Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Blue Skies of Skype and the Mountain Ranges of Utah

Today we had our first Skype conversation with our son, some 14 days of saying goodbye at his new school.  Seeing that beautiful face, nice new haircut, and familiar smile was great.  It was also hard as all I wanted to do was reach through the screen and kiss that face.

He's enjoying school, in geometry (glad he doesn't need my help!),  learning piano, and having just completed a report on Beuwolf.  He has been playing on the flag-football team and even smiled when I asked if he liked his weekly collages I have been creating by cutting up is anime magazines.

Fries are being made and connections are being tested.  As with any new group dynamic.  He can see the mountains with their fresh snow and looks forward to winter activities such as snowboarding.

This all sounds great, and it is.  However, I wish to be part of it, rather than hear about it.  I will take what I get and I wonder if he has the same conviction of our family being so far away.  I can only hope so.

What was telling, was that he started doing some similar behaviors at his new school as previous schools.  What is very important and impressive, is that they are aware of this quickly and have put into place a plan right away.  This leaves me hopeful that the school is a right fit.

At least until I disagree with something -- which will happen.  I have been fortunate to meet other parents of kids at this school in Los Angeles and they have been a great resource.  The saying, "it takes a village" is quite trite - however very true. 

The saying, "it takes a village to raise a child" is frequently attributed to being an African proverb, but there are many African societies with proverbs which translate to 'It takes a village...':
  • In Lunyoro (Banyoro) there is a proverb that says 'Omwana takulila nju emoi,' whose literal translation is 'A child does not grow up only in a single home.' 
  • In the Nigerian (Igbo) culture and proverb "Ora na azu nwa" which means it takes the community/village to raise a child. The Igbo's also name their children "Nwa ora" which means child of the community.
  • In Kihaya (Bahaya) there is a saying, 'Omwana taba womoi,' which translates as 'A child belongs not to one parent or home.' 
  • In Kijita (Wajita) there is a proverb which says 'Omwana ni wa bhone,' meaning regardless of a child's biological parent(s) its upbringing belongs to the community. 
  • In Swahili, the proverb 'Asiyefunzwa na mamae hufunzwa na ulimwengu' approximates to the same.
From my pied-à-terre, the proverb has a deep meaning as well. 

My son's room with this view.

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