There are many people who have told me that this is a wonderful opportunity for Jed, but there are almost as many who have questioned whether this year will somehow be a setback for him---either academically or socially. I admit that I have had the same questions. As a language teacher, I know that he is at the perfect age to learn a second language, and I feel that he will pick up French pretty quickly. I also feel like he will be able to stay on track in his math skills. As a mom, though, I fear that he will be lonely and that school will be overwhelming. He is not painfully shy, but he is not a raging extrovert either, and he has never really liked the regimentation of the school year.
Thankfully, some of my fears were allayed today when Jed met French kids for the first time. My mentor, Caroline, came over with her entire family this morning so we met Manon, Louis, and Paul who are all very close in age to Jed but speak little to no English. It was not long, however, before the boys were all playing with Jed's Bey Blades, Pokemon cards, and wrestlers. They didn't say much, but they laughed easily. After they left, Jed asked if we could go see them sometime.
We had not been outside very long when three boys appeared out of the woodwork. They watched us and listened to our English for a bit and giggled on the sidelines before calling out, "Hello!" in their adorable dropped-H accents. I told them that Jed did not speak French, but they didn't care. They asked if he could play with them. I stepped aside and watched for the next hour while they played ball and chased each other and swung on the vines of the weeping willow, communicating somehow in a mixture of English and French. Jed got his first bloody nose when a stray elbow caught him in the face, and he didn't want to come inside to clean up because he was afraid that the boys would disappear. We ran up the stairs and got a paper towel, and I sent him back down by himself and finally started dinner.
All three boys will go to Jed's new school, and they told me that he would be well-accepted. They said that people are friendly here and that anyway, they would play with him. Jed's new friends are Lorenzo, Sofiane, and Ange (which means "angel" in French).