The Princess and I have been running errands all morning – getting cheer shoes for her, and then running to the photography studio for (!!) senior pictures. Which, just as an aside, may I please note that I cannot believe that my baby girl IS A SENIOR!! Yikes!
Naturally, she took the opportunity to indulge in senior selfies…
Now, we are doing some last minute cleaning and prepping to get ready for our new Chinese exchange student, Jack. He arrives tonight and we are such a mix of emotions! We are excited and optimistic and nervous too!
We realize that we have a lot of work ahead of us…there is the usual school stuff, and we also have to get to know him. We have to figure out, with a language barrier and cultural barriers as well, what foods he likes and dislikes, what type of person he is – whether he is more outgoing or more introspective. We have to introduce him, not only to our odd and quirky little family, but to our own idiosyncrasies and habits. We will need to introduce him to doing chores, which he has most likely not done before, and possibly teach him how to do them…how to make a bed, how to clean a bathtub, how to make a sandwich, etc.
All of these things are a lot of work, it is true. But…somehow, it is sort of rewarding. When it works, it’s a two way street. The student learns from you and you learn from them. It’s fun. It’s rewarding.
We truly hope that is our experience with Jack. We know that this will most likely be our last experience hosting an exchange student. We have had some wonderful experiences in the past and have such wonderful memories. We still keep in touch with many of the kids we have hosted. Our family has learned so much. We’ve learned about France and Spain and China. The kids have learned to make quiche and crepes and lots of other fun French and even Italian dishes. They are quite good cooks now. I’m hoping Jack will be able to teach us to make a Chinese dish this year – his mother told me that he can cook some simple Chinese dishes.
Mostly, though, we just hope he is nice. We hope he is a nice boy who wants to soak up everything he can from this experience. We hope he is kind, and courteous, and generous. Basically, I hope that he is the kind of child that I hope my own children are. As long as he is, all the rest of it is fine.
So…we are excited and we are nervous. We are hopeful and we are cautious. But, so far at least, in our emails and phone conversations, we’ve gotten the feeling that we have more reason to be hopeful than cautious. And so we are very excited and happy to greet Jack this evening when his plane arrives. We are looking forward to finally getting to meet him and getting to know who this boy is.