Molly is a Uni-Saurus-Rex this year for Halloween.
Me: Halloween is Monday.
Hank: I know.
Me: Are you dressing up this year or going as a psychopath, a perfect introvert costume, because they look like everyone else?
Hank: What’s a psychopath?
Me: Not important, but perfectly Halloween themed.
Hank: I am not dressing up because I have a test in Portuguese and my teacher said that no matter if we have costumes or paint on our faces we have to take the test, no excuses and I want to concentrate annnnnnd I only like dressing up for Carnival (Mardi Gras) because everyone else is dressed up so I stand out if I am not wearing a costume, but on Halloween only some kids dress up so then its like everyone looks at you and has something to say.
Me: Then you can go full psychopath.
Hank: Mooooom, I don’t even know what that is! How can I be that when I don’t know what psychopath is?
Me: Good point, but if you run into any other Americans and they asked you what you are for Halloween you have a killer costume dressed just as you are and they are still obligated to give you candy.
Hank: What? Do you really think that will happen? How many Americans are in Guimarães? They are all at home in American giving out candy and watching Charlie Brown on TV.
Me: My god, I’m homesick!
Hank thinks it’s a Dino-Corn. We can’t decide what species this is, but either way we’re having fun.
Meanwhile, Molly was “studying” right off the page!
Hank: (sitting at the dinning room table, books and notebooks open around him, working hard)
Me: What’s the homework tonight, pal?
Hank: I have a math test.
Hank: I am totally ready for it. I have been studying a little bit every night all week and doing extra problems that are harder for me.
Me: Good plan.
Hank: (deep sigh, putting down his pencil) I don’t know what it is, but this year I feel so much more confident with school and I love learning. I love it more than intervalo (recess).
Me: (pulling out a chair and taking a seat) I am so happy for you. I am so proud you have taken pride in your studies and I think that is a big part of the confidence shift. You have less stress and worry when you are prepared for your school day.
Hank: It’s like, I love getting good grades.
Me: Your hard work last year paid off. You really buckled down to improve your grades and study habits.
Hank: I know exactly what to do on my test tomorrow. I am going to take a deep breath then read the entire test and all the directions before I get started. Then I will start working on the hardest problems first and if I get stuck or confused I will move over to the easiest problems and give my brain a chance to remember.
Me: (impressed) Great plan. Where did you learn that?
Hank: In that book that was sent with my box of school books, the little one, Estuda Menos, Estuda Melhor (Study Less, Study Better). I read it twice. I even loaned it to one of my friends, but don’t worry, I already have it back. I learned it from there.
Me: Oh, that little book you got because we purchased Escola Virtual (an elective online curriculum package)? Cool. Really great advice.
Hank: I love that book. It gave me the answers I needed to like doing my homework and studying.
Hank: Kinda, not exactly a study fort. The fort part was my idea, but a a study place. A special place with direct lighting like a desk lamp. I use my battery string lights and the light from outside on the veranda. It is better to have a dedicated place for studying. It helps your brain.
Me: (delighted) Good job for taking the time to read that little book.
Me: (beaming) Remind me to write Escola Virtual a letter of thanks. No better gift than the one they gave you and I am grateful. I never learned those lessons in school.
Hank: You hated school.
Me: I did, every day until it was over except for art class. I am happy you take after your papa and take pride in your school work.
Hank: (smiling, deep sigh) My heart and my head are ready for my test, but can you study with me, just to be sure?
Hank: (leaving the school gates and crashing into my open arms) Mama!
Me: How was your day, buddy?
Hank: (hugging his cousin) There was some drama today.
Hank: My friend, Maria Luisa, when we were outside at intervalo (recess) Diogo came up to her and said in front of everyone that she was his girlfriend and then Maria Luisa said super sassy, “ I am not your girlfriend,” and so Diogo gave her the rude middle finger.
Monica: Not good.
Hank: And Diogo is in big trouble.
Me: I should say. There are better ways of handling public embarrassment and heartache. That is not the best response to being rejected.
Hank: I am never going to do that.
Monica: You will have your heart broken and you will be embarrassed. These things happen to everyone.
Hank: I know that, but when I am in the friend zone I will walk away and be sad on my own and I won’t give a girl the middle finger or be rude.
Me: But if someone is being rude to you that is not okay either. Diogo could have handled the situation better by talking with a teacher or his parents about his hurt feelings rather than lashing out with obscene finger gestures. A sticky situation all around.
Hank: Maria Lusia was sassy, but not rude. She was like… shocked? She didn’t bully or make fun of Diogo, just stood up for herself. Diogo was the one who made it drama and he is having a letter sent home to his parents by professor Manuel (school principal).
Me: Oh, Diogo. Escalating situations since jardim de infância (kindergarten)
Monica: I hope he has a family that can help him know how to treat a lady.
Hank: He does. He is still learning. You have to make mistakes to learn.