We’ve been living in Barcelona for a few months now, and we’re learning all the important things, like how to say “thank you,” “good morning,” and “doughnut” in Spanish and Catalan, that sandwiches are a breakfast food, and restaurants don’t serve dinner until it’s our bedtime. We’re also learning other important things like how to share toys and cookies at the park, what to do when someone throws sand on you, and what to do when you throw sand on someone else.
My daughter is learning that boys will be rambunctious and chase you on the playground no matter what country you live in. She’s also learning that friendships can be forged with few words, and it’s good to try everything on your plate.
My son is learning that when words fail, grabbing usually won’t get you what you want. He’s also learning that laughter is universal, and home is where your family is.
I’ve learned that a home half the size of my old home is not twice as easy to keep clean; purging things you don’t need in order to move to a smaller place is refreshing; and no matter how many times people tell you children are sponges, they won’t learn an entire language overnight. Just as with everything else, they will do it in their own way, in their own time.
I’m also learning to look beyond my children’s behavior, to see the why. I’m learning to consider how when everything changes, my children’s behavior might change too, and not always for the better. I’m learning to understand but also not to let this understanding serve as an excuse for everything.
Our whole family is learning to be patient and forgiving—with each other and with ourselves. We’re learning to let go of expectations and embrace our adventure.