Term 1 down, 2 more to go

Friday was the end of term for Anya and Ethan at Rosslyn Academy. The kids all had the day off, and we parents had to go in for parent-teacher conferences (kids thought that was great...me, not so much!) But I was glad for the chance to hear from their teachers how they were adjusting. Compared to the old days of preschool where I used to get notes home telling me what they ate and when they pooped...fifth grade feedback is somewhat less.

Anya's teacher says she's doing great--no surprises there! She has friends, she's sweet and thoughtful, she's doing great in every subject, and she got only 1 B. Spelling is terrible, but it always has been and she's about to hit the day when everything has to be typed anyway. Group projects are tough, but what can I say...she's my daughter! I've always wanted to just do it myself, too. Overall, way to go kid!!!

Ethan's teacher says he's doing great--a bit of a surprise! One of the highest achievers in the class, sweet, no fighting, reading level has gone from 2.4 (4th month of grade 2) to 3.8 (eighth month of grade 3!) over the term! But he's not playing with friends very much, preferring to stay to himself. He went through this same stage when we went to training on the way out here, first in Virginia and then in Zambia. Hours by himself, pretending to cut grass with a stick! In Virginia his teachers were even talking about a possible Autism work-up. Now I am sure he does not have autism. It just seems to be his way of handling newness, to pull in a bit, depend on himself only for awhile. I see the tendencies in me as well, and I know exactly how he feels. How scary to reach out and make new friends when these, too, might be only temporary. How hard to share of yourself when everything around you just changed and you're not 100% sure who you actually are.

I'm so proud of both of them, as well as Isaac who has continued to do well at preschool. We ask so much of them in this life of ours. We give them a lot too, and I have no doubt that in the end, they will be better off for this experience God has granted us. But my heart aches as I see the challenges of transition affect Ethan even the little bit that they are. Pray for him to come out of his shell at school, that he reaches out to be a friend to others as they are already reaching out to him.

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