We were a bit late for the first day of the school year. Maybe because it was only 2 days after we returned from holidays or because all parents took cars so we were waiting in a traffic jam or simply because we are sometimes late. Both kids were looking forward to see their friends. Samuel curious what would be his new teacher like. Him and his friends already invented a nick name for him which plays around his family name. Emma was keen on meeting her teacher from the first year. A young family man from Scotland she liked because, as she told us, he was fun.
I wanted to take picture of them since I get nostalgic at these moments. Watching them grow, looking at them with sort of admiration. They were very spontaneous, of course. Sam making silly faces and Emma refusing to pose. Fair enough, we went to Emma´s class and she was told that too many children enrolled over the summer and therefore she would be in a newly created class. With different teacher, with different set of children. Two Slovak girls she was a friend with stayed with the funny guy. I was torn inside but as I often do in difficult situations I smiled at Emma´s now ex teacher, I muttered something like “well that´s life” and looked at Emma.
She stood there with her still big back pack, shook her head, smiled fairly and said bravely: “It is ok mum.” I held her hand as we headed to the new classroom. I kept silently observing her, trying to find some words of comfort as I saw her lips hanging. I lost completely track of Samuel and noticed him just when he said: “Listen people I will be late, I go on my own.” I was relieved and kissed him goodbye.
Once in Emma´s new classroom I tried to spot somebody she knew and I almost shouted “look who is there” – pointing at one Italian girl she likes a lot. Emma kept silent, she sat on the floor among the other kids. The door closed. I stayed for a minute to look how she was. She was sad but not crying. In the evening we had a conversation I expected. Why she must be in another class? Why her two Slovak girlfriends can be together? That it was not fair and that she was upset. I tried to comfort her with hugs and some positive words.
Two days passed and one evening she asked me with voice full of sadness, wonder, hope and fear: “Is that going to be forever? Will I never be with my funny teacher again?” I took her in my arms as she sobbed and held her tight.
Yes, some changes that disappoint us are “forever”. The words that reassure us that the future will be more than fine are useful. Sometimes however, even big girls need crying shoulder so they can let go and become stronger.