Unless you have moved across an ocean and have lived in an empty house, driving a convertible in the rain (that you can't put the top up on because it's still damaged), you can't understand the level of joy I felt yesterday. At one point, Abby (the 4-year old), actually said to me, "Mom, get over it - it is just a van!". She obviously doesn't understand my joy either.
I guess the simplest way to explain it is - our lives are finally getting back to a more "normal" state. Now that the van is here, and the kids have started back to school, all that's left is to receive our furniture. It's not here yet, but has been promised by Feb. 8 - so, only 1 more week! Actually, it hasn't been that bad. Those canvas lawn chairs and Coleman air mattresses have been surprisingly comfortable!
Speaking of school, Alissa and Alex started back this past Monday when their "track" resumed. Kapolei schools operate on a staggered schedule, as I mentioned in a previous post. That means that the kids are separated into 4 teams, or "tracks" - green, red, yellow, and blue. At any given time during the school year, only 3 tracks are in session. Each child still gets a full year of education, but this lessens the overcrowding burden the schools face as Kapolei's rapid growth continues.
Anyway, I guess we were all a little nervous - not sure why, I guess because it's the middle of the school year. We've heard that Hawaiians are welcoming of newcomers, but there's still always that "new person" worry. I know the girls felt it - we all had trouble sleeping on Sunday night. But, Monday I drove them both to school and kissed them goodbye (not so anyone else could see, of course - that would be embarrassing!). I prayed as I left for them to be safe and to have a great first day and to find someone nice to eat lunch with.
Well, imagine my surprise and delight when Alex emerged after school with the biggest smile on her face! She had already made 5 friends, and is excited about learning Hawaiian and Japanese every day (an ongoing curriculum at the Elementary school). She continues to be excited about school, which makes Mom feel so much more at ease. (Note the picture below in her "uniform" - Kapolei t-shirts and Skechers!)
Alissa was less forthcoming about her first day - she answered "I guess" to every question I asked. I think she was still missing her friends in TN, who tell her all the time that she is missed. However, as the evening wore on, I managed to find out that she also made a couple of friends, and was invited to sit with a whole group for lunch, and that she is actually going to be OK at middle school. Yesterday she talked about the same group from the day before, and when I picked her up I noticed her walking from the school to the car with a group of girls and they were giggling like teenagers do. Thank Goodness!!
I know I can't protect them forever, but I want them to be happy, and I want people to be nice to them. And, I don't want them to feel like "the new kid" for too long. Looks like they both inherited their dad's charm, and have escaped the "new kid" syndrome. I am proud, thrilled, and relieved.
Looks like things are on their way to becoming "normal" here. I will keep you posted....