a school gives so much holiday work, when does the child enjoy his vacation. Must confess that some of the said work was done by yours truly with a little help from friends!

Anyway while we were busy packing, our little man was enjoying his last day of freedom. He had planned it himself: morning spent at the women centre making one of his creation for his friend D, the afternoon at Kalka Mandir on his favourite rides and the evening at a nearby mall to try some new ones. In between all this there was a visit to the Doctor and short stop at the toy shop to buy a ball. A busy day I must say.

I of course was part of the doc/toyshop slot.

In a few hours my little man will leave for school. It has been a hectic and troubled month. When Utpal came for his holidays he was unmanageable: angry, stressed, moody, violent, capricious and dejected. No amount of coaxing or cajoling worked. We were all helpless and lost. Sessions at the psychotherapist were a nightmare. We were walking on eggshells. He had locked himself up in a dark world. He spent his days glued to the idiot box or demanding something or the other. It was to say the least unbearable as we knew the child was hurting but did not know how to express his pain. That is when we decided to meet the psychiatrist and seek help. I am glad we did.

For the past two weeks Utpal has been the tender and loving child he once was. The one everyone fell in love with. His huge and enchanting smile is back 24/7! He is once again his happy self. It is such joy to watch him. I must confess I have spent most of my time with him. Every morning when I go to wake him back I am greeted with hugs and kisses and he is willing to do anything you want him to. The idiot box does not hog all the space now, Utpal spends most of his time creating things: wacky laptops, zany desk organisers and more. He has his art and craft bag that with scissors, staplers paint and so on and carries it everywhere he goes. I simply watch in awe. He often gives me is lopsided smile, the one that lit is face when he was tiny, and the one that could melt the coldest heart. A smile he had lost but now reclaimed. And my heart fills with joy and gratitude. My popples is back into the light.

Apologies for digressing. Yes in a few hours I will wake him up and get yet another special smile. Then he will don his uniform that has been cleaned and ironed and hangs in his cupboard. I hope to catch a few moments with him before the car carries Utpal and his homework back to school. And I will wipe the tears in the corner of my eyes and go back into an empty house.