Spud’s school always organises some sort of a special event on the last day of the term. This time round, they had organised an International Day where parents were asked to please allow their child to dress up in their national costume.
Uhmmm. We had a problem. We did not have any national costume from either Singapore or Holland which we had brought along with us for Spud. Cripes!
Oh well. So I dressed her up in a dress, instead.
It was one of those mornings where we had run a little late – thanks to Spud stalling just before we got out of the house. So, when I was nearing the school grounds, I was not too pleased that I’ll get to the office a little later than usual. I had a very busy day ahead of me, and it irked me that I will not make it to the office before 8.15 am.
When I finally got to drop her off, I noticed that most of the kids were decked out in their national costumes. They all seemed to be beaming with pride, or at least their parents were! It looked like the kids were going to have loads of fun singing and dancing. They all looked so cute, and suddenly, part of me wanted to hang around for a bit to watch. Before I left, I had the usual casual chat with her homeroom teacher who was updating me on Spud’s progress, the activity line-up for the day and telling me that I was most welcome to stay for a while. With a sense of regret, I told her I really wish I could stay, but at that point in time, I really had to run off to the office. I was quite bummed. And after the usual kiss and hug with Spud, I left the school ground feeling…well…pretty darn bummed!
As I walked to the office, I somehow kept looking at my wrist watch every few minutes – not because I was trying to beat my before 8.15 am target, but rather, contemplating if it makes sense for me to walk back and watch the first bit of the activity the school had planned out for the day. A huge part of me did not want to walk away, and I have never in my life felt so compelled to want to walk back to her school just so that I could watch my 2 year old acting silly!
Still glancing at my watch every other second, 2 minutes later, I continued walking towards the end of the soi upon which, I gave myself a slap my forehead with a nagging voice that said, “Screw being late for work! I want to get back to Spud’s school and watch the morning activity! My work can wait for a little bit. This was just too precious to miss!”
Just as quickly, I made a U-turn and walked the path back again. I did not want to feel any regret for not making the effort to be there just because I would be late for work.
I got back just in time – they were just about to start. Teachers were herding the kids, amongst them, Spud who was too busy and lost in her own world that she did not notice I was back. When she finally caught sight of me a couple of minutes later, she had a confused look on her face – and just as quickly, she lit up!
The kids’ antics amused me to no end. Some were crying, some were boisterous, some were lost, and some were just genuinely having fun. I hung around for a good half an hour, taking pictures and watching Spud in the moment. Whenever she caught sight of me in the corner, she gave me her contagious, happy, impish smile.
It was a good morning, and I am glad I went back. Even without her national costume, I felt that it was a special day (she’s been practicing her songs). There’ll be many more International Days but deep within me, I felt that these were moments that I could never get back to for we will never be able to tread this way again. Spud’s not going to stay 2 forever, and I did not want to look back with regret.
I was late for work, but it was all worth it.