Let me start by saying that August did not top my list as awesome months. Moving and settling in was way harder than I could have expected, and while there were some fun moments along the way, they were isolated moments that we worked hard to create. So imagine my delight with September. School started last week (in August, of course, because August was relentless). The kids did great. No one cried or completely melted down. No teacher phoned shocked at what Israelite children are like in classrooms. For the most part, being one of 12 students in a classroom went just fine for our kids.

I particularly enjoy the yellow school bus each morning. I am loving that Yoni is part of the school’s soccer team. I am super loving that Yael, knowing less than nothing about soccer, is on her team as well (when we went to the sports store to buy her soccer cleats, we told the salesman we were looking for pretty over functional!).

Thankfully, Yael and Yoni’s math teacher sits near us in the teachers’ room because each morning we double-check if we understood the math homework from the night before (we owned order of operation but needed to google the heck out of expanded form math). Yael spends inordinate amounts of time on google translate trying to get terminology straight in her bilingual mind. In geography class, Yael was surprised to learn that there weren’t 52 states in America (dear my friends from Toronto, there are 50). The kids look American but they are missing about 30% of cultural/American knowledge. On the aforementioned geography quiz, Yael may have thought there were 52 states but she could only name 2 of them (mercifully, Ohio was one of them).

Labor Day gave us the opportunity to toss as much America at the kids as possible. Side note: if Labor Day was all America, Shabbat afternoon was all Israel. We had close to 40 people here for seudat shleesheet. We invited the 4 shlichim families for a potluck dinner. The bnot sherut joined us along with family friends from Rosh Tzurim. It felt oh so good to have Hebrew everywhere. But Sunday and Monday were all America. David and Maya came in from Toronto. We went to the Indians game. Sitting right behind home plate with kosher hot dogs and limitless soda, it almost seemed irrelevant that the Indians are terrible and I don’t care about the game at all. Today we went downtown again, this time for the Air Show. It was great watching Channan loving the noise that the airplanes make. Both he and Eitan turned their hearing aids off at some point because the planes were so loud. Rounding off both days with BBQs and Disney channel, and I feel like I have completed some American rite of passage.

We head back to school tomorrow. I’m slowly getting used to teaching every day and am looking oh so forward to falling into some semblance of a pattern… and learning the 50 states.


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