When I was four – just about a year older than Bea – my parents packed us up and moved to Germany for two years. I’ve always admired them for this move and I recognize how significantly it shaped my worldview. Living abroad, doing daily life, travel – this all played key roles in how I chose to spend my money, look at colleges, and read the newspaper.
Now, as a mom of almost two, I appreciate this even more. We moved six miles across town and it was exhausting. (In many ways, it still is.) I cannot imagine how tough it was moving and getting settled across the world, especially without email, Skype, even cheap phone calls.
The majority of our time in Germany was normal – I went to kindergarten, my dad went to work, my mom stayed home with my brother. But it wasn’t at all normal. My mom had to navigate grocery shopping with a toddler in an area where the idea of one-stop shopping was non-existant. They brought us on trips across Europe, but it was a far cry of hopping on a train with a backpack for a weekend. Toys, comfort items, nap times all had to be considered.
Frank and I have talked about shaping a broad global view for our daughters. How do we intentionally bring global awareness to our home? Part of me wants to emulate my parents – let’s just pack up and move somewhere for a few years! And part of me is so hesitant. When I did that in college, I had the luxury of only caring for myself. (At times, that seemed awful, but in reality, the ability to only focus on myself is nothing compared to dependent children.)
I hope that if opportunities arise, Frank and I show the courage that my parents did, to put comfort and security aside and expose our kids to the adventures the world has to offer.
How did your parents shape your worldview?
Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing.