In January we went to visit our family in Slovenia. We didn’t see any positive consequences of our visit. We were exhausted, and it was hard to get back into our daily routine. The most significant problem occurred when it was time to get back to school. Lejla skipped two weeks of school, and she had a lot of catching up to do - tons of homework. But the most heartbreaking issue we had with Erik. He just didn’t want to go back to school.
One notable change happened when we came back. School board informed us that Erik could not use school bus anymore. He was using it with his older sister for three months, but because he is still four years old and there is no supervision on the bus, they prohibited it. Erik was somewhat proud that he is big enough that he was able to drive to school with other kids on the school bus. It was easier in every aspect. We said goodbye when the bus arrived, we waved to each other and school day began.
Now I am taking kids to school with public transportation. We have to change buses and wait a lot. It takes us almost an hour to get to school - with school bus it was only 5 minutes. When we approach the school, Erik gets in a defensive position. “I don’t want to go to school!” he whines. When we get to the door of a classroom, he uses all his four limbs to block the entrance. He grabs me with fury and doesn’t want to let go.
It is not always like that. Some days he gives me a peck on my cheek and says: "See you later!" If it comes a day full of school resentment I go into the classroom with him. I play with his schoolmates, and it is okay afterward.
I asked him many times, why he refuses to go. Of course, there are many reasons. Everything is new to him. They have different approaches how to do things. They speak in a language he doesn’t understand. They speak English only to him, and he is not that good in English either. A lot of times he doesn’t understand what is going on around him. “Why are kids shouting at me? What are they saying? What do they want? What are teacher's instructions? Why do they get angry if I don’t do anything and I just keep my mouths shut? Why do they shout? I just don’t know what is happening…”
He tries to interpret his surroundings as much as he can, but sometimes it can be a huge overload. I get it. Everything is new and strange. The worst thing is I cannot do much about it. He will have to fight his own battles.
I do feel guilty sometimes. It was me, who threw my son into the unknown world. He wasn’t asking for it. He needs to follow his parent's capriciousness.
On the other hand, I am convincing myself that in the end, my kids will get tough. They’ll learn many languages, they’ll know how to handle new surroundings, and they'll have the ability to change when requirements change.
Every transition is hard. Changes are hard. But in my experience, results repay the input.
We have some difficult time in front of us, especially because we’ll move once again. But we'll do it with an optimistic prospect in our heads. We overcame many obstacles already; together we'll manage whatever is yet to come.