Friday, May 20, 2011

Our Life in France ~ Adjusting

So part of our oh so crazy life is something called adjusting.  We have to adjust to the country we are living in, the language that is spoken in that country, the friends that we know or meet, and the customs that are 'normal'.  Do I kiss this person?  If so, how many kisses?  I don't want to leave 'em hangin' without the appropriate number of kisses, but I also don't want to go in for more when I am supposed to be done.  Can we say awkward!  It is a huge adjustment.  It is a huge adjustment for me, so I cannot imagine what it must be like for my kids.  Especially my four-year-old who understand the differences.

"Mommy, do they speak English here?"

"Mommy, is their house close?"  (we drive far to see friends in France)

"Mommy, do they have a Mc Donald's here?"  "Yes, Tae.  Yes they do."

I got a question on one of the last posts I did (cannot remember which one or where the comment is) but she asked me how my kids did with all the adjusting.  And I thought it would be nice to document.

My boys are TROUPERS. Especially my older one.  I was, and sometimes still am, hesitant about our lifestyle.  Growing up I lived in 2 houses within the same city.  We went to the same school Kindergarten to Graduation and had a very secure life if you will.  And I am not providing that for my kids.
My travel buddy doing his own thing!
If only he did this the entire time

But what my kids will have that I don't think I got until a lot later on in life is an appreciation for other cultures and other people.  A sense that we are all to be treated fairly.  An understanding that we can be different from one another, and that is okay.  Something that we don't always have in America.  I mean, you can fly 5 hours and still be in America!  It is tough to expose your kids to more culture.  Unless you live near somewhere like LA or Miami where there are more non-Americans than there are Americans!
Walking to his first day of school. Please excuse the face, apparently I can't look normal
My son Tae was enrolled in French school this year.  Can I just have a braggy mom moment for a sec?  This kid walked into that classroom, had a little pep talk from Dad, and didn't look back.  He didn't speak a lick of the language and he handled that like nobody's business.  He is a shy boy and I know things are hard for him, but he does it.  He tries.  And that is all I can ask.
Little pep talk

Bottom line here for people who are thinking we are bad parents dragging our kids across the world like this; we love our boys.  We love our family.  We are a unit, a team, and we stick together no matter what country we live in.  So when my boys have insecurities about the language or the culture or the people, mom and dad will be there 100% telling them they are okay and that they can conquer the world if they want to.  And that is exactly what they need.



13 comments:

Lindsay said...

Kids are so resilient! I wish I had some of that resilience living in a foreign country. I don't think it is bad parenting at all to have a nomadic, in between various cultures lifestyle. Of course, I am not a parent, but I think if you maintain as much of a routine as possible, and provide unconditional love, support, and encouragement, as you and your husband seem to do, than children who get to experience other cultures and places around the world will become more open minded, accepting, adventurous and wiser than most. Keep up the good work, your boys are very lucky!

Grammy Goodwill said...

I think your boys will have so many different experiences that will shape them into the men they will become. (Was that too many wills?) As parents, we do our best to prepare our children for whatever life holds for them, and then we just have to trust. I think love is the most important thing they need, and they have plenty of that.

Suze said...

I think it is great to expose them to so many cultures, never know where they will end up and plus they might want to be just like daddy...We are a multi-cultural family so I try to teach my kiddos all about different people and culture and respect...

One day, they will thank you for it :)

Megan said...

This post was wonderful!!! I love seeing as how kids adapt so much more easily than adults sometimes. I went to an international school when I lived in Germany and I used to bring my German skills home and teach my parents! No matter where in the world you go, it seems as though kids will find other kids and just play...regardless of how they can communicate or adapt. I loveeeee this!!!

Have a great weekend!

Debby said...

I just need to say that you have what your kids need more than anything... LOVE!! There are so many children who,granted, may live in the same house, country all their lives... BUT live miserable lives without Love,
I think you do a wonderful job, considering that it's not really that easy for you either. You don't give yourself enough credit.

Jennifer said...

Aw love the pep talk photo! So cool that you both could take him to his 1st day of school! You know I think you're both great parents!!

Rebecca @ My Girlish Whims said...

Awwww!! Go Tae. good pep talk obviously hehe :)

Shannon Olson said...

Thanks for sharing that story I really think it is interesting.
I am sure your kids will thank you later in life for showing them the world! The picture of the prep talk is so cute too!!!

MiMi said...

That picture of him having the pep talk is so sweet. It doesn't matter where you live...it's your family that counts...as long as you are together.

Nicole said...

Great post and you are so genuine! Girl military families are on the move all the time and it works out for them. Keep enjoying the adventure! You are so right about exposing them to differences. I wish more people would see that different may be different but not bad. We are trying to raise our son to embrace differences...and it's not easy in small town southern U.S.A.

Sarah said...

What a gorgeous family! Love that your son is doing so well - something like this only builds character!

Jill @ A Mom With A Lesson Plan said...

Love the "braggy mom moment"! He must feel very secure with himself. BRAVO!

Ocean Dreams said...

You have the right attitude and I'm sure your boy will adjust in no time! Yes, as long as you stick together as a family all will be fine! :)

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