School is starting soon. I know this because I have heard both of you talking about it, I often hear you say, “How many more days before school opens?” because apparently I drive you ‘crazy’. It hurts when you say this, but I don’t show it, you see, I am pretty good at not showing my true feelings.
I know I look all merry when picking out my new school bag and supplies, but seriously you look even more excited than I. Besides, you end up getting your choice and try to make it look as if it’s mine. It’s okay, I can understand that you feel joy in this. So I play along and pretend to love the bag that you have selected for me.
These books however are another matter. I see you standing and talking to the shop keeper, dad- you keep checking the receipt against the book list, just in case there aren’t any missing. Mom- how happy you look as you flip through these books; you look at me, giving me a smile, so proud that I will be studying for a bright future. But mom and dad, these shiny new books, they scare me, how will I ever be able to do this stuff? The writing is so small, the premise so unfamiliar. How will I make you proud? Mom, could please sit with me and help me get friendly with these instead of focusing on getting them bound and plastic coated before dumping them in my brand new bag? Dad- I know they were expensive, and I will try to keep them neat, but things happen at school. Please don’t get mad at me or start threatening me before the year has even begun. I know money does not grow on trees.
Mom and Dad, I’m anxious. Will the bus take me and bring me back safely? I mean there are so many of them… how will I find the right one? And those tires are so huge. Some kids are so mean on the bus. How do I deal with them when they tease me on my new bag (the one you thought was so nice- but really it’s so uncool)?
How about the school? How will I find the class? What if my teacher turns out to be mean also? What if she picks on me? Humiliates me? Mom I am scared to leave your side- you have always loved me so much and when you yell at me, I know you mean well. But my teacher, will she care? I won’t know the way to the bathroom. I always get confused about which books to take out. But will she care?
Some children are such bullies. Dad you say to me to stay away from trouble makers. Do you think I like it when kids shove me or push me? I try to stay away, but I get picked on anyway. And I can handle it, but every now and then, I’d just like a tap on my shoulder from you to acknowledge how brave I am, but you seldom care to understand. It’s not easy. You are so strong and I want to be just like you, it would mean a lot if you sat with me and told me how you became such a superhero.
I know I will eventually settle down, I know I’ll make friends, get a grip on the timetable, learn to read the new words and solve the difficult math problems, I know I’ll accept whatever type of teacher is in my fate and adjust myself to her, I know I will find out where the bathroom, cafeteria and nurse’s office are. I’ll even develop tactics to avoid being bullied, who knows, I may even stand up for myself once in a while.
But mom and dad I’m scared. I am anxious. Though I feel a certain amount of excitement too, I wish you would really understand my fears. Mostly, I’ll just miss you at school. Will you miss me? Will you sit with me mom and dad and just say, “It’s all going to be okay.”