This morning I sent David off to school for his last day of KG1. Last night as I was thinking about this school year I had a bit of a slideshow playing in my head.
I remember the first two weeks putting him on the bus, pasting on a big smile, blowing him kisses and waving goodbye. Then, as soon as the bus was out of sight bursting into tears and crying all morning. Even into April I was still tearing up every now and then when I put him on that bus.
The Culture Shock
There were many small culture shock moments for both David and I. Davy learned playground Arabic throughout the year, but at the beginning of the year he couldn’t communicate with most of his class mates. Even trying Arabic, many of the kids just weren’t speaking as well as he could because they are learning 2 or 3 languages at a time. He thought kids didn’t want to play with him, and he struggled with the rough way they would act.
For me it was the unspoken rules that were expected. Even Lebanese parents were frustrated by things like that, but they felt used to it. For me it felt like I was in big trouble. For instance, I learned that muffins do not count as a breakfast sandwich. It has to be the sandwich they expected, one I had never made before.
By the end of the year I handled these moments much better, but still would have some amount of shock. For Davy’s school musical they asked us to buy “sandals”. What we didn’t know was that in Arabic there was a much more specific word, so the first ones we brought were considered “slippers”. The second time our language teacher approved them, and now he has great summer shoes, so it worked out well. Also, we were extremely proud of ourselves because we were able to get both pairs of new shoes for $10 (US Dollars).
At the beginning of the year Davy could barely jump. Now he can jump, stand on one foot, and do a whole slew of exercises.
He was not able to color in the lines or draw anything on his own. His fine motor skills are awesome now, he stamps, cuts, draws, colors, paints, and doesn’t mind getting messy any more.
David hated singing even though our homeschool curriculum has a song of the week or two every week. David would just allow me to sing it, and if I tried to make him sing it with me he would shut down. Throughout the year his love of singing sprouted and blossomed, and he performed for us in three different presentations with mostly singing and dancing in front of large audiences.
Our shy little boy from the beginning of the year has found his comfort level and spent half an hour after church on Sunday greeting a team from Canada and showing off and telling them stories about his life and plans for summer.
There has been so much growth this year I can’t even begin to share it all, but these are the big pictures that came to my mind as I pondered the year. Thank you for sharing them with me.
If you are interested in an actual Power Point including videos of David’s various performances during the year,
Fill out the form below and I will send you the actual slideshow I created for myself. Busy Mom Scrapbook = Power Point to the rescue!