Copyright © Louise Bostock 2007-2013. Please give credit where credit is due.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Everything changes

The first day of the 77-day summer holidays has dawned misty-bright and still.

One June day in 2007, a little boy, not yet three, is sitting on a climbing frame in a hot and dusty garden surrounded by sixty other children. He is terrified and chattering, head down, eyes darting to and fro, frozen with fear. His mother has understood virtually nothing of what has been said in the parent's meeting that has preceded a tour of the kindergarten, and now, a puddle of linguistic isolation all around her, she sees his distress, and wants to weep for herself and her first-born, to snatch him away and run, run, run, to carry him off to a place that may not be so sunny, but where at least she can equip her children to meet life's big events without fear and confusion.

Two years on, a robust little girl runs down the steps on extremely sturdy legs into the same garden shouting "Hooraaaaay!" at the top of her lungs. She vies for a place on the see-saw, scrabbles around for a plastic spade in the sand pit, is introduced to the older children by a confident and sociable little boy, a fluent Italian speaker, her older brother. Occasionally she checks her mother, who, chatting with a gaggle of others, slides her sunglasses quietly down onto her nose so that no-one will see she is on the verge of tears once again. Pride in her son's achievements, pleasure at realising she herself now understands almost everything that is being said, and joy that her daughter has met one of life's big events without fear and confusion.

Everything changes.

8 comments:

Chairman Bill said...

Sometimes it's ashame it has to; at other times you're damned glad it does.

CathM said...

"Everything changes"... hmmmmmm, indeed :)

ladyfi said...

And how wonderful that these changes are for the better!

KatyB said...

Your learning curve must be steep and painful. All power to you that you've persevered. Being an expat isn't for the fainthearted.

Karin said...

Everything changes - of that we can be very sure. And your personal changes, tortuous climbing to higher planes in more ways than one, have made you stronger and an inspiration to others. God bless!

Katie said...

this brought me even to tears!

Rosie said...

This is exactly the kind of place I would like to live in. It looks like "home".

--V-- said...

What a beautiful piece--and an even more wonderful experience. Moments such as this are far and few between...

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Everything changes

The first day of the 77-day summer holidays has dawned misty-bright and still.

One June day in 2007, a little boy, not yet three, is sitting on a climbing frame in a hot and dusty garden surrounded by sixty other children. He is terrified and chattering, head down, eyes darting to and fro, frozen with fear. His mother has understood virtually nothing of what has been said in the parent's meeting that has preceded a tour of the kindergarten, and now, a puddle of linguistic isolation all around her, she sees his distress, and wants to weep for herself and her first-born, to snatch him away and run, run, run, to carry him off to a place that may not be so sunny, but where at least she can equip her children to meet life's big events without fear and confusion.

Two years on, a robust little girl runs down the steps on extremely sturdy legs into the same garden shouting "Hooraaaaay!" at the top of her lungs. She vies for a place on the see-saw, scrabbles around for a plastic spade in the sand pit, is introduced to the older children by a confident and sociable little boy, a fluent Italian speaker, her older brother. Occasionally she checks her mother, who, chatting with a gaggle of others, slides her sunglasses quietly down onto her nose so that no-one will see she is on the verge of tears once again. Pride in her son's achievements, pleasure at realising she herself now understands almost everything that is being said, and joy that her daughter has met one of life's big events without fear and confusion.

Everything changes.

8 comments:

Chairman Bill said...

Sometimes it's ashame it has to; at other times you're damned glad it does.

CathM said...

"Everything changes"... hmmmmmm, indeed :)

ladyfi said...

And how wonderful that these changes are for the better!

KatyB said...

Your learning curve must be steep and painful. All power to you that you've persevered. Being an expat isn't for the fainthearted.

Karin said...

Everything changes - of that we can be very sure. And your personal changes, tortuous climbing to higher planes in more ways than one, have made you stronger and an inspiration to others. God bless!

Katie said...

this brought me even to tears!

Rosie said...

This is exactly the kind of place I would like to live in. It looks like "home".

--V-- said...

What a beautiful piece--and an even more wonderful experience. Moments such as this are far and few between...