For example - your child's performance at the school's end of the year party. This year, the Diplomat and I were treated to a rare Kafkaesque performance of the story of Pete Ocha. This being a French School, naturally the performance was in French and most of the story was danced by the children, which added to our utter amazement and confusion at the eclectic story. To date, I am unsure exactly what went on that night - in the story, there was a little boy whose parents died or left him in the first scene, but then he somehow went on living by dealing with sounds (like, bouncing them off things). Everyone else around him thought he was weird and creepy (I wonder why) and they kick him out of the village. The kid then runs away to throw some sounds at a scarecrow which in turn throws them back at him. Then Pete ends up with the gypsies who happen to be eating children (very aptly and expressly danced by the 1st graders who were running around in a giant pot with vegetables). There Pete plays with sounds some more and is given a ceremonial jacket (I think). Not sure why - I think the jacket kept the sounds inside. I am guessing that something truly profound happened in the end. But I am not sure. I must learn French. And not drink during the performance next time. But the school invite said to bring wine to toast the kids and we did. Maybe we should have done it AFTER the performance? But we all felt that it was enhancing our experience given its, um, idiosyncratic plot.
At any rate, the kids were splendid and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The 3 and 4 year olds were sitting at the front and the beastmasters (AKA, teachers) did a fantastic job keeping them semi-tame during the whole production. After it was all over, the baffled parents were treated to a feast boosted by ample amounts of libations while our children ran amok through the expansive grounds of the school in the humid and inviting darkness. Hats off to the French school - it was a memorable night and Son will be going back there next year. I CANNOT WAIT for the end of the year performance!
Another rare gift of parenting is the first time you catch your child playing "doctor." I always imagined it would be when Son is, say, 10. Not so much. Last week, we decided to get together with two other splendid couples - parents, whose daughters also go to school with Son and are bestest of friends. We had a blast at our rooftop, BBQing and drinking the night away while the children entertained themselves delightfully in the inflatable pool. At some point, all of us turned to observe a peculiar sight - one of the girls was lying on her back, legs up and panties down, while the other two were peering down pensively. Amused, we went to them and asked just what the heck was going on and Son, in all earnestness answered, "We are playing doctor, mama!" and turned back to continue. Needless to say, we had to break the scene sternly, which was not easy given that we were all trying not to roll on the floor laughing.
Yes, parenting has many gifts. I cannot wait to see what teenagehood has to bring to us.
In other interesting news, we have just learned that we are going to Rio de Janeiro for our next post. Given that the post was at the bottom of our bidding list and in no way fulfills any of our clearly expressed preferences, the Diplomat and I continue to be baffled by the assignment and the thought process of the powers to be. Nothing against Rio - a most exciting city where I am sure we will have a blast. I suppose this is how the State Department likes to keep us on our toes. I am very happy that we get to go back to Washington for 6-7 months of training and then we get to live in a spectacular country, where we get to see the World Cup and possibly even the Olympics!