Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A Milestone Beginning

While the world tracked Hurricane Irma and its destructive path over the course of this past week, here a storm was also brewing. Of course, it was not all doom and gloom, however, having children learning and trying to navigate high levels of emotion that encompass both anxiousness and excitement was a test of patience and exhaustion for us parents. Allowing the expression of their fears, stresses and questions and subsequent venting with nervous wacky energy was a necessary exercise allowing us to then offer support, encouragement and hope through Christ. We have every confidence that this school year even with all of its changes will be one of great growth, maturity and another demonstration of God's faithfulness, love and grace poured over our children.

September 11, 2017
On Monday, all of the kids started school. We had to divide and conquer required parental attendance between the boys who both began new schools. Jonathan went with Samuel to Torino for his first day of high school to begin Prima Superiore (9th grade). They left the house at 7:30 to catch the bus to Torino. His first day was from 9:00-11:00. Emma started school at 7:55 and not wanting to walk alone on her first day, Luca and I accompanied her to the gate and then waited until he entered at 8:30. Both middle schoolers finished at 11:55.

Being the middle child has its always having a sibling at middle school!
First 6th grader to arrive at school
There was much relief given to Samuel in finally just starting. He was fairly nervous on his first day and even refused the briosse offered to him when he and Jonathan stopped for a coffee before entering the school. The parents and students had an hour long welcome and orientation meeting together before being called and divided into their class sections. Samuel is in 4G and one of seven boys in a class of twenty-three students. He likes the ratio since he has always formed friendships with girls better than boys. His homeroom professor teaches Greek and she made a good first impression on Samuel. One brief hour to introduce the students to each other and then they were done for the day.

Roll call
On Tuesday, Samuel began his regular hours of school, 8am-1pm. He nearly missed the 7:00 bus as he ran to catch it as the doors were closing. It will take us a few days to figure out the right timing of the bus schedule and when we need to leave the house. The bus stop is a good 10 minute walk from our house and Jonathan accompanies him each morning and then starts his day of "bar-hopping"(coffee shops are called bars here, so don't go getting all freaked out!) 

Looking up at my 5'11" son
Samuel had a good second day of school after worrying all the previous night that he might have given a bad first impression by raising his hand and answering too many questions in class. He was so happy to come and home and tell us he "socialized" with three other students. This is so very encouraging for him and us to hear as this was a major area of weakness in middle school. We are thankful for new beginnings and for this opportunity and new environment that he seems to enjoy. He came home on day two needing to memorise the Greek alphabet and do some translation work. Here we go... 

She's nearly eye level with me and checks daily to see if she has surpassed me
Emma, please don't forget Emma! Poor thing has felt like she is being overshadowed and that her year is less dramatic of a change compared to her brothers when in reality it is not. She is in her FINAL year of middle school (8th grade) and has much on her plate as she too will need to research and choose a high school as well as prepare for final exams. My heart almost broke with concern that she is stressing out way too soon over exams when I saw this picture on her bulletin board. Sweetheart, exams are 9 months away! When I asked about whether that might make her more stressed she assured me it is just serving as a reminder. And then my heart melted when I saw the notecard with the verse I wrote out for her on her very first day of elementary school.

Deuteronomy 31:6 "Be strong and courageous...for the Lord your God goes with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you..."
But ever the prepared and organised studier that she is I guess it should not surprise me. This is a huge year of transition not so much on the front end like Samuel and Luca but on the back end. You've got this Emma!

Still holding my hand and heart
Luca began Prima Media (6th grade) and not only was he placed with one of his best friends but he also received ALL of Samuel's middle school professors. I have a feeling this was done intentionally as three siblings of Samuel's ex-classmates are now Luca's classmates. At least Luca won't be the only one potentially being compared to his older sibling. The very good thing is that we liked Samuel's teachers and they know us. Crazy to think that we will traverse a total of 6 consecutive years with the same professors.

Classmates and besties
Viva 1F...again!
Luca says he loves middle school and has demonstrated genuine excitement about the change so far. He is a social bug and has enjoyed seeing Emma during intervallo and tracking down other friends from elementary school. On his first day during his religion class the prof asked how the world was created. The response was the Big Bang and Luca raised his hand and answered "God created the world!" So proud of him for responding as he did and for the testimony all of our kids are leaving at this school.

We have done our best as parents to support each of the kids, but in all honesty they have been their own biggest supporters of each other. They seek advise from each other constantly, warn Luca of dangers to look out for and teach him swear words so he doesn't repeat them. They run to each other to share their experiences and days and in return receive moral support and encouragement. They love each other and look out for each other as siblings should. 

As the kids head out the door each day this is my prayer over them...
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever he may send you; may he guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm, may he bring you home rejoicing, at the wonders he has shown you, may he bring you home rejoicing, once again through our doors.
We are still in the first week of adjustments as 5:45am rolls around REALLY fast! Luca and Emma will have two weeks of a reduced schedule with days that end at noon and then they will adjust to their days ending at 1:55. The frenetic running out after school each day to track down a new list of school supplies is still yet to end. The hours upon hours of covering school books and erasing all answers written in the books passed down from siblings is still a work in progress. But with each hour wasted--I mean invested--I keep reminding myself of the savings that this is to a month already heavy with steep start up expenses that included a cell phone for Samuel, a one year bus pass, paying for school books for all 3 kids, supplies, etc. I almost want to say "Merry Christmas!"

We would appreciate your continued prayers for our children. They are in dark places where their light might be the only one shining. Pray it burns brightly and that they will be strengthened as they lean on the one who will never leave them or forsake them.


stephanie garcia said...

I am always inspired by your children's journeys through Italian school and will pray for them to continue being a light in each of their environments!

Anonymous said...

God will honor & bless first, your heart for His Word and then the love and dedication you show to your children in teaching the truth's of His Word. This post blessed dad & I in more ways than you know! So thankful everyone had a wonderful week at school! You're creating an historical memory of your family's lives! Good job mama!
Love, mom