On our way home from kindergarten

In this memory, I’m five years old. Every day, I eagerly wait for the end of my time at kindergarten. It’s not that I don’t like spending time with my classmates or my teachers. But I prefer to be free and play with my two best friends on our favourite plum tree or go on an imaginary adventure with my little brother at home.

In the afternoon, the class is finally dismissed, and I jump outside. In the playground, many mothers and toddler siblings are waiting for us to come out. In no time, I spot my mother in her red jacket standing next to my two best friends’ mothers. My little brother is playing with my friend’s little sister as always.

I give my bag to my mother and start playing with my two friends on the jungle gym until our mothers finish their chat and call us to come down.

“Time to go home!”

Our kindergarten stands on a steep hill. We start walking down the slope together, the mothers chatting, we girls skipping, and my brother and my friend’s sister laughing and running.

As I skip down the slope, I see our head teacher standing at the bottom of the slope with a yellow flag in order to make sure that all of us can cross the road safely.

My friend’s little sister runs down the last bit of the slope at her top speed. My brother follows her. Our head teacher is waiting for them at the bottom of the slope with a big smile and her arms wide open ready for a hug.

First, my friend’s little sister reaches her and jumps into her arms. Then, it’s my brother’s turn. Just before reaching the bottom of the slope, however, he stops. He stands in front of our teacher’s open arms, cautiously watching her face without a smile. After a full moment of silent gaze, my brother carries on, without further interacting with her.

My friends and I greet our teacher with big smiles, and we all continue our walk home. This is our daily ritual.