A new world has opened up to me, now that Bookkid is going to school. In fact it’s like visiting a different country. There are many aspects that are different in this land. You venture there with fellow travelers, by bicycle, by car or on foot. The weird thing is that the borders are only open during specific times and sometimes they close this country for weeks at a time! Fortunately they speak the same language, but they have a distinct accent. The inhabitants seem to communicate with instructions, often in a child-like manner. Visits are limited to about five minutes a time, unless you belong to a certain age segment of the population, in which case you spend a big part of the day there. Outside this segment, a visa is issued to people who have specific training.

Generally you start school with a clean slate, nobody knows who you are. The school and the child discover each other with an open mind. And the same applies to the parent. The staff at the school, the other parents and the kids, do not know what you do, what you have done or who you are. In my case this means I am a tourist visiting a country where nobody knows I have Rheumatoid Arthritis. Obviously when I meet someone for the first time, they do not know I have this disease. And walking around town it is, fortunately, not apparent that I have RA.

The situation at Bookkid’s school is different. Here we have a large group of people who I’m getting to know and who do not know I have RA. Standing outside the school with the other parents, I blend in the crowd. Undoubtedly a time will come when this news will become known, probably during a teacher-parent conference or any volunteer work I will participate in. But I think I will try to delay that moment for as long as I can. I enjoy my brief visits to this country where I have no RA. I enjoy the RA-anonymity.

Thank you for your time, take care of yourself and remember to keep passing the open windows.

© Ferhaan Kajee, February 2010

Published in: on February 3, 2010 at 2:22 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’ve read lots of talk about how to tell & who to tell & when to tell. Anonymity would be so nice if it were possible. How do you get the RA to stay far enough away for this? Haha. Hope Bookid is loving school.

  2. He is loving school, in fact more than I imagined he would. I wonder how long it will last..
    Of course a time will come when I will tell people at his school, but so far there has been no need to. Enjoying it while it lasts..

  3. I think I tend to ruin those anonymity moments worrying about the inevitability of the beast being let out of the closet and at which time I know I will instantly feel ostracized from the land of healthy people.

  4. I also have a few friends who still don’t know and I do like the “normalcy” of anonymity – of course, the longer I spend with them the more I sometimes wish they did know so I didn’t feel awkward – but, for now I enjoy it. I look forward to one day when I’m well enough that I may not even think about it 🙂

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