During one of the first days of school, a very petite French woman with a British accent approached me and asked if I was the American mom. Her name was Dominique, and she told me that she had lived in Boston for a year and that she had returned to the US many times since. She offered to help me and Jed in any way that she could, and I thanked her thinking that she was just being polite.
In the days that followed, however, Dominique made specific offers to help us, and I took her up on those. She showed me around different parts of town on foot and by car; she took me to buy shoes for Jed; she invited me for coffee, and she made inquiries about sports and cultural options for us. She even volunteered to go into Jed's classroom a few mornings a week to translate the lessons for him, but the school principal turned her down.
She has been very worried about Jed's adjustment to this new culture, particularly since she is the mom of Néo who is almost the same age. She cannot stand the idea that Jed probably spends many days hungry since he does not like French cuisine. This Tuesday, she took Jed home with Néo, and she plans to do that every Tuesday as long as we would like. That way, Jed can bring his peanut butter sandwich to her house and have a break from school once during the week.
Dominique invited me and Jed to lunch on Wednesday, and we had a wonderful time with her. The poor woman made three meals for lunch: plain baked chicken and corn on the cob for Jed, a fried chicken patty for her own little picky eater, and samosas for the two of us. We spent four hours talking and eating and drinking wine on a Wednesday afternoon. I could get used to this!