Monday, September 6, 2010

Back to School, Back to Life as Usual

Well, after a long and hair-pullin' summer, the kids started back to school last Monday, followed by four days off for the holiday weekend.
In the final days of summer, James was actually saying he was excited about returning to school, seeing his friends every day, etc. This came a big shock to me. Huge. But then when I sat and thought about it, it made some sense.
When James first started school here, he had been home in America all of a month. He didn't know anyone outside of the family and didn't speak more than a couple handfuls of English. Aside from that, he knew neither the layout nor the routine of his new school in his new country. He did know how to shoot spitballs and fly paper airplanes. Some things for schoolboys after all, are universal.
Then, a few months after starting school, came summer break. And then fall. And he started anew again, still not knowing a whole lot of English or a whole lot of kids.

This fall, however, is a whole new wad of gum under the desk. Because now, 20 months since arriving home, he speaks (and reads) English pretty fluently. He has a lot of friends. He knows routines now, and expectations. And when he found out that his first period class contained just about all of his close friends, it truly was something to look forward to. Even in terms of the actual schoolwork, he isn't nearly as apprehensive as he was in months past. When Teacher lectures, he understands. When reading is required, he can comprehend. When confused, he can ask questions. He can even complain that the school lunch is crappy.

And so James starts this year of school as a freshman. Ready to learn, ready to act up with his friends, ready for a relatively normal year of school as a relatively normal student.

Now if I can only ready myself for another year as manager of the kids with their homework, projects, permission slips, field trips and after school activities I'll be OK.....

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