First Day of Public Spanish School?

First Day of School – not Monday

So it’s Monday night, and I’ve filled out the (hopefully) last of the paperwork. Tomorrow, we’ll get up early (8AM is early for us), and turn it in. So after a good night’s rest, it’s 7:58, and Our son comes bounding in the bedroom. “It’s time to wake up! We need to turn in the paperwork so we can start on Wednesday.”

School Will Be Tomorrow

We all wake up, get ready, and head off to school. We go in to the school, and await our friendly administrator, but he’s not arrived yet. He comes in, takes the filled-out paperwork, and beckons us to sit down. We’re waiting a while, so Heidi suggests to our son that he stick his head in, just to make sure he didn’t forget about us. He comes out and looks at us like, “What are you doing here?”

He then tells us that the kids should be in class. Uh…what?! Now?! No books, no backpacks, no snack, nothing? Our son is on this. Immediately, he’s says, “Yeah! I want to go!”. Our daughter on the other hand is not as optimistic…”I don’t want to go.”. It’s not a yell, but she’s not ready to go just like that. Hell, I’m not ready for her to go just like that.

We’re directed upstairs, and the Admissions Officer knocks on a door. A friendly looking teacher opens the door, and they converse briefly. Our daughter goes in, and the teacher asks her name. She says her name in Spanish, the teacher looks at us, smiles, the door is closed, and Our daughter’s gone. Just like that. Another classroom, and once again the Admissions Officer knocks, a teacher opens the door, Our son gives his name, and he’s gone too! Just like that.

I was not expecting this at all. In a matter of two minutes, both my kids are in school. Heidi didn’t prepare for this. I didn’t prepare for this, and we didn’t prepare the kids for this. All of the “starting a new school” memories come flooding back, and I am feeling very bad for my kids. I’m also worried that school officials will not be able to reach us if there’s an emergency (no phones yet)? Heidi is more calm and collected, and is less worried about it than I.

What Just Happened?!

We walk to the car (I’m still a bit stunned), and decide to open up a bank account. We do that, check out some mobile phones, and wait until it’s time to pick up the kids. We get to the school about 10 minutes early, and wait. The schools here are a bit different. Once school starts for the day, the gate to the schoolyard is closed/locked. While we’re waiting, we have to wait outside with the other parents. At 1:55, the gate door is opened, and parents are let inside.

Some parents seem to know where to go, while Heidi and I are trying to figure out where the kids will exit the building. At 2PM, the kids are let out. After a bit, I see our daughter. She’s got a smile on her face, and she waves to me as she’s walking, and she’s got a handful of papers. I’m talking to her, and asking about her day. She hands me the papers, which includes a list of books/supplies.

I’ve still got an eye out for our son, and I see him coming out a different door. I wave to him, and he sees me. He walks over to Heidi and I, and a small group of boys gather around. Our son indicates to me that these are some of his classmates, and rattles off their names. I say “Hola!”, and stick my fist out for a bump from one of the boys. He looks at me like I’m a bit nuts. With our son as an example, I show what a fist bump looks like, and then do it to each of the boys. They kind of smile, and it dawns on me that I may have started a new trend in Almunecar!

Both kids are not overly excited, nor are they sad, but with the lack of food, and the unexpected school day, they are a bit more mellow than I expected. Over lunch, the kids filled us in on all of the details. They weren’t freaked out, so I was happy about that. 

Later that evening, Heidi took them to get some school supplies.  Hooray! Let’s hope we’re off to a good great school year!

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