We made compromises. A bond of understanding amongst fellow Malaysian students. Sending our children to school was never a problem. Except that it sometimes clashed with our classes at the Pitts. Because of that we came to an agreement that if either one of us was not available then the others will take charge. Sending them to school in early morning was not a problem. Fetching them from school did pose some problems. Some of my friends could be in classes. Some days it could be my turn. Luckily my classes never clashed with my children’s timetable. Thus, every morning I sent them to school. I fetched them from school at around 11.00 am. Pardon me. I am talking about my third and my fourth daughters. The third was in kindergarten and the fourth was in headstart. The third was five years old and the fourth was three years old. To me the fourth was too small. So fragile. Yet she was so cute in her own way. Both of them have different characters. The third wss a bit of an extrovert. She can easily mix around. Befriending all that she came across. The fourth was different altogether. A real introvert. Very reserved indeed. But she sbsorbed everything. She developed intelligently. Love schooling. Adorable. Small and petite. Maybe to some extent more like me. Like father like daughter. Reserved.
I had no problems with both of them. Every morning they were eager to go to school. It was fun all the way. It was fun schooling for them. Waking them up was a breeze. Not a single protest. At first I and my wife was a bit sceptical about the fourth. She was so timid. Very extremely quiet. Nevertheless oberdient. I was lucky because the teacher was so professional. Miss Couch was a gem of a teacher. She took care of those small kids amiacablly. They developed rapport between them. Very nice to watch at. I was really happy that my daughter was in good hands. It turned out that Miss Couch was extremely fond of my daughter. She was the smallest in the class of about 30. Mostly children of foreign students at Pitts.
The first few months was winter. Dressing both of my girls was quite troublesome. Two layers of trousers. Three layers of clothing. Winter jackets was a must. Headgear and of course gloves. Yes! Two layers of socks plus stokings and sneakers. We walked slowly. A bit sluggishly. Snow was abound. White all around. An astounding sight. Whichever way we turned we saw snow. I noticed that nobody was intimidated with the weather. Not the temperature. Not the snow. Not the ice. More of fun actually. My daughters would pick up the snow. Making snowballs. Threw them around. Smiling. Giggling. Laughing. Their hands would brushed the snow at those small shrubs along the walkaways. Near fences of houses all along the way to school. The school was about two kilometers away. Nevertheless walking them up to school was fun. Fetching them from school was also fun.
Those moments are still very vivid in my mind. They were so small yet so dear to me. Their command of English developed tremendously. The “r” was perfectly pronounced. It was fantastic. They could understand whatever was commanded unto them. Talking in English. Understanding the environment. A little harsh in winter. Very cold to some extent. Nevertheless they enjoyed it. They savoured the moments. It was not an illusion. It was real. I wonder if both of them can still remember those cherished moments. I wish they would remember every facet of their experiences overseas. A distant memories indeed. Somewhere a long time ago. I guess those moments was vever amiss to me. It keeps coming back. As though my children never grow up. They are still small in my heart. That is true. Every child is forever small in their parents’ heart. Very dear indeed.
Schooling was part of the integrated system in American lives. Every single part is an integral part of the bigger system. The route to school crossed a few roads and crossroads. At every crossing there was always a traffic warden. They were posted at every crossing to help children made the crossing without any problem. Let alone any stoppage or hindrances. School children can cross any road without fear. Without any intimidation. The road were at their disposal. All vehichels on both sides must stop and gave way. It was mandatory. Drivers must stop their vehichels at every crossing. Any driver flouting that rule would be dealt severly. Accident involving serious injuries or death to school children would end up with heavy consequences. The penalty could run up to hundres of millions.
How I wish we have that system. Protecting our children from anything that could divert them from achieving success intellectually as well as physicaly. The whole system protects children. They are guaranteed survival. Thery pursue success. They are given that assistance all the way. The American is devoid of any discrimination in whatever form. Not gender. Not religion. Not race. Not ethnical. Not origin. Every soul is treated equal. They enjoy that freedom. They are expected to grow. Thrown to the wide world. Expected to deliver. To share a bond of mankind. A big scope of understanding of the environment around them. Maybe that is the reason that make them able to stay sustainable. Able to withstand any adversaries. Psychologically they are fit. Fit to take care of the world.