Fréjus, France

Fréjus, France
Aqueduc Romain

Monday, November 17, 2008

Irie's Friends

Many of our blog fans have asked about Irie's contributions. While she has plenty of computer skills, knows how to spell and has plenty to say, she's not really interested in writing a blog. Getting her to write, or dictate, an email to her friends is a job in itself. She'd much rather talk to her friends and family "live" on Skype or during a visit! This entry is written about Irie, by her mom.

Irie's friend Abbie was an unexpected very happy occurrence. Irie kept hoping she would meet another American girl at school and I told her it was highly unlikely. She kept this dream alive to soothe herself of the anxiety that grew as the return to school approached. She was crushed when they couldn't be in the same class together but now she is grateful as she knows 4th grade in French is too much. Abbie has been a wonderful comfort for Irie: they both like American Girl, having their separate French class together and they speak English. I've noticed that Abbie is often a haven of security for Irie.

I think because Irie had someone like her at school she was able to make French friends faster. I was concerned, as was Abbie's mom, that if they kept to themselves, they would not learn French. What has happened is that they go between two sets of friends--the older ones from Abbie's class and the younger ones from Irie's. Irie comes home now talking about her "friends" and (finally) is getting the names--Laly, Noame, Lily-Rose, Téa. (She still isn't quite sure how to spell the name of the very cute boy she chases and messes with his hair. Don't worry, Alex, she has not forgotten you.)

Thanks to my friend Athena's recent visit, I bucked up the courage to have Irie introduce me to Laly, then bring me to Laly's mom and invite Laly to spend the lunch hour with us sometime. She was very receptive, knew all about Irie and we made plans for the end of the week. I asked what Laly likes to eat, and her mom answered "everything except ratatouille." During my French tutoring lessons we went over the best way to figure out whether she would just walk home with us, or if her mom would want to come check out our apartment as well. I was all ready the day before to confirm the plans in just the proper way (to Laly's dad now). He looked at me, like "duh, she would walk home with you," of course very friendly and forgiving of my nervous French.

I think we bombarded Laly with questions about what she would like to eat or do. We planned crêpes and typically make them with spinach, mushrooms and cheese. Laly didn't want mushrooms so we also offered to put some thin slices of smoked duck in them with the spinach and cheese. She looked at us a teeny bit funny (she had this way of just looking when she was considering either how to understand our strange French, or how to answer), and agreed when I asked if putting smoked duck in crêpes was odd--"Oui, un peu bizarre." She had the duck and it was quite good. She played a bit in Irie's room, colored a little, plunked on the piano, but had the best time playing out in the courtyard with Irie and Maggie. (Remember the lunch hour is 2 hrs long).
She and I had a nice conversation about why dogs are better than cats. She has a cat but would really like a dog. The morning at school before the lunch Laly drew both Rick and I pictures, one of them was her English lesson.

When I met her grandmother the next Monday at school she told me that Laly enjoyed her time and they would like to have Irie over. What a relief that Irie's birthday is in May, and I have time to figure out how to have more of them over.


Michelle et Abigail said...

Go Irie!!

Mom & Dad Browne said...

We to go Irie!

Keep it up and say hi to Abigail for us.

Grandma & Grandpa Browne

Debbie said...

Alright Irie!! Will you be fluent upon your return to Oregon? I am so proud of you! When you come back to Maui, I would love to hear you speak in French... then let's go surfing!!