So school started yesterday. Though it was only an hour for Kindergarten. And Thambi started Kindergarten this year. I can't say its hard to believe how time has flown. Because time has run its usual course and I have felt its passage every step of the way. But even without that added sentimentality of a boy who was a baby one day and a kid old enough to go to school the next, Kindergarten is an exciting proposition, because of our curiosity to see what he will bring to the mix of it.
Every year as we dropped Winkie off on the first day of school, Thambi was there watching on curiously, always asking when his turn would come. He knew the layout of the classrooms, how to enter the building, where the library was, and what to do with the supplies. And every year we would tell him, not this year...2 more years, 1 more year and so on. So the countdown has been on for awhile now. And the day dawned bright, clear and warm. Glorious even. And armed with books, pencils, glue sticks, wipes, scissors and an oversize art smock, he walked into the classroom and sat down at his desk. Finally there where he'd wanted to be for many years. Finally ready to unpack his own supplies, and take a picture with his own teacher and hang up his own bag on his own hook. That is what we celebrated yesterday, his own-ness. What sweet exhilaration! And alas that it was as short-lived as one hour. Why did he need to come back home? Why he couldn't he have stayed all day? He wasn't scared to. He was big enough to. The long face in the picture is of that moment of deflation.
To have to wait another full 24 hours for his final crowning moment of independence....to finally set foot on that yellow school bus, and ride it off into the firmly established sunrise! Playing wii all day helped take the edge of some of that waiting. 2 hours of playing outside until sunset, made those couple of hours pass by. Dinner and early bedtime meant he could possibly go to sleep with sweet thoughts and bring him to the morning when nothing else stood in the way of him and big boy school!
Ah! 10 hours flew by and when he woke up, it was safely ensconced in my very sentimental arms. Oh how it hit me then that this little dude was off to make his own path, and spread his charms even further than the 4 walls of his home and little school. The very idea of him, backpack flung over his shoulders, walking into the big hall, looking out for the blue annie puppets to take him to his classroom, which he assured me he could find on his own-ness, puppets or no puppets, was sweet and just so sad. I wished I could secretly follow him in a camera in my hand, privy to every expression on his cute peanut face, as he walked and kept walking, and that moment when he finds his place in that big brick building, and settles into his chair, looking into the eyes of the face that will nourish him for the next 9 months, registering his presence....I wish I could see all that.
But since I can't, I can go back to replaying his walking to the bus-stop. How lucky is he that he has his big brother to hold hands with and have his presence as a constant assurance. He made friends with Winkie's bus friends and they all stood around talking and laughing of I know not what. Only that they obviously had things to discuss and I was getting in their way with trying to catch it all on screen. But this one time, he did oblige with this big huge smile that radiated his confidence and verve and charm. He sat next to Anna on the bus just behind the driver's seat, and his face was again the littlest one...too little for that big glass window and just barely enough to catch his hand in a cheery wave. For 5 years, he has been on the other side of that wave, on the road, sitting on his stroller, standing on toddly legs holding my hand, jumping around like a monkey happy to have spotted Winkie on the 3rd window and then running down the lane alongside the bus till it made its last turn. This year, he is finally on it!
You go Thambi! And rock it the way only you can!