I got questions how Sky reacted when we first told her that we’re going to move to Spain.
Well, she cried. Long and harrowing.
And we hugged her, without words. We have kept the news for about one month for ourselves before telling her. To make sure about the situation first, to think of the best way to tell her and to prepare our words. But not many words were required. When she regained herself she had a very interesting reaction: she didn’t want to talk about it until she’s ready for it. Then she would come to us and we could talk.
And she did. Days went by and we were getting nervous. What to do? What could we do?
But we respected her will. And after some days (maybe a week or two), she started the conversation. And asking questions. From serious stuff like ‘how’s life there’ and ‘what will her school look like’ to funny things like ‘do they have lice-mothers?’
She had probably settled the idea in her mind and got ready to change thoughts with us, which we think is a very mature way of dealing with such a big news. In the weeks after that she still has some difficult moments sometime. Her teacher promised her not to talk or ask questions whatsoever in the class if she’s not yet comfortable with it.
But she moved forward. Slowly but sure we can talk about it. She gets used to it. We have discussion and share our fantasies, search for information we want to know, learn the (fun)facts and the languages. Not easy for her, she still gets teary eyes whenever we’re digging into it, given how delicate her soul is. Not easy, but it gets a bit easier. And we’re so relieved to see it happening. What a process… so thankful to experience this as a family!
And the crown of it all: She is now preparing a presentation (in Dutch we call it a “spreekbeurt”) to be shown and told in front of her class, about Spain! Oh we’re so proud she wants to do it, such a brave girl!
We spent 8 days in Barcelona and Girona. First time in Spain for Sky. Not the first time for us definitely, but this one felt so different. We looked differently at places and things. Not as just a tourist, but with the awareness of “we will be living here soon”. So we paid more attention, tried to listen to conversations, absorbed the daily life… That awareness has come to Sky too. When we could not get any closer to Sagrada Familia (just use the metro in Barcelona, it’s ridiculous to try to park your car anywhere…) she said: “It’s okay, we’ve caught a glimpse of it. Next time we live here we can visit it anytime we want.” That’s right dear, we will explore this city for sure. 🙂
This trip is such a great coincidence. We booked it in November, when we didn’t have any slight idea yet that we will not be visitors, but citizens-to-be. We grabbed the chance and made use of it, and we were able to make an appointment with an international school we think will be nice for Sky. So we visited the school and had a guided tour around its facilities. I think it’s an important step for her, to see and feel her future school in real life, not just from the website. It seems like she approves it and she has more confidence in this whole “moving” thing afterwards.
So we spent one day around the school area and its neighbourhood, and visited some villages between the route of Joop’s future office and this school, just to get an impression of where to live (and where not!). Because the next important step, after getting our NIE-numbers (to be able to live in Spain for more than 3 months) is of course: find a house!
The rest of the trip was filled with real ‘holiday stuff’: wandering around La Ramblas, playing at Parc de la Ciutadella and Parc de Diagonal Mar, admiring Gaudi’s and other artists’ works in the city. After 4 days we moved the base to Vidreres, about half an hour under Girona. We did a children-quest in Girona (that was really fun!), explored the coast line: Lloret de Mar, a small beach in-between (probably Platja de Canyelles) and even visited Tossa de Mar twice…such a beautiful place! And food…lots of delicious food! We often eat “menu del dia” as lunch and I will cook for dinner (as usually we rented houses from AirBnB, allowing us to cook our meal). One reason is to reduce the expenses, other is having a child makes it difficult to have dinner at 9 p.m.
And now one funny thing I learned during this trip:
If you want to have “normal” eggs (I mean like the one you need to make an omelet for breakfast), don’t buy one with “cocidos” on it, because it means “cooked”!! It was a funny surprise though when I broke one and nothing came out of it…haha…