This post is going to be dedicated to just Zoya and her awesomeness. I have a friend, Shefali, who has started an open learning space called "पुनरनवः". (I love Google and its amazing language tool.) Zoya and Shefali's daughter, Shashu, have played many times in the past. So now they both meet at पुनरनवः in the afternoons for a couple of hours. Its free play with sand, paint, different montessori materials... all in a peaceful, happy, large house with many levels. And Shefali and I have an understanding that Zoya will not be a regular student. I confirm in the morning if Z wants school that day. Yep... Zoya calls it her school and loves calling Shefali 'teacher'. Zoya would wear a uniform and ride teh school bus if only Shefali required it. Funny how both Shefali and I are not keen to make the space school like...and Zoya insists on all school protocol :-)
Anyway so Zoya has been to this space a few times in the past weeks. Yesterday Zoya spent 2 hours there in the afternoon. When she came home she went to Tanya's home (a college going young adult who lives in our complex'). She did art and craft and played with Ziggy, T's dog, and came home after 2 hours. Then she went for a walk with my helper and ended up sending her back home... Zoya joined another older teenage friend (Tanaya of swimming with my kids fame) and went to her home. Zoya hung out with Tanaya at her home and played with their dog, Zorro. Ravi and Raghu went over to pick her up at 8pm (T also lives in our complex) and Zoya refused to come home. She was playing happily with Zorro. So much later as Ravi, raghu and I were finishing up dinner at home... Tanaya got Zoya home. Zoya was sad and cried a great deal... it was tough for her to leave Zorro.
Time to consider getting a pet. Time to accept zoya's new freedom, independence, etc. Its been a very fun time for all of us to watch her get her little bag, water bottle, book and pencil etc, a kerchief too... and then say that she is getting ready for school. No doubt all the school talk from neighbours, school going cousins etc make her feel like she is missing out. Thanks to Shefali and these lovely teens, Zoya is getting to expand her world.