My six-year-old daughter started her Mandarin Tuition this week. The tuition is run by the primary school which she will be going to next year.
Every morning I send her to school and will hang around until she gets in class. And, everyday, my two-year-old son too, would tag along.
This morning while waiting for school to commence my son pulled my hands and asked me to follow him. So, follow him I did.
While walking in front of one classroom we saw a boy crying. He looked so sad. So we stopped and asked him what was wrong. The boy, with tears in his eyes said, “I want mummy”.
My heart melted as I saw how sad and frightened he looked. I then asked what his name was, in the hope that talking would calm him down. I also asked him who sent him to school and where he was sitting in class.
I later offered him a tissue paper to wipe his tears away. He took the tissue paper, wiped his eyes and gave it back to me.
I told him it was ok to feel the way he did, every body feels sad and scared some time. If he missed his mum, I told him I was sure his mum missed him too.
He stopped crying after a while. I pat his shoulder and said to him, “you know what, everything will be ok. It may take a little while but it will be fine”.
Soon all his classmates started marching into the classroom. I saw his class teacher said something to him and he then walked towards his seat.
I waited outside his classroom while watching the other kids going towards theirs. I later saw my daughter walking with her classmates and waved at her.
After a few minutes I decided to make a move and waved goodbye to the boy who seemed a lot calmer by now. I also noticed the teacher giving some instructions to the class and the boy taking out his book from his bag.
On my way to work, after dropping off my son at the baby sitter, I started thinking about the boy.
As an adult I am not that much different from him.
I too need assurance sometimes. I take time to adjust to a new environment. I cry when I am sad. I fear the unknown. And yes, there are times that I too miss my mum.
But the most amazing thing about children is they allow themselves to feel and are not scared to let theif feelings show. They live in the present.
In the process of growing up, I learned to bottle up my feelings, show a tough front and became too embarrass to let someone know I miss him or her. The boy gave to me more than I could ever give to him in one morning.