On entering first grade, I was packed off to a boarding school some 1,500 kilometres from home in the Himalayas. I was mostly away for the next 12 years (and with university in the US after, even more so).
—How did you survive—you were six!
—Your folks—how could they?
But behind a seemingly drastic decision were reasonable, well, reasons:
—In the mountains, within a specific set, sending children to urban(e) boarding schools is still the done thing
—There was successful precedence (my father and sister) at hand
—Worse things happen to six-year-olds
—It gave the folks time and space to get on with their lives
It's not for everybody, but being away at such a young age gave me gifts that keep on giving:
—My first love (sport)
—A very good friend
—A permanent view of home as holiday
But when people say—oh, you must be so independent!—I always say—on the contrary, what I've picked up is the art of dependence!