We had been preparing you for months. I am convinced you knew what was awaiting you.
I carried you to school in my arms. I always carry you all the way whenever we are going somewhere. Your mum doesn’t like it, because she wants you to get movement, but you are used to it and so am I.
You already know one of the teachers at your school. She’s my student and your mother’s friend. It was the first face you saw there today. I think that helped to put you at ease.
You didn’t cry. You were ok when we left and were expecting is to go. We had told you many times before you were going to spend a bit of time there and that we would be back very soon.
The teachers told us that you were very curious, checked out everything and you helped your teacher prepare water bottles for the kids who were going outside.
When we came to pick you up you also didn’t cry, nor did you fight to stay there. You did ask to go and play in the children’s play yard they have there.
We said you were going to meet one of your friends now, Jimmy, and you were ok with that too.
You ate something small at home and then your mum took you to meet Lenka and her son Jimmy.
You were completely calm and cheerful.
I must say I am a bit surprised.
Maybe we did prepare you for this important change to your daily rhythms very carefully.
We waited for you in a coffee bar close to your school.
Perhaps because we were already going through some very powerful emotional states of mind we had one of the most intimate conversations we ever had. Your mum cried. I said sorry a lot. We said we love each other. Perhaps not in this sexual/romantic way, but we do love each other, obviously.
It’s just that your father can be a lot to handle. A hell of a lot.
But as you can see we are trying our damn best to avoid dragging you into this generational cycle of doom that has me in its grip. It doesn’t have to get you into its grip.
Right now you are sleeping.
Your mum and I are planning to give you a very calm rest of the day now.
It’s rainy outside and a bit chilly, so I suppose it’s a day for not so wild activities anyway.
I also thought about my own first day in school. I remember walking up to my classroom with my mum and – succesfully- fighting off the tears, although that did cause my throat to start hurting. I remember telling her that.
And I thought about some of the people who are no longer with us. My friend Tom, my father, my grandfather on my mother’s side. I think they would have been excited today. Writing that brings tears to my eyes, for the first time today.
You handled it splendidly, but I myself also handled it better than I feared I would.
Dad’s not all bad.
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