September 13, 2010

I Hope She Still Likes Me

This may come as a surprise to you.
Or maybe not.
I am not the most compassionate mom.
Lara found that out this morning.

We have a rule at our house.
About missing school
You either need to have a fever.
Be throwing up.
Or both (that goes without saying).
To get out of school.

Mom cannot be convinced otherwise.
Don't try.

To her credit,
Lara never asked to not go to school this morning.
But I'm pretty sure she was hoping I would say she didn't have to go.

On a school day, she is always up before me.
When I come in the kitchen in the morning,
she's there eating breakfast.
This morning I walked in.
She was sitting in her usual spot.
Hugging her little leopard.
Still in her pj's.

I gave her a hug.
Asked her what was wrong.
She had a headache and her neck hurt.
I gave her a couple ibuprofen.
And then went to wake the other kids.
Came back.
She was still crying
I told her I would take her temperature.
But if she didn't have a fever,
she would have to go to school.
She didn't have one.
I told her she should go get ready.
She did.
Then sat down on the couch.
Hugging a pillow.
Oh, boy.

Her ride called.
Was having car trouble.
So we dropped Ezra off at school.
Then I took her to the high school.
A few minutes late.
I asked her if anything else was wrong.
Asked her if she was a little homesick.
More crying.

Just to show that I'm not totally heartless,
I took her into the office.
Helped her get an admit slip.
Then talked in the hall with her a moment.
Gave her a hug.
Said: I'm sorry hon,
but this is what I would do with my kids.
And you are one of my kids.
She said:
I look terrible.
I said:
Your eyes are a little red.
But you look cute.

She walks down the hall to her 1st hour class.
Opens the door.
And I hear the teacher boom:
Well, good morning!
Way to draw attention to the poor girl.
From another country.
Walking in late.
With red eyes.
I hope she survives the day...

My thought is she was testing me.
She has a test today.
She studied some Saturday.
I thought she was going to study more last night.
But she didn't.
I'm not sure she's ready for it.
This may not be the problem.
I'm just guessing.

I felt bad leaving her there.
I really did.
She will be okay, right?Tell me I'm not a big, bad meany.


Marc, Sarah, and Luke said...

I don't think you're a big bad meany....I think you did the right thing. Also, we've talked about someday taking in a foreign exchange student...So, your year with Lara is something I'm watching to see if it's something we'd want to further pursue someday. And no, I'm not judging you guys (LOL) -- I have a feeling we'd handle some of the situations in similar ways.

Leslie said...

You are brave to treat her like you would your own kids--to love her enough to think of her long term benefit. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Once I was a young girl living with an american family away from my country, family and friends. I hope it's just about a test, but I have a feeling it's a little more than that. Do you think she feels "right at home" with your family, is she comfortable talking to you what she likes/ doesn't like? Does she get to call her loved ones whenever she feels like it? It might just be a culture shock, nothing seems familiar--what she eats, how she spends her spare time... I would try to find out what in her opinion are the culture differences, what she misses the most and work around that.

Anonymous said...

Good to be firm and loving...but I would also say that high school is an ENTIRELY different animal from elementary and middle school even without any cultural differences.

It is worthy some gentle probing to make sure all is okay...

ShellyStout said...

High school is tough no matter what country. Everyone needs to take a deep breath, and keep moving on. Sure it would be more fun to hang out with you, but that isn't an option. She will totally survive...and if not, she can come watch my kids, I'll stay at your house.

Melissa Jensen said...

Kreg's parents had a foreign exchange student and she "tested" them as well. She used tears, but it all was well. The circumstance was similar but was over going to sunday school. interesting!?!