My son was beginning his life in a boarding school. The books bought, bags packed, long lists completed and every clothing item clearly marked with his initials. Stitching three initials each on six pairs of white socks was only the beginning of an arduous three days for his grandma, but she was glad to help with the heap of clothes that lay in front of her.
“You will be locked out of the dormitories from three-thirty to five-thirty everyday. It would be up to you to sit in a corner and bury your head in grief, or make the best – get involved in any game or sport of your choice...” said the Warden, focusing his attention on the bemused child at the interview. There was a sparkle in Rafael’s eyes and I could see that he has taken an immediate liking to the idea of “compulsory playtime.” The little fella couldn’t believe that there are schools that encourage young boys to spend their time in the playgrounds, not only in libraries and study rooms.
At the end of the interview, he was smiling like a Cheshire cat and I knew he was going to like the place. One, there was a farm in the school. Two, there was a swimming pool. And there were many other reasons.
A week after the interview, with a heavy heart, my wife leaves him at the new school. He gives her a big hug and waves good bye. Not a tear in his eyes, he was ready to take on a new adventure in life.
24 hours pass-by, as we wait eagerly to hear from the new kid in school. He was supposed to call us back during his playtime Tuesday evening.
But there is no news and my wife begins to panic. She is worried if Rafael has slept well, if the old mattress was comfortable enough, or the food was good enough for his liking. She wants to know how he managed to wake up at 5.00 in the morning, when he is used to take a 5 minute nap on the bathroom carpet after waking up at 6.30 in the morning.
Finally, as the playtime ends, kids go back to their dorms and there is no news. My wife calls the school. “Oh, we have seen him with the boys. For a new kid, he seems to have loads of friends...” is the reply.
That, puts an end to our worries.
We leave a message with the school for him to call us back.
The next day, Rafael returns the call. He is bombarded with a barrage of questions on food, studies, living conditions etc., but every reply ends with the same sentence:
“...its all fine, I have to go, my friends are waiting...”
“...its all great, I have to go, my friends are waiting...”
“...its all okay, I have to go, my friends are waiting...”
Looks like the young man is going to be just fine.