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