Daily: It’s The Climb
I love winter mornings on the river walking through long shadows while the fog burns off of the surface of the water. This has been a really isolating month for me. Between sickness, schedule changes, and hours and hours of internally processing and problem solving, my brain and my heart feel so tired.
Although it feels really early to be tackling Lucy’s school choice for next year, we are in the thick of private school applications and researching Czech state schools trying to figure that system out. We need to be prepared with options should there be a lack of space or whatever whim or fancy keeps children from getting accepted to posh Montessori schools. I have always considered myself more of a public school kind of parent, but the language barrier is a problem. It probably will be for at least another year.
Lucy struggled a lot with homesickness when we first arrived and it lasted nearly seven months before she started to get used to the idea that we were making a new home here in Europe. I tried to be prepared for the transition with her. I read books, scoured blog posts, and talked to anyone I could about how they helped their child move an ocean away from everything in the world that they know. Despite my research (ha), turns out it was still just hard; gut wrenching at moments, if I’m honest.
I have come to realize that Lucy really struggles with transitions. She has a very difficult time stopping one activity to move on to another even if the other activity is something she wants to do. She used to cry when we would pick her up from school and when pressed as to why, she didn’t know. She didn’t want to stay at school but she didn’t want to leave. It’s due, in part, to her developmental stage, I’m sure, and the rest of it is just who she is. This is challenging with small shifts. It is devastating with larger moves.
Next year, like it or not, she will be transitioning to a school that is at least partly taught in Czech and mostly filled with Czech-speaking kids. Socially, I imagine this will be very difficult. While Lu’s Czech is certainly getting better (I think? Hard for me to gauge since my Czech is limited and we aren’t really the people she would be speaking Czech with), it’s still going to be a steep learning curve when she makes the transition to first grade. You remember grade school, right? You know how kids can be. Imagine they can seamlessly switch to another language to make you feel left out. Thoughts like these have been on a loop in my head and bringing tears to my eyes at truly inconvenient moments. I’m trying to get my brain on board with the reality that being bilingual is a gift and by the time all is said and done she may even be trilingual.
My mama heart though…
I think one of the biggest parenting lessons I’ve learned this year is while it may be a parent’s instinct to protect their child, pave the road smooth, and keep them from experiencing hard things, it isn’t what is best for the child. Even as young as she is, the adversity she faces, the problems she solves, and the journey she embarks on; these will all shape her into a strong, resilient grown up human who can figure things out for herself. I want her to be an active participant in her own life, not just take whatever it lays at her feet. The difficult journey is necessary and it is worth it. In the words of the great Miley Cyrus, “It’s the climb.”