Pretty much the second question we are asked is, “What do the kids think about it?” I wish I could say that they are all extremely excited about moving to Spain, are trying hard to learn Spanish already, and are anticipating all they will experience. Oh, and how thrilled they are to be leaving their friends and going to a new school for a year.
I wish I could say that.
The reality looks more like this: every day, one or more of the kids complains about moving to Spain, about having to take extra Spanish lessons right now, about how they will miss their friends or their friends will forget them, how they won’t be able to do well in school because they don’t speak the language, having to share a room with a sibling once we are in Granada, not being able to see movies in English (that’s from our 14-year-old movie buff and future filmmaker) or any other number of things.
The reality is also slowly turning into questions about Spain, what Granada is like, what the food will be like, what kinds of things we will do there, what their schools will be like, where else in Europe we will travel. I would not say they are coming around exactly, but they are definitely showing a little more interest and a little less frustration with this (what appears to them) life-changing decision.
Jason and I expect that the first few months will be really tough, especially when it comes to school. We are going to try to prepare the kids (and ourselves) as best we can for that, but what we can really only hope for is that this experience shows our kids that they can handle tough situations. Robbie, Matthew and Gabi have been so blessed to not have to struggle with much in their lives. We are hoping that this move will be a struggle that will prove to each of them that they are capable and competent individuals. We are also hoping that it will inspire a love of travel, an eagerness to try new things, and a realization that things can be so different in other countries, yet there are human traits or characteristics that everyone around the world shares.