a gift

On Monday afternoon Sophie and Sam said goodbye to their teachers, Brigitte and Sylvian, whom we have each grown to love with all our hearts. They took Sophie and Sam when they spoke no French and treated them like everyone else - with love and patience - while they learned. Now, 10 months later, they speak in French always: to each other, to Dave and I, even in their sleep. They have been transformed in a way I can honestly say we never dreamed of.

When it's over, how do you thank the people that made all the difference? Dave and I both cried as we tried to express our gratitude verbally. But in the end we gave them each a letter:

Dear Sylvian/Brigitte:
The greatest gift a parent can receive is for someone to make a difference in the lives of their children. Your love, patience, and kindness this year has changed Samuel/Sophie in ways that may benefit them for a lifetime. We can never repay the gift you have given us. The best we can do is to be grateful, and to never forget you. We can promise that.
With much love,
Dave & Stasha

After we left we heard Sam sobbing in the back of the car.
"qu'est-ce qui a, Buddy?" I asked through my tears.
"Maman," he asked, his voice shaking. "Est-ce qu'on peut venir voir Sylvian le premiere Samedi apres on retourne a Mougins?"

I promised him that we would. We'll probably never do it because Sam will forget, but I can promise you that Dave and I never will. Not ever.


Blogger Sue said...

This makes me want to cry. It is hard to leave those you love and admire.

Blogger Pierre said...

BONJOUR CHERE famille de la vie echangée, j'ai attendu helas que vous ayez quitte la France pour vous ecrire et vous remercier de nous avoir raconte votre aventure, et pour l'amour que vous avez apporte avec vous depuis l'Amerique.BRAVO pour votre apprentissage de notre langue, et votre "respect de la difference",gardez vos amis francais, et continuez les echanges entre nos 2 pays,votre temoignage m'a beaucoup emu.
Pierre (Cagnes sur Mer, Home exchange 33756)


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