I hear the coffee maker de-calcifying, as I sit in my living room, drinking a second pot. Even with the gurgles and steam blasts emanating from the kitchen, the only other sound I hear is that of our labrador’s too-long nails, clacking on the floor as he searches for the kids.
A certain energy seems to have been packed up with their school books and taken out in rucksacks.
My kids have never been to a brick & mortar school before–not in their entire lives. And now, they make the daily trek to a place where they’re expected to learn in a completely different language.
They HAD to go to school somewhere–that was evident. But they did have the choice. They could go to the US or stay in Germany.
They chose Germany.
So, I walked them over on the first day of school and handed over the reins to people I’d never met.
Having been a homeschooling Mom for 12 years, I thought this would be tougher to do. I thought I would have tears or sadness. But honestly, it was a relief.
The teachers were friendly, the principal helpful and the students, as I would hear later, were friendly and curious about these American kids who’d just been woven into this tightly-knit Franconian world.
As I walked home alone from the school, I felt happy and excited for my kids.
I was so proud of them.
Proud that they saw German school not as an impossibility but merely a challenge.
While they were gone (for a whole 2.5 hours); I distracted myself with some deep cleaning and brownie-baking; as baked goods seemed a first-day-of-schoolish sort of thing.
When the bustle and energy returned to the house, I heard story after story about teachers and students and books and language and food…
My youngest even walked home with a new friend, and though there was a limited mutual vocabulary, these two had become buddies on day one.
I was relieved.
Sometimes you charge forward, not knowing if you’ll wave your flag on the hilltop, or if you’ll have to retreat and regroup, and figure out where the hell you are on the map.
But for this day; for this hour; for this very moment, my kids have won a significant battle that will change the course of their histories.
And I am damn proud of them.