“Mom, I had so much energy last night, I just couldn’t go to sleep!”
Me too! So today begins our second year in immersion school. My anxiety over immersion is gone. My fears of “what if he freaks out” are just a memory. I am beyond excited for what this year has to bring. The first few weeks will be all about routine, making new friends, learning rules, and reacquainting with the language. And math. And maybe even some (gasp) homework!
School was bustling with energy this morning. Lots of smiles, dozens of high-fives, and a few tears too (parents and students of course) were shared amongst friends. Nervous students were welcomed with open arms and encouraging smiles. As I stood and watched our youngest students have morning circle, it was enough to bring a lump to my throat. Such little people, so brave, learning so much in just a few minutes. Amazing.
My boy last night told me he was ready to be a mentor and translator for those who are nervous and need some extra help. I wish I were there to see him doing it, putting aside his own bits of nervousness and embracing someone to show them the way.
I wish I could shout from the rooftops to all the new parents – Immersion programs require a leap of faith. Find parents who have done this before and lean on them. Learning through a new language is hard work for our kids and it takes time. It’s like growing a tree – you can’t rush it along, and a lot of what is happening is beneath the surface, growing roots, creating the strength to stand tall and grow strong. This is new and exciting and may be scary too (for parents and our kids). They may be tired, emotional, hungry, irritable, clingy, needy, or quiet. Or all of these. Or none. Hug them and love them and tell them they are wonderful and you are proud. Years from now they will thank you for this gift of language you are providing for them.