5 May 2017

While I was about to go to sleep last night, I got a call from a warden in Adam’s school. He said Adam slipped and injured his left foot while leaving the school hall just now. Actually he was more like, running to his class and in his typical fashion, slipped and hit his foot on the raised cement divider. He didn’t feel much pain at first but felt the full force of the injury after making his way to his prep class. So the warden in charge took him to the Kuala Kubu Bharu hospital for treatment. Fortunately Adam didn’t break anything from the x-ray result. But he is limping awkwardly and could barely walk and struggled to climb the many flight of stairs to his class or dormitory.

I wish I could pick him up sooner that Friday afternoon but I got to work and Linda is using the car so I had to wait for her to come home first so that I can drive all the way to Hulu Selangor. I braved the Friday evening rush hour traffic that day to go and pick up Adam. Usually he would take the train home but obviously that is out of the question. Adam didn’t go to school for the whole day that Friday. When I went up to see him in his dorm, he was fast asleep. I helped him to pack and carefully lead him down the staircase. Thankfully we still keep the crutches left behind by his uncle. We made it to the car park slowly but surely. When we left the school, Adam was missing a few of his belongings. He couldn’t find his school bag in class. Actually I went up to his class to look but they were nowhere to be found. And then somebody either accidentally or on purpose switch their school shoes with Adam’s. It was the exact same shoe brand and design but one size smaller. Other than that, he also lost his sandals which he left outside his dorm. I know you can’t help but lose stuff in hostels and boarding schools but this is way too much. Hopefully some of them will turn up again by the time he comes back.

So I took Adam to see my panel doctor and asked for him to have a few days off. The doctor was kind enough to give him medical leave until Wednesday which is coincidentally Wesak Day so we could send him back to school. Adam was on crutches for a day or two before his foot started to get better and he could walk with a minor limp. It was just a little muscle strain that needed some medication, TLC and a good rest. When we returned to the school on Wednesday, Adam couldn’t find neither his school bag, school shoes nor his sandals. If money is no object, we would have gladly bought new shoes, sandals, school bag and books for him but no we don’t have that much money to throw away. We asked Adam to look for his bag again in and around school. Why would anyone want to steal a school bag with subsidized text books anyway? He must have misplaced it somewhere. As for the school shoe, we told Adam to wait a while longer in case the culprit realized his mistake and return them back to the shelf. We just had to buy Adam a pair of new sandal in the end because he would literally walk barefooted to the surau than wear a flip-flop or a pair of shoes. That’s how much he didn’t dare to break the rules, it’s bordering on ridiculous.

We went to look for a sandal first next door in Antara Gapi and when we could find none, went further away to Hulu Yam Bharu. In the end we went all the way to Batang Kali to buy one in an Econsave mart. Should have gone straight there in the first place. A few days later Adam called and said he still couldn’t find his school bag anywhere. Some of his teachers even scolded him for the missing bag which is unreasonable because it was not entirely his fault (or is it?). I had to swallow my pride and call his warden to report about the missing bag and ask him to help find it. The same warden who took Adam to the hospital that evening said he thought he saw Adam carrying the bag to his hostel block. Which is what actually happened. He did brought back the bag to the hostel block but he asked his mate to keep the bag in his dorm first while he goes to the hospital. So the bag was with his friend all along and somehow he had forgotten all about this. What’s even weirder, his friend also didn’t seem to remember to return the bag to Adam.

In the end, Adam found his school bag, walked around happily with his new sandal but had to wear that one size too small shoes because the idiot who took his never returned his shoes. Although we just left him there on Wednesday, by the next day he called us to come during the weekend because he lost his songkok and he wouldn’t dare break the rule and wear a kopiah instead. Just when we thought we don’t have to visit him for at least another week. So we visited him on Sunday and helped to do his laundry at a self-service laundromat in Batang Kali. Apparently he’s quite left behind in his studies and homework that he didn’t have time to do his laundry. The things you do for your kid. While we would want him to be independent and self-reliant, we felt it is imperative that we support him as much as we can in his first year at boarding school. Help him transition and fit in to his new environment, at least for the first year (or two). I know back in my day, my parent almost totally left me on my own at boarding school but the times are a-changing and we can’t expect the same level of hardiness with our children.

That said Adam, we expect you to not lose anything valuable and of importance again in the future. Our money doesn’t grow on trees you know and we can’t possibly just go out and buy a replacement every time you lose something. You must learn to take care of your properties and remember the hardship your folks went through to be able to afford them. We love you but please take much better care of your stuff.