My son's first day in school
Beginning of April
It was the beginning of April. Arjun, my three and a half year old son had to join school on April 3rd. I was excited and Arjun was anxious. On the big day, he looked smart in his first school uniform, really smart although I know all parents in the world would feel the same about their children.
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 their processes, one of them being properly managed parking. There were school buses as well as private vehicles, in which parents and guardians had come to drop their children off. The school buses had fixed parking spots, which were obviously the closest to the main gate of the school. Parents who had arrived in their own 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 little toddler carried his school bag as 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, had big smiles on their faces and said a warm ‘Good morning’ to all of us. I wonder if it made my little child feel good or if he was intimidated with the new environment. I was trying to see the expression on his face without showing too much 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 to 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!
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!” The stair railings were such that the gap between the vertical bars was very little; about four inches. I was relieved! There was no chance that the kids could slip at all.
Inside the class
We went up the flight of steps and found ourselves right in front of his class. We were received by two teachers. His classroom had bright red little chairs and big blue tables of low height; right size for little boys and girls. The children had mixed expressions on their faces. Some were excited, some sad and others 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. In fact, a crying child seemed to comfort the others even more!
Each child was given a locker with one's name written on it.
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 till he settled. I kept looking inside the window. He was fine and anxious. I could say that somewhere he felt I was still around. To let him adapt to his new environment, I had to let him free from the bond of my own emotions. I had to let him be there completely .It was appropriate to leave at that time. I said a prayer in my heart and headed back home.
Four hours later, when I went to pick him up, I saw a number of happy children, reuniting with their parents. I could see that they had a great time. My little baby 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!