The trip to the states was whirlwind and utterly exhausting. William accurately dubbed this visit the Work-cation. (Not even time enough to stock up on Tums & Tampons! Thank to my sister Madeleine and her care packages!).
However, we did spend some terrific evenings with some excellent and generous friends. Plus, we squeezed in a few precious days with our pre-med son, Dylan, who worked like a Roman slave helping Larry stuff our stuff into storage!
With the house rented to friends, back we headed to Panama, utterly spent. Back to Boquete, where William had the chutzpah to turn ten.
The end of his first decade was marked with a painful lesson in life, to wit: How to handle childhood torment. More specifically, Catholic School Torment! If there are degrees of suffering endured by a boy, being teased and excluded by schoolmates (who can't understand your clever retorts in your mother tongue) must fall lofty on a child's scale of psychological pain.
Let me say that William braved the storm for nearly six months, determined to fit in. However, his challenge was compounded by the attempted erosion of what I've always described as William's (heretofore) excessive self esteem. A campaign to reduce his pride was apparently being waged by his teachers, no less!. (No, they didn't rap him on his knuckles. They simply told him, repeatedly, that he'd never make it to fifth grade!)
Those of you who know me may imagine the rest. OH yeah ... Mama bear to the rescue! It turns out I'm an adept verbal warrior in more than one language. However, I promise... I did exercise great restraint. After all, we're the foreigners, this is a small town, plus ... I'm pretty sure I'd go straight to hell, without the comfort of a handbasket, if I'd slapped a Catholic teacher!
So, we're catching a rhythm. Home School has resumed with Professor Larry. A new and happier local school was found for half-days. Forward and upward we go, leaving only one or two slightly bruised teacher egos in our wake, their knuckles intact.
Bottoms Up! Grief on the Fast Track - If you moved at a steady clip through all five stages of grief, getting to the other side of the loss would probably take a fair amount of time. In my hom...