We took our baby to school yesterday. No - not that baby. I'm talking about our five year old, Jad, who we brought home from the hospital just... well, it was just the other day, wasn't it? I suppose when your baby starts waxing poetic about his latest "science expiwament" (with liquids!), when he can spell his name and get dressed all by himself (shoes on the right feet most of the time), why then it's time to start thinking about Kindergarten!
Google Earth tells you it's a total of just over 200 yards from our front door to the back entrance of the International School of Prague. You can't get much closer to school than that! It's a short walk - but a monumental journey. Our boy - a newborn in the UAE, an infant in Zimbabwe, a toddler in Oman, and now... almost a Kindergartener in the Czech Republic.
Jad was nervous... but nerves quickly transformed into excitement and a curious smile as we took our tour of ISP's facilities. A gym full of kids playing dodgeball, the library ("they have Batman books), the cafeteria, kindergarten classrooms (with the "cubbies" outside for outdoor shoes and coats)... and even WATER FOUNTAINS (Jad tried each one we passed - sometimes twice!). His first question as we made the long walk home? "Can I start tomorrow?" Yep - I think he's ready. The better question is... are we?
After five years of sheltering him in the secure surroundings of home, are we ready to let this boy of ours take his first tentative steps into the big wide world? He'll meet bullies and have to figure out how to deal with them on his own. He'll bring home new vocabulary (not all of it good), and learn that you can't always win. He'll make mistakes, and have disappointments. Make friends... and loose friends. Skin his knee when we're not around to slap on a band aid. He'll see things he's never seen before. And continue to travel... down the path we hope we've started him on... to become his own person.
At least he'll only be 200 yards away!