When I tell my daughter to do something she used to do it. No questions asked, just did it but now, she is a young adult who by her own right tells me, “No.” At first, I was a little surprised, and yes, delighted in her new found independence but other times I was so afraid for her. Not afraid that she couldn’t achieve the goals she was striving for but afraid that those obstacles and pit falls that had fallen upon me would blind side her in the worst possible way. She knows right from wrong, she knows there are consequences, she respects others and she was brought up well.
I could see vividly in my mind the crying, the tears and I could feel the pain that she would feel from decisions that somehow I felt were not the best. I didn’t want her to go through such pain so, I would fight with her and fight till somehow the “new idea” would fade away and she would continue on her way. Another disaster totally missed. I was able to sleep a little better at night but, it never stayed that way for long.
It would happen again, but this time I was reminded that she had to make her own mistakes and she had to find a way if it failed. That no matter how much I wanted to protect her, she needed to go. To go and discover the path that would lead her on her own journey.
Here’s the thing….How different is this growing up of a child any different from a new President who seems to fight at every turn? He fights businesses, celebrities, leaders, and well, everyone. Like my daughter, he gets on social media (which I can not stand) and makes comments that are misunderstood, rude, brash, you name it. Though each one has an image of what they want done there might be a point here to make.
The point being, let them grow up.
It sounded very exciting to hear that we would be leaving the United States and going to live in Europe. For us the closest we had been to a foreign land was Epcot in Florida. Now we have ventured across the pond to Germany. We were full of questions but one we never considered was, How would it change us?
Here are a few things that we will remember before going back to the States;
1) Never again tell someone in the States to only speak English.
I do not know German. I have only learned a few phrases that have gotten me through the day. I feel so much better when the person I am talking to speaks English. I should learn more German but I find it to be a hard language for me to learn.
2) There is a difference between 110 volts and 220 volts.
Plugging an item into the wrong voltage plug can cause you to spend a lot of money on replacing them. Paying attention to the volts is a lesson one learns very quickly. Especially when it is your computer that you plugged in wrong.
3) Recycling is extremely important.
I have learned the importance of recycling and how it influences the German economy. Everything is recycled and though it is difficult and frankly, a pain in the neck to do, the rewards for doing it outnumber the pain it takes to do it.
4) Learn your History, remember it and respect it.
To live where history has happened is an amazing and a wonderful gift. Everyone should learn the history of where they live. History good or bad keeps us all connected.
So, what do you think are the most important things you have learned by living somewhere else?