Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Firsts ...

Yesterday was the first day of German nursery school for His Holiness. I was in no rush getting him there; we sat around the apartment watching Wallace and Gromit videos and ate breakfast twice. I finally got around to dressing him and getting our show on the road at about 10:30. It was snowing heavily when we left, so forcefully that I put the tent on HH’s stroller and there he sat like a head of lettuce wrapped in plastic, his hands folded on his lap and his feet tucked just inside the protective layer.

It wasn’t until we pulled into the lobby and began to unfold that I started to feel uneasy. We had visited the school twice before so I knew where to go. I took his hand and he held Berlin Bear in the other and off down the hall we went. HH didn’t say a word until I opened the classroom door and he saw the other children, then he began to chatter and make observations about the room, the toys and the other children. I spoke with the teachers for a few moments, made certain they had my telephone numbers and then I said goodbye to HH expecting a short scene where he tugged at my pants leg but no, nothing of that sort ensued. He turned and walked away toward a group of children without even looking back. As I left the building that sinking feeling I felt upon arriving settled fully in my heart and during the three hours he spent at school that morning, there wasn’t a moment when I didn’t miss him, when I didn’t want to run back there and scoop him up in my arms and hold him.

That evening I asked him about his day. The first thing he said was that he colored, then he told me about going outside and getting his shoes dirty. We talked for a while longer and then I asked him if he had cried at all in school and he said yes, when Papa walked away.

11 Comments:

Blogger Lisa said...

Oh... I'm turning away. Not looking. Can't think about facing this moment again. My youngest just turned two and he'll leave me sometime in February 2007 for his first day of Kindergarten. I get teary just thinking about it. He won't fit on my lap comfortably anymore either. We cut his hair recently and underneath discovered a boy where my baby had been.

8:04 AM  
Blogger piu piu said...

o thats so sweet. i can'timagine being in your position ever...

is he going to a bi-lingual school? international or just german?

i'm fascinated by multi lingual school environments. i dunno why. must be the geek in me.....

10:12 AM  
Blogger christina said...

It's so difficult for the first little while. I've done it twice and we survived. You and HH will too.

11:39 AM  
Anonymous lillian said...

Its a hard thing being a parent. You bond so strongly and then, ironically you have to let go ! And yet we do it.. and yes, we parents survive. The kids? SURE :-)

2:06 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

Jesus Christ Richard!!! You have done it again! I just love reading your stuff. This post had me sailing through nice and easy like a slow sleepy river. And then!! BAM!! The last 4 words "When Papa walked away". I Totaly did not see that coming you jerk! Wow, Richard! This is a good one! AN instant clasic! YOu are a good writer (DId I say that before) and you inspire me to want to write as elegantly as you do, to be able to express my feelings a well as you do. But more importantly, you inspire me to want to be a father like you. HH is a really lucky boy! Prost my friend! TO a classy guy and a textbook example of what a father should be.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Berlinbound said...

Lisa ... You always get it - whatever it is that I am trying to convey. Thanks for your attention.

Piu ...
This "kita" is German ... The multi-lingual experience is a few years down the road. He gets plenty of multi-lingual at home!

Chirstina ... I have a feeling that it may be difficult for more than a little while ... something in my gut is telling me this ... but thank you for the encouragement.

Lillian ... Thanks for your reassuring thoughts ...

Rich ... Brother - you blew my mind and made my day. I'm glad you found something meaningful in this post ... I suspect you will be a very caring Papa. Thanks for stopping by.

9:00 PM  
Blogger Chloe said...

he is so sweet for admitting he cried, yet not shouting and raving like most kids do. A big hug to His Brave Holiness.

2:36 AM  
Blogger J said...

What a lovely story. I'm sure that HH will be glad to make new friends. The kita will be a great social outlet for you two to find new people to hang out with.

7:11 AM  
Blogger Sarah Mackenzie said...

Yeah, it's absolutely heart wrenching isn't it. It dents you somehow. You need to be needed. My son would like to go to school all day. I tell him that I would miss him and he replies "I'd miss you too, Mama, but I'd come back." Hard.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Signora B. said...

This sure brings back memories.
I felt the same emotions when I had to do this 3 times over.
Your last sentence brought tears to my eyes.
You have a good heart ,Richard.

5:06 PM  
Blogger swissmiss said...

Oh man. Small Boy is only 13 months and I'm dreading this day. Isn't it funny, if I raise him the way I want to, to be big and brave and confident in the world then he will walk into the school building without tears - the very thing I want, and it would make me selfishly sad. If I do my job right, I'll put myself out of a job.

10:07 AM  

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