Man! I’m so proud of my kids!
Curve in the Road
Lord willing, in less than a year, our kids will be leaving behind, for the first time ever, everything that is most familiar… for the first time: Their friends, their church, their neighourhood, and the nearby Sobeys, Tim Horton’s and Dairy Queen where we’re comfortable with them walking unaccompanied. They haven’t got a clue, but they’re totally leaning into the curve!
Been there, done that
For Liz & I, it’s a bit different… we’ve each done it before, and got the T-shirt. In 1989 I spent two months living in Liège, Belgium and the following year, left for a tw0-year term. Also in the early 1990’s, Liz left to spend a year in the United States as an exchange student. Years later, when we married, she made an even bigger leap of faith and moved lock, stock and barrel to come to Canada’s east coast, with me. We’ve jumped into the void before… and found that the Lord has kept us safe and happy.
Walking at Chambord
I love this picture of Timo, we were walking around the grounds of the Chateau de Chambord a couple of years ago. Feeling his wings a bit, he is walking ahead of us, not looking back, and taking a risk. Not out of sight, but not holding our hand either.
“Taking a risk?” you ask?
You try walking on the curb without losing your balance!
It’s proportional. For us, we conquered it 20, 30, 40… 50 years ago. For him, it’s overcoming a new challenge in a strange place (not that it was his first time doing this, but it’s putting yourself out there).
This is how they’re approaching our upcoming time on AIM…. completely taking it all in stride. Of course I know that times of uneasiness will come, but their overall attitude is very, very positive. They’re pumped to do this!
Here’s the Deal
Since I am totally convinced that we’re in the will of God, I have to believe – and do – that God has been, and is still, preparing them for this time in their life, as He is preparing Liz and I.
Secondly, children follow the lead of the people that surround them. Since we surround them more than anyone, our countenance, demeanor, attitude, etc. will be reflected in them. For this reason, we try – in general – to be balanced, rooted and confident in our actions and reactions – Liz is better at this than me! If parents approach situations with panic, fear or drama, that can becomes the default response mechanism of the child. I firmly believe that since the kids see confidence and faith in our approach to the situation, they don’t see any reason to fear… so they don’t.
When questions do arise, we address them. For example, in Timo’s journal , he recently wrote down the question “How will I make new friends?”
I believe the real point of his question was…
“How will I make friends since I don’t know French as well as I know English?”
So I answered him according to the underlying question.
“Timo, you’ll make friends the same way that you make friends here. Here you just be yourself – ’cause you’re a pretty cool kid – and people will want to hang around with you, just like they do here. The only difference will be the language, but if you learn a few new words every day between now and then, and try to use them… you’ll learn to speak French too.”
… that was all there was to it. Because he saw that I believed in him and let him know that he had 1/2 of what he already needed to make friends – a likeable spirit – he all of a sudden saw it as being a non-issue… not something to worry about.
A Done Deal?
I don’t think so. I’m not so naïve as to think that the question won’t come up again, or that we won’t have to face times of linguistic frustration in the friend-making process, but the key is: he’s not already weighing himself down with worry, months ahead of time, which could flavour the whole process if allowed to.
This is how we’re preparing our #AIMKids … and we’re seeing the fruit. They’re totally leanin’ into the curve!