And so today starts the February vacation 2009. I've started the morning with a strong coffee (sorry Whoopsie) and a repeating mantra through my head, "I can survive this. I can survive this. I can survive this."
I think most of your realize just how much I love my kids, but have I ever really explained how much I love that fact that they go to school and to the creche? I got lucky that both Mini-Husband and The Princess started school here when they were 2.5. Yes, I know that sounds young, but for someone like me, someone for who the thought of home-schooling creates waves of panic attacks in the middle of the night, seeing them off to school that young was a gift.
It must be said that I may not have been so comfortable about sending my precious children to school that young if it hadn't been for our particular school. It's a simple set-up, two small rooms, a 2 minute walk from our front door. Bear in mind that this 2 minute walk takes about 10 when I've got all three tagging along, but we tend to get there on time most mornings.
In Mini-Husband's class this year, there are 18 kids. That's it. One room, one class, one teacher and a large majority of boys. (Of the 18, only 4 are girls.) As for The Princess, she shares another classroom with 18 other kids, ranging in ages from 3 to 5. During the day, her teacher somehow manages to teach pre-reading skills to the 5 year olds while not cracking when yet another 3 year old has a little "accident." Here is a lesson in patience that I need to learn myself.
It's thanks to this small school that we've made such good friends in the village and that I can now speak 'real' French. All those afternoons waiting for the kids, listening to the conversations about life, pets, health, weather, local gossip: all of it in words I would have never come across if I hadn't been standing there. Truth be told, I needed the school as much as the kids did.
I think it's for this reason that I miss school so much during vacations. Besides the obvious of having to deal with my people 24/7 for two weeks which is a sure ticket to therapy in my book, it's the lack of contact with our village that I miss. Sure, we have some play dates to look forward to and we get to do things we couldn't do during school times, but I miss that daily interaction, that daily check-in with the others who call this place home. And of course, the joy of leaving my children in the capable hands of someone else for the day...
I guess I'll plod off to the kitchen for yet another cup of coffee and sing my mantra once again. Heck, it's only two weeks. I can survive this, right?