We were walking down the street, his little fingers firmly clamped around mine.Stepstepstepstepstep...I tried to pace slowly next to his mouse steps.
The alarm had been relentlessly early for me to sneak out of bed without waking any of the others, to get ready and then to get the baby fed. Only after I had achieved that (yeay for me), I had fished my sleepy Kabouter out of bed, earlier than he was used to. We had talked about going to school several times in the previous weeks but he didn't truly realize today's change.
"Get up Kabouter, today we go to school! You can go and play in the class with Miss Elke , wow, that's going to be so much fun".
I tried to pace slowly next to his mouse steps while holding his hand.
"With the balloons" he answered when I asked for the 10th time what he wanted to play with in the class. "ooooooh a bus, a big bus mommy" . I looked at this little boy eagerly walking at my hand instead. I felt so special to walk with him
We had been ready in time this first morning (yeaaay for me) and when we had put our jackets and put his new frog backpack on, enthousiasm had appeared on his face. Maybe he did feel that something was different today. He had been very willing to pose for some pictures that I wanted to take this morning.
"Ooooh another bus, theeeeere!" he babbled and commented on all the traffic along the road.
"Are we going to Tati & Carine this morning?"
"Nooooooo, to Ms Elke!" he replied
"Kabouter, do you see the Octopus yet? remember the Octopus at your school...Keep your eyes out and tell me if you see it"
"Jaaaaaa, there mommy, there"
I quickly glanced at my phone to check the time and the speed at which we were progressing but we were fortunately still on time. When we arrived at the school's bike parking he released my hand unexpectedly and started to run much to my surprise to the door of the hallway that gives way to the playground on the other side. But in the middle of that door at the playground he froze and didn't move anymore at the sight af all those big kids out there.
"Come , Kabouter, we'll go to Miss Elke"
I managed to pull his arm a few steps. Fortunately his classroom is just around the corner and we entered. Before I managed to help him take off his backpack, he started already checking out the fruit, cookie and luchboxes from all the other children and started rearranging them after which he ran to the table with building blocks. Ms Elke came to greet him and he surprised her with a big enthousiastic hug.
"Come Kabouter, do you remember where to put your jacket?"
I was standing with his jacket in vain since he had already disappeared to the box with cars, after which he moved on quickly to a train track where he started to play along side some other children.
I watched idle from some distance, exchanged some words with the teacher and watched some more minutes wondering when and how I should leave. The school bell rang.
"Hi Kabouter, I'm going to go home to Beertje now, are you going to play a lot?"
"Can I get a kiss before I go"
.... (I get my requested kiss and then the play continues right away)
(no more reaction)
And so I walked home again having a child in school. No tears but a strange feeling. A good feeling, but a strange feeling. All day he was in my head, wondering whether he was eating well, whether he'd nap or not at noon, ...
In the evening I was greeted by a happy but quiet child. I didn't get much stories from his first impressions but he seemed happy to return to school the next day. For the first hour at home, he was a bit of a zombie, but all of a sudden his energy returned to play and talk and sing...pooh school only exhausts woossies apparently ;).