Please, don’t fight my battles…just teach me to

Let the baby bean pod mature

The little bean pod whimpered, “It is very hot here. I can’t bear it.” Quickly rustling a dense roof of green leaves around her baby bean pod, the mother began to gently fan her leaves to regulate the temperature. Baby pod was happy to see his mother immediately respond to his cry.

Then when strong winds blew, the alarmed little pod shrieked. While friends his age exercised their muscles and anchored fast to the node, he stared painfully wide-eyed as if petitioning his mother to do something. She always won, didn’t she? She was always there for him. He didn’t have to do anything. And true to the beliefs ingrained in baby pod, mum shielded him from the fiery storm and ensured he was safe.

Once the farm was plagued by worms. When a worm came squiggling towards him, the little pod bawled out in fear. His friends did a wee bit of a jiggle and a wiggle to ensure the worms stayed away from them. But baby pod turned to his mother. Wasn’t she the winner always! His mum got to work, immediately distracting the worm away from him. Baby heaved a sigh of relief when left unharmed. Mum once again succeeded in standing up for her baby. She never allowed her baby to face any adverse situation.

“Stop it, Beanstress! When will our son learn to face the odds?” reprimanded Beanster. “At this rate, he will soon become a sissy, fearful of everything. He will never learn to fight his mini battles. He will never grow up.” Deep down mum believed whatever Beanster said but she could not control her emotions when her baby wailed. When she confided this to Beanster, he counselled her that she would be able to control her emotions if she craned a bit and tried looking five, ten, fifteen weeks hence into their son’s life. “What would he become if we continued to fight his battles? He will never learn to stand up for himself. We need to teach him to face his battles. We are not to meddle with his inherent strength and ability to face challenges. It is a painful exercise for us as parents, but an effort well worth towards building him as a strong person. Don’t forget that the best training is the one that is the messiest”, he would often advise. But Mum’s emotions were a bit tangled. She lacked disciplining her emotions and didn’t know that she was actually harming her baby. Months passed by with Beanstress fighting all of baby’s battles.

Soon came the time for the pods to be harvested. Everyone was keen to know where would each of them head to — butter or powder? Excitement built up thick in the air. Mum wanted all three of them to land together into the butter version. She especially wondered about her baby. Hadn’t she shielded him from every harm and danger? No scars, no wounds. He sure was one healthy young pod around, she thought proudly! It was still a long journey though. She wanted to be as close to her baby as possible. She wondered what would become of them.

The suspense did not last for long though. While Beanster and Beanstress were tenderly picked up for the next process into fermentation, her baby was nowhere in sight. Beanstress looked up to see if baby pod still hung onto the node. But he wasn’t there. Then where was he? She began her search for him in the cane basket, but was soon stopped by Beanster. With huge tear drops flowing down his cheeks, Beanster broke the sad news that their son never made it. Beanstress was shocked! Beanster explained that their son failed the quality test where the strongest and the fittest were picked. Pods failing the test were considered unfit to proceed. Their young one had not measured up to the required levels of dryness as he had not soaked in enough heat required to be a quality bean pod. Beanstress broke down. What had she done!

Beanster’s words of correction rang out loud in her ears, “Let him suffer the small adversities and he will learn to face bigger challenges. One life, one chance, teach him to fight his battles and he’ll grow up stronger to face a strong life.”

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