French Mum, humanitarian, restless explorer and doer on sabbatical in Cebu (Philippines): one Attila in each arm, I am exploring the “toddlers safe” corners of the region, while trying to keep some room for Me.
Born and raised in Asia, they flew before they could walk. French by their Mum, Swiss German by their Dad, 6 y.o altogether and already fluent in English, French, Bärn Deutsch and Mandarin. Thailand taught them how to bow before Buddhist altars, we celebrate Hanukha and Christmas, and they already understood that God has many, many houses. Meet my kiddos, Mr and Ms Attila!
Our little tribe has been always from (my!) home forever. When I asked Ms Attila where is home for her, she raised her eyebrows and said “which home? the one of the Philippines? or the one in Paris with the cousins and Mamyvette?” Heu.. “or Dad’s home with the snow?“..
We have been moving from a humanitarian posting to another every other year. If there is no place our family have ever called”home”so far, it’s probably because we don’t stay there long enough. I came to think that our children would probably suffer from this “lack of belonging”, but my daughter proved me wrong. Like her brother and all kids of their age, they are like little sponges, absorbing the culture, the language, the positive attitudes of their surroundings. She made me realize that we are actually more fortunate than I thought: no, we don’t have a place we call home. We have several! My home means a lot to ME. There is nothing comparable to the joy of “going back home to my family” every year. The more I travel, the stronger I feel connected to my roots. I am not sure my kids need to have “their own home”, at least for now.
But I need to share mine with them. I want them to know all there is in their “French home”: a big place to build memories with their loving French family, to savor incredible fruits and cheeses (they already know the perfect meanings of Pains au Chocolat and macarons) , to wander among giant trees and breath the pure air of the forest, to thank Mother Nature for the marvels of the seasons, to admire the meanings of Arts and History …
We don’t need to live in France all year long for them to feel their French heritage. My kids are also fluent in Skype/Facetime and Viber to connect with their grand parents and cousins! We have lots of books in French, and my country has enough castles to host all the Disney Princesses. According to my husband, the kids even speak Swiss German with a French accent! If we can not go to France now, let France come to us!
We are currently considering our next move. Our contract in the Philippines comes to an end next year. Should we get closer to Europe, to our families? or keep on traveling before schooling gets really serious?..
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