Friday, September 5, 2008

First Day of School in France!

Drop Off

We just walked the kids to their first day of school. It’s a five-minute walk from our house.

There were a lot of children and parents waiting outside for the doors to open. Everyone was very excited about the first day of school and the re-opening of the school (it was completely refurbished over the summer).

The four of us loitered in our own little spot, separate from all the people who obviously know each other. I think they will all know us by the end of the week because I don’t think there are many new comers in the area – especially not American new comers!

As I watched Max and Josey’s little faces, I reminded them how important it is to smile a lot. As you can see, Max's smile isn't too sincere.

When the doors opened, Josey's teacher noticed us walk in, and she introduced herself right away. Her name is Evelyne, and she speaks English very well. Josey was visibly relieved.

When we entered the playground area (it’s inside the main building), the kids went onto the playground looking a bit nervous. It was priceless - Josey was approached to play tag within 3 minutes. Whew! Max was trying to join in, but he was looking pretty nervous.

Max's teacher speaks French & Spanish – no English. Mike spoke to her in French to introduce Max. We watched Max walk into his classroom, looking brave and nervous. Keep your fingers crossed for him!

I'm nervous! We pick them up at 11:30 for the 2-hour lunch break. I can't wait to hear how the first morning went for them.

Lunch Break

They were both smiling when they walked out the door! However, Max’s teacher did tell Mike that Max was very sad. Max wouldn’t admit it, though. Maybe he was smiling when he walked out because he was so glad to be leaving?!

When we asked him what his favorite part of the day was so far, he said, “Getting to go home!” I said, “What else?” He couldn’t think of anything else. I hope he has a better time this afternoon.

They reported that there is a long recess, and they got to eat their snacks during recess.

During recess, Josey was surrounded by the girls in her class. I thought it sounded fun, but the way she described it, “One girl got so close that the water from her mouth was hitting me in the face, so I kept looking away from her.”

When we asked Max what he did during recess, he said, “I tried to rescue Josey because those girls had her surrounded.” Yikes! At least they all meant well. Josey said that they wanted her to play “cat” – which is apparently just what you think, kitty cats.

On the walk back to school for the afternoon, they were both excited about going back to class. They said, “It’s really fun! More fun than Carden.” Carden was their last school, which they loved. Hmmm . . . amazing how your outlook can change after a good lunch break!

Mike made them an offer: The first one to learn the names of 3 classmates gets a euro! We’ll see who wins.

End of the Day

They were both smiling when they walked out again. When we asked them how the afternoon was, they both reported an enthusiastic “Great!” But that is their standard response to everything.

Josey knew 3 names right away, so she wins the euro. Max was apparently too shy to ask anyone’s name!

Mike and I both think that Max didn’t like his first day at all. He hasn’t made any friends yet because “I don’t speak French yet.” My extroverted little angel is turning out to be shy in French school. He was looking forward to making friends at school more than anything else. Well . . . we knew it would be hard in the beginning. He’s not being forthcoming with any details. Maybe my little boy is just like me – smile and let everyone think things are good while you work through all those emotions internally.

Josey didn’t seem to have any trouble at all! She was bouncing around talking about her day just like she always does. She just said that it was weird listening to French all day. Her teacher had her write down some French phrases, and it turns out that Josey knows more French than her teacher expected. The teacher was surprised when Josey could count to 40.

We had ice cream on the way home from school to celebrate, and we also ran into Reed in the village. He was very interested in hearing about the kids’ first day of school. We stopped at Eva’s shop to check her lollipop supply, and she asked them a lot of questions, too. It’s good to have some local support & friends!

I'll keep you posted.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

they're so brave! I got all choked up reading the account - kids are just so brave and adaptable. I'm rooting for Max - hopefully he'll be the cool popular kid from California in no time!