‘Lucky’ Is All in Your Perspective

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Sarge and I just sent the boys to the market by themselves to forage seafood and bread to go along with our salad for dinner.

The boys are 10 and 11, and they have a bit more freedom in Croatia than they had back home. We did break down and buy them cell phones to call us, but that was only after “W” went with a friend to take a dog for a long walk and didn’t tell us where he was going. We worried about his whereabouts. Now they check in, or they just call to tell on each other, the way brothers do.

They’ve grown up a bit in our nearly two months abroad. Not only do they know more Croatian than I do, but they are adjusting to the differences of life in another country.

A few days ago, their international school let out for the summer. On the last day, they got to take a field trip to an island to swim and play and have pizza and ice cream. Yesterday, they got to go to a classmate’s beach birthday party.

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As a Midwestern mom, I can’t help but think they should feel lucky to have all of these beautiful experiences living by the sea. But feeling “lucky” is all in your perspective. Sometimes all they can talk about is people and things they miss back home.

I don’t know what they’ll remember long-term about life in Croatia. I can only hope that exposing them to different people and cultures will give them insight and skills that will help them in life.

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But I don’t want to overthink it. Moving abroad is a choice we made for them, and sometimes it is overwhelmingly different and foreign. We are each finding our own ways to meet people, make connections and work out the hard parts.

Two months ago, I never would have let my kids ride their bikes to the store in a foreign country and rely on them to find squid and scampi in a market where everything is in a different language. But I have faith that they’ll come back with dinner. And maybe a good story about how they foraged it.

We’ll sit down together for dinner and talk about our day in this sometimes amazing and very different country. And we’ll talk about what we want to do tomorrow.

39 thoughts on “‘Lucky’ Is All in Your Perspective

  1. I came across your blog from a Facebook group, and I’m so glad I did! I am desperate to visit Croatia and all the countries around it. I am so moved by the concept of your family living there, I will be following along with your blog posts and exploring your posts. I’m extremely interested in moving to another country, perhaps just temporarily. How is the language barrier there?

    1. Croatia is beautiful. I love it. Lots of people speak English, so that and Google Translate have been a big help. I rely a lot on the kindness of strangers. I am trying to learn the language, so I think it helps to just try. People have been generous in helping us figure things out.

  2. I admite how you groom your kids to be citizens of the world! You are a great mom and it extends to your writing!❤

    I subscribed! Hope to read more posts like this. It’s like reading your mind. Your site in general is easy on the eyes too!👍👍

  3. Tanya,
    You do everything well … and parenting is at the top of the list!! Of course your children are learning to become independent (within safe boundaries) with their new life experience. They are growing up and becoming men of the world. They are living internationally and appear to be having a blast. They likely talk about missing ‘home’ because they’ve had such a strong foundation provided to them thus far …they use that foundation to bounce to the next adventure. They are modern day Lewis & Clark’s and I’m so proud of them and you !!
    Stay well & write more when you can.
    Tami

  4. I’ve always wanted to visit Croatia and love that you live by the ocean so beautiful and special. It’s great that your boys are adapting so well!

    Nicole | The Professional Mom Project

  5. What a great experience for your boys! Even if they don’t appreciate everything about it know, they will look back on living in Croatia. I would love to live abroad for awhile.

  6. I think your hopes are about your kids will be true. Expanding cultures will help them in the long run. They’re already expanding their horizons. Good luck in the next year!

  7. I can’t wait to hear how they did! It’s so hard to know what’s best for our kids in the long run. When I look back on the memories of my life, I know it’s the choices my parents made for me, or because of our situation that have taught me the best lessons. Their Croatian experiences, especially those where they were on their own to figure things out will be their most memorable for sure! Unfortunately, I didn’t get that until college!

  8. We picked Up Nicholas yesterday from a summer camp for a week. Mellie last year said absolutely not. A 7 yo can’t be away for a whole week. Then Nick and I went to father/son weekend and as he got to hang out with older kids and a few great counselors, I watched him do things I never would have imagined he could do on his own. It was scary and exciting all at once. I came home and signed Nicholas for summer camp w/o hesitation. Morale of the story. Our children are stronger than we realize… and there are good people in this world who watch over them when they’re not.

    1. Our boys are growing up. I should be treasuring the times Little “W” still holds my hand! It won’t be long that he won’t do it anymore.

  9. I guess moving abroad is sometimes struggle. I have been thinking of moving somewhere in Asia too , from Manila and been eyeing Chiang Mai. Must be difficult at first? Your boys look so cool! Good luck on their new environment! Eventually they’ll get used to it! X

  10. What a lovely blog! I’m glad I came across this… As someone who has relocated between countries with vastly different cultures, I’m the experience will be enriching for your boys. Good luck (and do tell us how they did!).. 🙂

  11. I love how you are letting them explore life. I remember when my parents wouldn’t let me go out but because I was stubborn child, they finally gave in. Letting your kids be adventurous prepares them to the real world. Living in a new place is tough but I think they’re gonna have a great time there.

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