OUTLOOK — By Huda Al Jahwariya — As I put the cap on my son’s head, I remembered my mother who used to help me wear my scarf. While buttoning up his dishdasha, I could not but recall how my mother would put a clean blue napkin in my pocket. It was my son's first day to school. He sat in the back seat of the car on the way to school, eagerly watching the speeding vehicles and rows of buildings on either side of the road. Just then, I remembered how much I was excited on my bus journey to school. On the first day, I asked myself repeatedly 'when would I reach the school? The journey seemed too much long.
When Ilias, my son, made a lot of noise yesterday dropping toys on the ground, I remembered the sleepless night we children used to have before the school opening day. We stayed awake for long hours in the night when our parents would tell us so many things that we did not know. They told us about how they would feel when we were away from home; about the new 'mother' who would take care of us in their absence. They said their experience was much bitter than ours. They also narrated several interesting incidents that made more anxious. We would anxiously wait to experience them all!
I didn’t go to see him in the early hours of the night because I have been asking him to sleep early, but I was watching him from a distance. I wondered whether he would put on his dishdasha as I used to wear my school dress at night to make sure that it was clean enough and that I looked like Cinderella with the dress and shoes on. I wondered whether that shoe could take me to the wonderland of Alice.
As I expected, he couldn’t sleep. I went and sat at the edge of the bed, gave him a hug and stayed there for a while telling him about the young lady who would put the clean napkin in her pocket everyday and about her desperate wait for the first day at school.
I didn’t expect that the usual touch of my hand would be able to wake my boy quickly considering that he slept so late the last night. He rushed to put on his cloths and his father took a memorable photograph as the day cannot be repeated.
I held his hand while we walked to the classroom. I watched him getting into the class and introducing himself to the teacher. I followed his steps until he sat on the chair. I remembered then that nothing could erase these moments from my memory. The loud cries of other children were heard. I kept a cool head and finally couldn’t stay there any longer. The napkin of my mother came handy then.