David's progress in reading was rapid and amazing; from week to week, he devoured more and more books and albums, with a particular appetite for adventure stories, humorous stories. His little brother ended up joining us as soon as he got home from daycare and listening to us religiously.
As the Tuesday reading sessions progressed and her son came out of his shell and gradually gained self-confidence while doing much better at school, the mother finally felt reassured.
One day when I was ready to leave at the end of a memorable reading session where her sons and I had laughed so hard, she followed me up the stairs to tell me, with tears in her eyes, that I was the first person from Quebec - outside of her family - to come to her house, after living in Montreal for 10 years... and that it felt really good and she wanted to thank me for it.
A few weeks later, she spoke to me in a few words of French. I was intrigued. What had happened? She explained to me, not without pride, that at her job (she ran a newsstand in a busy shopping centre), she had overcome her fear and had started to exchange a few words with her customers, mostly elderly people who were very kind, very patient, and that they had offered to help her learn French by conversing with her. So something clicked, she understood that in order to come out of her isolation, she had to communicate...
When I finished my second year with this lovely family in June 2018, I left a much better David with a passion for reading and a radiant mother who could hold the basics of a conversation in French. As for me, I can't express the feeling of deep joy to see a little boy's face light up as he tames words.