Last weekend, Emma, my 6 year old asked me if I would be able to go with her to visit her school this Wednesday. Without any thought I told her I would. For most people this is easy right? A few hours… meeting the teachers…walk around the school…

Only 3 years ago I used to teach in this school… most of the children there, and their parents, remember me as their former music teacher… and many of the teachers know me as the teacher who “went crazy”. I knew that according to the timetable the children would be outside playing at the time we’d arrive there… As Emma, Sunna and I walked in to the school’s play-ground a few kids looked up… A boy, about 10 years old called up to his friend… I didn’t quite hear what he said but I heard he mentioning my name and all of a sudden there was a crowd of 10 year-olds following us… I felt my heart beat rise… and the familiar ringing sound in my head… “Relax…breath…” said a voice from the back… “Everything is going to be fine”

The school bell rings…and the kids run to their classes… they’re gone… “Phew”…. I repair myself for the next step… to see a teacher who I once worked with…. We walk inside the school… kids everywhere…on their way to their classes… Emma is holding my hand and I decide to give her all my attention… I don’t want to feel the look of anyone’s eyes on me… I either keep my eyes on Emma or on the floor… lots of feet…talking… we sit down in the back of the room where all the other exited 6 year olds and their parents are… Emma crawls up to my lap…. feel safer… The headmaster starts to talk and the children listen… “There will be 3 classes” announces the headmaster… “When I read your names please stand up and go with your teacher” she says… “Parents go with your child to the class-room and look around. After that you can either stay with your child, if your child wants you to, or just go back home and come back at 12 when the visit is over.”

“Daddy did you hear that? You can go home soon!” Emma must have heard her name called as she stands up and takes my hand and we walk towards a woman with a big smile on her face… I put my eyes on Emma again… and try to hide my fear… heartbeat is rising again… and I tighten the hold I have on Emma’s hand…

We’re in the class room… the teacher says something… “Let go of my hand now daddy, I have to sit down” …I let go of the safety of Emma’s hand… and she walks away… “Mommy, please take daddy home now before he panics!” she says loud and clear… Next thing I know… I’m home… I’m safe…

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