all grown up

You sometimes do not realise that your kids have grown, particularly when they are of the special kind. I must admit rather sheepishly, that ever since they special kids moved into their new space on the third floor of the building opposite ours I have been somewhat absent from their lives. The reason is I find myself citing is of course my creaking knees. A rather pitiful reason I must confess particularly when I think of our special kids who make the climb with a smile whether they are a tad wobbly (Umesh) or walk on their hands (Preeti)! The truth is I have just been lazy.

So a few days back when I did make the trip to the special class it was an eye opened in more ways than one. First and foremost I realised how much I missed seeing the lovely smiles and hearing the heartwarming greetings of these lovely souls and more than that how much it meant to me as I suddenly felt uplifted and revived. This has not happened for a long time. Seeing these special kids was a treat I had simply denied myself for too many days.

Another thing hit me that afternoon as I watched the children busy in their art and craft activities. I realised that many of them were all grown up. Yes more than a decade had passed and though some still looked small, they were now young adults. And time has come for us to accept them as such. My mind went on overdrive as I started making plans for them in my head, keeping every one's likes and abilities in mind. These children were now adults and should be entering the working world, never mind their disability. The older girls could start marketing their weaving. Why not make table mats and bathroom mats out of waste cloth? And why not start a small in house catering service that could maybe one day mutate into a proper catering service.

It did not take any time to set things in motion. The very next day the older girls and Anurag who loves cooking set up the pwhy special cafe. The first task was to find clients! And that was easy as many of the staff were delighted by the idea of having hot home made food. The students with the help of their teacher made a menu and took orders. A shopping list was made and the needed ingredients bough and lo and behold the very next day 3 warm lunches were made and served on time. The clients were thrilled and orders placed for the next day. Things will get a little time to settle down but I am sure than in a month or so these fabulous young cooks will be able to cater to larger numbers. They have proved beyond doubt that they are ready to become business men and women.

But catering is not their only venture. The girls have been learning weaving for  quite some time now and can make stunning pieces from discarded cloth. We are now thinking of getting this activity organised and making table mats, floor mats and wall hangings and try and find markets for them. The weaved pieces are really bright and colourful and could make lovely gifts for one and all. I hope many of you will support this venture.

The older boys will be making newspaper mats for our creche children. Many of the boys have limited motor skills but with supervision and help they will be able to make these mats that are used by our tiny students at lunch time. We are also thinking of teaching them how to make paper bags.

For me this week has been very special. To see that our children have now grown into responsible adults in spite of their challenges is precious. I know they will make us proud. They never fail to!