My daughter has the disposition of the English – though she has no connection to the motherland.

I proudly watch her walk to class with apparent determination that thinly veils her rattled nerves. She takes her place among the other 1st graders, and, while they laugh and play, she sits tidy and quiet, completely unconnected – an island unto herself.

It’s hard to walk away and let her socially sink or swim. Surely I can home school and avoid this social initiation that few survive unscathed.

But, it’s 8:00am on the second day of school, and as I am ushered away by the staff, I am fortified by the knowledge that in her set shoulders and stiff upper lip belies the courage to face the unknown – a quality entirely her own.

August 26, 2009