I get frustrated when my kids come home from Arabic classes and they still can't even count to ten much of the time. But then I remember: I keep mixing up six and seven, eleven and twelve. (sitta, sabaa, ihdash, ithnash.... I challenge you to get these right every time!)
Last night after dinner, Shay casually mentioned that he has an Arabic test today, but no worries, he knows it all.
I might have hit the roof on that one. Hello? Where are your study sheets? As far as I can tell, you don't even remember the difference between six and seven. I never see you reviewing the work. You don't bring your workbooks home, so who would even know? On and on I went.
He insisted he was ready. The quiz is on the days of the week (which I know), the months (which I've seen) and the seasons (which, ummm, maybe I need to study more myself). He then proceeded to rattle off the days, months and seasons, faultlessly (okay, I'm not sure about the seasons, but the one I recognized sounded right).
My jaw dropped and I congratulated him.
Then I asked him to count to ten, and once again, he got stuck on six. But I decided to let it slide.
This morning, he was outside waiting for the bus, and I saw him strike up a conversation with "our" policeman (we have a rotating cast of big guys with big guns outside our house - feeling better, mom?). Most of the guards with whom I've spoken don't know much, if any, English, so I wondered: is Shay speaking Arabic to the guy? I so wanted to know, but I knew if I went out to listen, they'd stop talking and the guard would go back to, well, guarding.
Guess I'll have to wait until he gets home from school to find out.
Meanwhile, for those of you who might be interested, here's an article about what, exactly, the U.S. Embassy does during a crisis like the one in Egypt right now.