Day six, il 6 dicembre, and it has to be said, I was looking forward to this act of kindness.

I’d arranged with my Auntie, an EAL tutor, to help with her new 6-year-old Italian pupil. The poor boy appears to be suffering from Selective Mutism, so the hope was that, with my Auntie’s teaching skills and my Italian knowledge, we might at least be able to make some progress with his English comprehension.

After negotiating with my Dad to take his car and deciding against using Google maps (then inevitably getting lost along the way), I arrived at the school just in time for our lesson. Sporting my visitor’s badge with pride, I was led to the reading room where we waited for our pupil… and we waited… until the school secretary came apologetically to inform us that today was his first ever day off sick. Typical.

The secretary thought it might be worth calling home to see if he wanted to come in just for an hour for our lesson. Having had plenty of experience with Italian mothers in the past, I knew there was not a cat in hell’s chance of his mother bringing her feverish child into school for a nanosecond, let alone an hour, but I agreed, had a nice chat with her in Italian and promised to come back again next week.

After another long day of career planning and application writing, I was explaining to my Dad how I’d made him cycle to work for nothing (well, not quite nothing – my Dad is glad of any excuse to ride his bike!) and that I’d yet again flopped in my kindness challenge. Cheerily, he piped up, “Don’t worry, you can do us a favour and take me and the lads to the pub!”. So that, my friends, is exactly what I did.




Mary x


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