So for the first time in the two decades that I have lived on planet earth, my mum finally said she won’t wake me up. I know most of you will assume am a spoilt brat and well, y’all are entitled to your opinions, on a light note though. So, yeah mum stood her ground and decided it was time I started waking myself up in the morning. This is something I have never done while at home, it kinda happens that when I go home, the child in me emerges and I don’t know from where. Long story short, I did just fine waking myself up but the thing is still gnawing at me.
Remember the first time you attended school, the phobia, and all. For me, I thought that after getting admitted, she would take me home with her in order to report to school the next day, too bad my teacher had other plans. Mum left me in that class of little people who looked like they already had their way around without saying goodbye, I was the new kid with an awkward uniform that had a peculiar collar and shiny boyish shoes. I think the universe was just joking with me that day, my hairstyle was weird, we used to call it kamatana, I don’t know how to explain it but I will try to look for a picture to show that hairstyle, and my pullover was hand made unlike for the rest of the kids which were from the famous Kenya uniform.
My mum telling me that she won’t be waking me up any longer brought freshly the memories of my first day in every school I was admitted to, from kindergarten to campus. It felt like high school all over again where she left me at the matron’s office and I had to figure out on myself that she wasn’t coming or on campus where she called me to inform me that she had gone. Mum had an interesting way of saying goodbye to me; she didn’t, never told me a proper official goodbye all those times that I got admitted to a school. She just left, I don’t know why maybe she didn’t want to be all teary around me or maybe she had some other important things to do, I will never know because I will never ask her.
Actually, Mummy’s words felt weird because I was hearing a goodbye for the first time, though not official, that’s what I heard from the coded language we use with each other. I felt like I was getting admitted all over again, to the school of life this time around. I was at peace with it because this time around I could put my finger to the exact time I heard goodbye in my head.
The inevitability of change could actually be the most constant thing on the planet, that things will eventually change when you actually least expect them, so the question is not “if” but “when” change comes, will you be braced up for it or will you cower? The fact that your ceiling is another’s a footstool, the fact that there are others that have already mastered their way around like those weird kids I met in my nursery class while you don’t even know how to borrow permission to go to the washrooms yet. I envied those kids, I wondered why I hadn’t gone to school earlier.
If there’s one thing I would say I have come out with from our education system is resilience. The fact that even when the weird kids would look at me and giggle because of how out of place I looked like, I didn’t let the tears come flowing, I showed them that I belonged there, in that nursery class, I proved to them daily that I had a room in that class, that I had a say. I was part of that class no matter how weird I looked.
I remember in kindergarten, mum pinned a handkerchief on my sweater and a bottle of tea was put around my neck, I was neatly dressed with some books in my bag, and a pencil that had an eraser attached to it at the top. She took my hand, the chocolate toned woman who everyone was calling Miss Sarah, and took the manila papers, some crayons, and books that we had shopped the previous day. Oh, the shopping was amazing, I couldn’t wait to use all those things that mum was buying me, I was proudly walking with my bag and having fun trying out my new attire. It was fun until, at that door where I realized that it wasn’t just for the fun of it, mum was buying all those things to prepare me for what was next. I got cold feet, I didn’t think I would last a day, I remember begging my dad to take me to work with him. I promised him that he wouldn’t even notice I was with him since I would not disturb him. Well, dad said no.
When I completed my exams last week, I felt like I was at that door again. When Mum unofficially said goodbye, it all came back flooding my mind; I felt like that little weird girl with an awkward hairstyle, funny uniform, and boyish shoes. I couldn’t wait to finish school, I felt I was ready for the world when I was in school and when Corona knocked in, it kinda “inconvenienced” me, but now that I have the uniform and all prepared for this class, the cold feet are there, my head is blank and the plans that I had are..well.
The younger me didn’t let the new environment intimidate her, she looked right through the eyes of the rest and affirmed herself that this was where she belonged weird and all. As she slips her fingers into mine, there’s an even bigger hand that’s enclosing the two of us, a familiar hand, firm and gentle at the same time, there’s an inner peace as I launch into this new class and He’s calling me into adventure with Him, He hasn’t said goodbye, He never will.
As I get to this whole new chapter of pursuit, one that I haven’t actually figured out yet, I will squeeze into that hand to get the assurance that I need when things get tough, when I get into this new class where there is no specific syllabus or curriculum to follow, I know that He will order my steps. When I feel like am getting it all wrong, well I’ll squeeze His hand even harder. I belong here.