September 12, 2008

Skipping Schools

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.

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News About The Boys

Mrs. Bliss told us there is a caterpillar here that is pink and fuzzy, and, if you touch it, its fur will stick in your skin and sting you! This happened to her daughter, Aylana. It was very painful and they had to pull the fibers out using tape! There are also scorpions and snakes, but I think there are more poisonous snakes in Florida.

William is busy, busy. In the morning he does his home schooling (Dad is his teacher!). Then, around 9:00 he rushes happily off to the local, Catholic, Spanish-only school where he audits the 4th grade! He's been doing some skim boarding but we are seriously missing the skating. Surfing looms in the near future. For a change we finally have kids on our street to play with, (not to mention dogs and roosters, snakes, toads, etc.) and it is wonderful making new friends. Still, William really misses his friends and family back in Sarasota. It's wonderful to get messages from the folks back home.

We send a special "Hello How Are Ya?" back to Nolen, Max, Connor, Emily W. and Teah!

Larry is Mr. Handy! Between homeschooling and making repairs on the house, he is never without something to do. And we have gone from never seeing him, to having him around all the time. Hmmmmmm.....

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