Today Mihael celebrates his 6th birthday surrounded by family communicating with him in Hebrew, his language. We will join him tonight with a cake and a new school back pack ready to be filled with everything a first grader needs to be successful.
Last night I continued in my Hebrew online class with Rivka, our teacher coming to us from Arad, Israel. Peggy and I both 61 are making some headway. I’ve been taking advantage of Tuvia lately, working with him to prepare for my classes and last night with my “cheat sheets” I could read with more fluidity and understanding. Rivka was excited and Peggy, prepared and more confident also moved along in our lesson . We hammered verbs: to continue, to advise, to listen, to disturb, to begin, to remember… They all sound the same still, but I felt a shift.
Tomorrow, Mihael will grab his new back pack with one hand and his mom’s with the other and together they will walk to his new school in Hoboken, NJ where he will enter a classroom of English speakers. Next to his desk will sit the only person in the room who will understand his words for: continue, advise, listen, disturb, begin, remember and HELP: a boy who was born to Hebrew speakers in the US, so he can move between English and Hebrew without hesitation. Mihael knows a few words in English but his parents, comfortable in both languages only communicate with him in Hebrew. But he is 6, not 61 and his brain is a sponge and soon he and I will be communicating with a common language.
And there are two people I haven’t talked about yet who count for a lot. My teacher, Rivkah Fershtman and Mihael’s teacher Mrs. Rosenberg who shares his family name. I have a teacher who smiles and applauds my work at 4am her time and Mihael has a new teacher who has already met with him and his parents to welcome him to her classroom. She doesn’t speak Hebrew but she offers him community and her commitment to his learning.
Happy Birthday Mihael and welcome to life for the next two years in America!
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