Monday, August 20, 2007

A new encounter

The morning had begun with its usual frenzied feel. Parents chatting over the tops of children, children tugging and dragging whoever would come, others racing to find friends – and in amongst the chaos he peered around the whiteboard and smiled.

It was a warm invitation, a hint of tranquillity, and intrigue. In the same moment his face disappeared. As I interacted in the different conversations, I kept my eye on that spot by the door. I knew his name. I had known his brother and his Mum stood close by. She signed him in.

The conversations hijacked my concentration and I became immersed in the dealings of the morning. From my spot in the small chair at the art table, I absently passed the glue to the children struggling with shells and cardboard, discussed the logistics of the latest fundraising event with the hovering parents, and jiggled my knees away from the moving furniture. The chatter was hard to decipher with the clattering of chairs and the rattling of ideas in my mind. As usual the thoughts were blurring and concentration becoming scattered.

And then there was a tap. A gentle tap. It wasn’t demanding, and yet its invitation was captivating. I turned, and entered a new world. The image before me inspired a tender response. Long soft blonde locks floated past his supple chubby checks and cascaded like silk threads over his restless shoulders. A few small freckles sprinkled across his stout nose. His lips stretched across the entire width of his face. Light blue eyes sparkling with excitement and intensity locked into mine. It was just the two of us. “Hello Sian*". That was all it took for his lips to burst and his teeth to flash into an eager smile. It was his first day at kindergarten and we had made an instant connection.

That is what it was like every morning for the first 8 weeks that Sian attended Kindergarten.

*Names have been changed for the protection of identity

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