I feel like Yashoda Maiyya today. Listening to school complain (justifiably) about my kid’s stupendously attention seeking, appallingly boundary free behavior, has shriveled all my nerves. Yashoda briefly tied Krishna up to restrain him, which would not be cute today because hi, modern day notions of child welfare.
I bet you five rupees that Yashoda was planning to use those few minutes to milk the cows or make some chai or even just chill without harassment for one small blip, but we all know that’s not what happened.
Living with A, I have become somewhat wryly unamused by the tales of Krishna’s exploits. It IS sweet how all-encompassing the world of a heedlessly impulse-driven child can be, but the rest of it is unmitigated fatigue, perpetual brain fog, and premature aging. In all likelihood Yashoda was about eighteen years old, if that, so maybe she wasn’t as slumped over as modern day autism moms in our thirties and forties and beyond can be. Plus, Krishna didn’t stay naughty like our kids do well into their teens.
I give the school staff a lot of credit for trying pretty much everything instead of restraint and seclusion, and for involving us and home therapists. It cannot be easy. But this is often the difference between decent special ed schools and (our experience of) public school. The staff have support from their superiors, and behaving ethically with our children is part of their default practice. Communication between school and home is not fraught because, having nothing to conceal, everyone can share their observations with ease.
Krishna went away to a Gurukul to study. He must have sat and listened while Rishi Sandipani taught about how to live according to the philosophy that the student himself had given to the world.
If we did not have to contend with our own intellectual limitations; if we didn’t have to plan for a future where we would no longer be present to shield our children; if we could breathe in the truth standing right in front of us…would our Krishnas have to eat so much butter and dance so many ras leelas to force their needs into our consciousness?