When we moved to France I had many preconceived notions of what my life would be like. I might have read one to many books...okay looked at one to many pictures. The only actual book I read was Julia Child's My Life in France. I actually took notes on foods to look up and markets to visit based on this book. I also, just figured out that her house was just blocks away from The American Library. Anyways, I looked up so many things on the Internet and books that I was certain I knew what my life was going to be like.
I could see the perfect school for the kids in my head, me walking them there, picking them up going to the park. You know very Leave it to Beaver. Then we moved here and I saw that vision slipping away with each phone call and school interview. "Sorry, you can put your name on the waiting list."
So, mentally I was ready to put her into French public school. I decided that many a child had done it and so could Jaylee. Armed with confidence I sat down with my tutor ready to map out how to sign her up for school. Then the tutor asked a very important question.
How good is her French...
"Can she ask to go to the bathroom?"
"Can she say that she is sick?"
I keep my cool, thinking to myself..."okay I will sign her up for summer school...crash course style for a four year old." However, inside now I am terrified. This is the same child who was blind in one eye, has been hospitalized on more than one occasion and is still going. At one appointment four people including myself had to strap her down to a board just for an eye examination. While hospitalized, she would pretend to be asleep when the doctors made their rounds and then from a metal crib she would say...Mama? Hoping the coast was clear. Now, I could not control the other events, but as a mother I could control this one. So, I set out once again to try and find her a school.
I did it.
We walked up a dead end, shady, cobblestone street to the most perfect school. Little bikes and scooters lined the stone and iron fence. We opened the old wooden gates to the cutest play area complete with three garden areas for the kids. Perfection. United Nations Preschool. I might not have gotten the apartment that I envisioned (ugly gray building complete with chain smoker on first floor and across the hall was not on the list), but this is the school that I envisioned for the kids. I am thrilled.
Here is a picture of us before we left to view the school. I was so excited I decided that we needed a picture to commemorate the event.
Yes, it is June and yes we are wearing sweaters. We are not in Texas anymore.