Growing pains

That First Day is always a killer.

Jet lag + heightened senses taking in every single detail of newness + high expectations + the energy is takes to adapt to new food, beds, and schedules = at least one good cry.

It has been true of my experiences in any new place or situation (including, for a completely different kind of jet lag, motherhood) and it continues to be true. But it's helpful to just know that it comes, it overwhelms, and then it goes away. Years ago one girl in my London study abroad group said (in a great Southern accent) on the First Day as we tried to negotiate the new social and cultural surroundings, "I can't find my niche!" Of course, as the days and weeks went by, we all became friends and felt completely at home in England. But, on that First Day, she captured what we were feeling: niche-less.

So, yes, there were tears today. We came home from a terrific first day of class (also went to lunch on our own and to the bank) feeling pretty good. The school is really great. There are lots of students, including maybe 7 or 8 kids. Each of us has our own teacher and we're at little tables with small white boards on easels next to them. They are all grouped around the center courtyard, which is open to the sky. The walk to and from the school takes about 20 minutes through cobblestoned streets and past beautifully colored adobe homes and shops.

But it is a lot to take in. We both took a nap (in the midst of a fantastically loud, mid-day thunderstorm) + when Maddy woke up, she confessed to feeling overwhelmed. Her teacher spoke too quickly, Maddy's not sure how much she's supposed to know, and there's homework! (This, after on the walk home she asked if we could stay longer than 2 weeks!) We'll clear up the uncertainties and the teacher's speaking speed but mostly it was a case of the First-Days.

Tomorrow will be better. And today was pretty great, for a First Day.

Maddy at the cafe for lunch

The outside of the casa

The courtyard just inside the entry to the casa