Wow, our vacation went quickly but it was just right -- not too long, not too short, and just the right way to forget about work and this dingy place for a little while.
I was delighted to find that things in the office hummed along and that no major crises awaited me. My staff did a good job in taking care of business. The dog is healthy and happy, although she now has fleas since all she does is lie in her doggy bed, which we gave her in July. The cat, who was well cared for by a colleague who reported that she was a recluse the whole month, is perky and pesky as always.
M & K went back to school today. M was all nervous with excitement and couldn’t finish her breakfast, which consisted of a meager piece of toast and some butter. Oh well. In the car on the way to school, she told me her stomach felt ‘funny.’ As usual, she was all tense about getting to her classroom ON TIME and freaked out on K when he didn’t get out of the car soon enough once we navigated through the nutty traffic congestion around the school and finally arrived. Clearly, the child does not have any African DNA -- why else would she be hung up on time and dislike to dance?
She was also stressed about finding out who her teacher is and which friends she’d be with in class. The French system is a little different - teachers only returned yesterday, so class assignments are only posted the morning of back to school, which only compounds the chaos of the first day back. M's tension eased slightly when she saw that the one friend she has been consistently close with the last two years is in the same class, as well as a few of the girls she started to hang out with from her class last year.
K is in the same classroom with the same teacher this year, which we are all very happy about. M questioned it, though, asking 'did he flunk?' As he did all last year, the minute he crossed the threshold of the classroom, he transformed into a perfect child, a little shy but fully concentrated on obeying the teacher and performing his settling in tasks with total precision.
After we delivered him, we took M up to her class. Once we greeted the teacher and introduced Maeve, we ceased to exist. She didn't look back at us once as she strolled in and took her seat next to her best friend. I spoke with her briefly at lunch time and got a jumble of information, not much of which really made sense but at least gave me the distinct overall impression that Day One was excellent and exciting.
Details to follow.