In the boys’ gang of our colony, Venky is probably the youngest. He ends up playing team games like cricket and basketball with boys 7 – 8 years senior to him. Hence, we often find him fielding and goal keeping while the other boys are playing with his bat and ball! Venky does not mind the arrangement, but as parents ( and grandparents ) we feel he is getting exploited. We also do not want to interfere amongst the kids so we do the next best thing – nag Venky.
“Why do you have to take the ball every time ? Ask other kids to bring the ball!”
“They bring the ball too!” Venky tries to defend.
A couple of days back, Venky was bought a Kashmir willow cricket bat. Vibhu being a cricket fan himself gets possessive about the cricket props.
“Venky, this is a very high quality expensive bat. Please take care of it.”, said Vibhu.
“Do not give it to other kids to play!” chimed in grandpa.
“Why not?” Venky did not like the advice.
“Because they will spoil it.” I answered.
“They will not.”
“They will. It is your stuff, you should take care of it!” I replied.
“Those are such big boys. They should bring their own bats. They just exploit you and use your stuff.” Grandpa accused.
“Nothing like that! They also bring their bats!” Venky was getting frustrated with our allegations on his friends.
“Venky, you have to take responsibility of your stuff. It is your bat, you should take care of it. Please do not let others use it!” I nagged further.
“OK! What’s the point? I should take care, or I should not share?”
Vibhu and I exchanged looks.
“You should take care.” Both of us answered in a low voice. We knew we were beaten.
“OK! Don’t worry. I will!” Venky answered with finality.
Our lessons in yielding control has already begun!