Seth-a-Boo goes to school

When we boarded that Dash 8 two years ago for New Caledonia I never thought Seth would go to school here. He was a mere 14 months old and we were only going for two years. Fast forward to the present and we are staying longer and he is of school age. Yes, you read that correctly 3 is school age. Technically children start school 2 yrs 8 months! Mere babies to me! Luckily, Seth was born in September so he missed out on last year. Phew!
Since September he has been asking when he gets to go to school. Is it today? He has asked me every morning since then. We counted the days on the calendar and took a vacation to New Zealand ( more on that later) and the day finally arrived. Class lists to be posted at the gate at 7:45, class to begin at 8am. We were dressed and ready by 7, at school at 7:40. Who wants to be late on the first day? Being a former teacher I could feel the first day buzz. New clothes, nervous giggles, some overjoyed parents, some nervous, fresh and rested teachers. I wanted to throw up. I felt like I was starting school! I felt like I was feeding him to the wolves. Sending my three year, anglophone child to a totally French school with a slim to none chance of him knowing any child in his class. I should know better! I was the one who assured parents on those first days that everything would be okay. That they would adjust quickly. They would pick up the French in mere weeks and by Thanksgiving everything would be just great. But with my child standing there holding my hand, none of that good advice seemed to matter. I wanted to tell him, no lets just go home!
Yet, as always Seth takes life in stride. Move me across the world? No problem! Drag me back and forth to Canada? No biggie. Tote me around travelling? I am game. Bring me to school? C’mon mom, I can handle this. There were no tears, (okay maybe from me) and hanging on, it was okay to say goodbye. He sat a this table playing with a puzzle. I walked out the door, my heart in my throat. Would he survive? Would I?
The day flew and at 3:30 Theo and I anxiously awaited the bell. There he was in one piece. He was crying because he had lost his book bag but once it was found, he proceeded to tell me the following things about school;
1. They don’t speak English
2. I like Maîtresse (his teacher)
3. Lunch was yummy but I didn’t eat my green beans.
4. The teacher read 2 stories, one about a rabbit.
At the supper table he told Keith about his day and we both beamed with pride. We survived! Another day, another adventure.

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