Beginning of April
It was the beginning of April. Arjun, my three-year-old son, had to join a school on April 3rd. I was excited, and Arjun, anxious. On the big day, he looked handsome in his first school uniform. I know all parents in the world feel the same about their kids.
New school in the Vicinity
A good school had opened a new branch in the vicinity of our apartment complex. The management was yet to refine some of its processes. One of those was well-managed parking. There were school buses as well as private vehicles. Parents and guardians had come to drop their children off. The school buses had fixed parking spots that were the closest to the main gate of the school. Parents who had arrived in their vehicles had to go past the entire parking area, only to get the last few available spots. Traffic was crazy, and there was utter chaos. We got down from the car, and my toddler carried his little school bag. He looked at other children dressed in the school uniform.
Greeted at the School Gate
We were greeted at the school gate by the teachers on duty. They were directing the newcomers with smiles on their faces. I wonder if it made my little child feel right or he was intimidated. I noticed the expression on his face without showing concern. He looked around as he clutched my hand tightly. It was the first day, and parents could go right up to the class to drop their children.
Inside the School
The corridors were long and neat, with bright colors all around. There were posters on the green boards stuck on the walls. Alphabets, shapes, numbers, and pictures of various kinds welcomed us. There were children’s activity areas here and there, inviting kids to climb up and down, mainly to get them interested in the place and engage them enough. Arjun tried to peep inside the well-lit classrooms and kept asking me to take him to every single soft toy that was neatly displayed to attract the little ones.
Arjun Felt Like a Big Boy!
The nursery class was on the 1st floor. My baby suddenly felt like a big boy. “Little boys are not allowed to go up the steps unattended,” he remarked.
“Who will take me upstairs every day? Mommies are not allowed inside, right!”
On the staircase railing, the gap between the vertical bars was minimal, about four inches. I was relieved! There was no chance the kids could slip through at all.
I had to Let Him Go
“This one is yours,” said the teacher as she took Arjun towards his locker. “Let’s keep your bag here.” He went ahead to check it out as I said bye to him. I could hear him cry as I stood outside. The teacher asked me to wait until he settled. I kept looking inside the window. He was okay but anxious. I could say that somewhere he felt I was still around. To let him adapt to his new environment, I had to make him free from the bond of my own emotions. I had to let him be there ultimately. It was appropriate to leave at that time. I said a prayer in my heart and headed back home.
Inside the Class
We went up the flight of steps and found ourselves right in front of his class. Two teachers received us. His classroom had bright red little chairs and big blue tables of low height, just the right size for little boys and girls. The children had mixed expressions on their faces. Some were excited, some sad, and others were confused! Each child entering seemed to reassure all the others secretly. They all seemed to feel that they were a part of the same group. A crying child appeared to comfort the others even more!
Each child was given a locker with one's name written on it.
Four hours later, when I went to pick him up, I saw several happy children reuniting with their parents. I could see that they had a great time. My little son was chatting away with his teacher. We exchanged smiles as we saw each other and returned home. Tomorrow was going to be another big day. His second day at school!
© 2014 Ashima