Dr. Parvathy Bhooshanan is one of our favorite people to talk to about a good book or a good recipe. Her work within the community is admirable, and she’s always up for sharing stories about the places she has visited and lived. But how does she manage to do all that and have time to enjoy her family? We asked Parvathy to share her parenting experiences and what keeps her going.
I have been a teacher for 20 years. I taught English in India for 6 years and have continued my profession here at Calhoun Community College. The word “community” means much to me and I have strived to inculcate that in my children, whether it is having them volunteer at animal rescue shelters, the public library, local hospitals and assisted living centers. In learning from our past, whether it is literature, history, science and technology, there are lessons we can glean for a bright future.
Communication among humans is through language and I am fortunate that I am in a profession that enables society to read, write and speak in the lingua franca of business, travel and international relations.
Another passion of mine is cooking. I enjoy trying out new dishes from around the world, and my family and friends seem to enjoy the results, even if I do say so myself!
I became a Mom in my early thirties, and despite the wisdom one is supposed to have gained by then, motherhood can best be described as a tough teacher because she gives the test first and the lesson afterwards. But there is no equal to the sensation of holding your baby for the first time. Lucky for me, my mother visited me from India and was able to help out immensely. We also visit India every couple of years, so that our daughters can experience firsthand their grandparents’ affection. Over the years, we have had community support in the form of friends, public schools and library resources. I have realized that motherhood is a lifetime appointment, and no matter the age of the children, they will always remain in our thoughts.
Her Perfect Rocket City Weekend
My perfect weekend would most certainly involve brunch with the family at the Cozy Cow restaurant near Big Spring Park, followed by a leisurely stroll with our neighbor’s dog, Izzy in tow, around the pond, early dinner at Thai Garden in the 5 Points area, a hike up in Monte Sano, and curling up in bed with a book to end the day.
Her Quest for Balance
Human beings have the power to adapt to changes. While I took a hiatus in teaching to have our children, I slowly got back into it, by starting as adjunct faculty with shorter hours, and then switching to full-time once they got a little older. My husband, Sri, was also supportive in raising our daughters.
Funniest Parenting Moment
We were visiting Disney World and attended “The Lion King” live show. While we were in our seats, one of the ushers approached us and asked if Meenu (then about 4 years old) would be interested in being part of the show. We volunteered her without a thought, and were over the moon about it. The show was well underway for a while and when it came time for Meenu to come out, she was given maracas and asked to lead a group of kids in a small circle. She did the job, but had a pout on her face the entire time!
Parvathy’s Top Parenting Tip
I would say that allowing kids to have missteps and teaching them resilience to bounce back from it, is an important lesson to be imparted. I saw this quote from Anna Quindlen (:Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake) which lends light to what parenting is about: “Being a parent is not transactional. We do not get what we give. It is the ultimate pay it forward endeavor: we are good parents not so they will be loving enough to stay with us but so they will be strong enough to leave us.”
The Super Power She Wishes She Had
Be able to read a book by placing my hand over it and being able to recall passages from it when needed.
Parenting Book Recommendation
I adore Shakespearean works, which are relevant to this day and well into the future. His body of work spanning comedies, tragedies, romance, and drama offer us an uncanny look into the human mind. I can think of a bunch of quotations from Shakespeare that I hope can guide my thoughts and actions everyday.
‘To thine own self be true.’
‘The course of true love never did run smooth.’
‘The fault, dear Brutus, lies not within the stars, but in ourselves.’
‘Brevity is the soul of wit.;
‘Love all, trust a few, Do wrong to none.’
‘Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is wing’d Cupid painted blind.’
‘Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin, as self-neglecting.’
‘Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.’
Name the song you think of when you need to:
- Get your Gameface on:”Gangnam Style” by PSY
- Recover from heartbreak: “Break your Heart” by Taio Cruz
- Energize yourself: Czerny’s “Toccata in C Major, Op. 92”
- Let loose and have fun with your friends: “She wolf” by Shakira
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