September 18, 2015

Colette à l'école.

Colette began school this past week at a parochial Catholic school in our neighborhood. We often walk past and I had always wondered what kind of school it was - kids flitting in and out, decked in uniforms. I heard one rave review for the pre-K program from a parent down the street and decided to look into it, just a couple of weeks before the school year began. It turned out they had a spot in their pre-K 3 program.

I called Xavier to talk about it and that very day, he retrieved Colette from the sprinklers through which she was leaping to throw a clean dress on her and walk up the hill to the school to sit for an "interview." The director asked her seriously, "Now, Colette, why do you want to come to our school?" Colette looked at her just as seriously and replied sincerely and with conviction - cocking her head slightly, "I don't know," drawing the words out as she pronounced them. Fair enough, Colette.

She left the interview convinced and bounded back into the park to exclaim, "I'm going to school!!!!" to all of her regular friends. Right in their faces. Loud.

The first day came and she watched with a falling expression the other kids in the room who lost it. Melting and protesting and crying all around. She sat in her chair and the expression on her face was pure panic as we left the classroom. We picked her up at noon that day and the red welts under her eyes offered what she wouldn't - an explanation of her first day. We felt awful. After she went to sleep, I cried.

It's a week later now and we had back to school night last night. We met with her warm teacher and saw her classroom's stations, books, her spot and their drawings on the walls. She has art, music, gym, computer and Italian - special subjects during the week. She is learning to pray in a particular way - and we feel like if she can be open to different ways of knowing it is great for her.

She was still sad and got big tears in her eyes when we dropped her off in the morning at the start of the week, but this morning Xavier dropped her off and she shook his hand as he left and joked with him. "See ya later, à tout à l'heure, papa."

Romy started to talk 2 days after Colette started school. "Excuse me" "I want that" Sorry" "Papa shoe" etc. Without jumping to conclusions, we think the two happenings might be related.


Laura said...

Looking forward to reading about your experiences. I ask Amelia what sorts of things they learn about every day, but she offers so little. The pastor starts the day (with students and any parents who want to stick around for a few minutes) with a prayer. On the mornings I've stayed, the prayers have been for Syrian refugees, for our leaders to help implement policies to slow climate change, for the wage gap between the very wealthy and very poor to decrease, and for our hearts to be softened toward those who are different than we are. So far, so good!

Jill said...

Oh, growing pains! It such a blessing that kids are flexible and resilient. They adjust so well. I can't believe she is going to school. Time is flying too fast!

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