I held her tiny hand within my palm, my grip might have been firmer than I intended, as she cried, ‘Mom, you’re hurting me!’
I loosened my hold and stood beneath the canopy of trees, looking around me, still in a trance. The basketball court on the other side of the pathway, the small chapel behind it surrounded by the garden, the white buildings that housed the classrooms, the concert hall and the refectory. What has it been like? 20 years? And yet, it all came back to me as if it was my first day of school once again!
Five-year-old Dia took advantage of my absentmindedness to break into a sprint across the lush, green field, over to the buildings where the other girls had gathered.
‘Dia wait!’ I tottered along, as fast as my heels could carry me through the thick grass.
A sense of déjà vu passed over me. Sister Elle had taken hold of Dia. Sitting on her hunches, she was talking to her, the smile still intact, the wrinkles bordering her eyes and lips even more pronounced with age. She wore thicker glasses now and looked so frail that I wondered how they let her teach anymore!
But her mere presence there, among the nervous parents, antsy children, and distraught teachers, most of whom I couldn’t even recognize, brought about a sense of reassurance in my heart. I could almost imagine her croaky sing song voice, calming my daughter and telling her about what fun lies ahead in school.
I broke into a smile. Dia was in good hands.