One thing about foreign travel (or dropping your child off at French camp): It's a humbling, fairly exhausting experience when the basics of communication are that complicated.
"THAT...is a very useful phrase."
Man, I love that kid.
I was thinking about how much relief it really is in life to have it be okay to make mistakes...to not know. It's a liberating feeling when it's okay not to have all the answers. To learn as you go. To just shrug your shoulders and apologize and say: Je ne comprends pas.
Having the non-judgmental Other Party is a big part of it. The camp is welcoming even to complete beginners, so the expectation is a learning curve. They do charades and draw pictures and all sorts of things to bridge the gap. No judgment. Just gentle guidance and helping you through it.
I think all parenting should be like this, really. My own could use more work. We adore Meet The Robinsons, and it prompted our family motto to "keep moving forward." But how many times in my impatient moments have I sent the message that a mistake somehow messed up my day? Instead of really embracing that we're all just bumbling along and doing our best. And that a 2 or 3 year old isn't spilling food or breaking a toy to be a pest, but is still figuring out how life (and physics) work.
Je ne comprends pas. Whether it's French, parenting methods, or how to carry a plate to a table. It's okay not to know how to do it perfectly, right?
The irony here: I'll need to embrace my imperfections on learning how to embrace my imperfections. ;)