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Month: June 2016

We’re so… “Lucky”

Sometimes people we know comment on how lucky we are, I don’t mind, in reality we are lucky, but sometimes people say words that completely dismiss the hard work and sacrifices we’ve made in order to be here. For MANY months we had a running joke in our house; “This bag of chips, or France” “Well, it’s a night out, or France” I got weird looks when I told people I would LOVE to but a litre of that artisanal honey, but I cant, I’m saving up for France.  Sorry, I’d love to support your child’s current fundraiser, but this year we’re saving up for something special. Let me say it straight: We did not win the lottery. We did not have mucho dinero just laying around before we decided what to do with it. The cost of being here (both in Canadian dollars and in emotional costs) has been, and continue to be INCREDIBLE.  We are not millionaires, we worked our asses off and went over every dollar for a LONG time before we decided it would be ok to take this trip. We put off renovations, we put off vacations, and we excluded ourselves from some of our favourite things in order to give ourselves and (more importantly) our children this opportunity, it was not a light decision, and it was not made in vain.

 

On that same note, we get a lot of our difficulties dismissed. “Ok, so you’re struggling, but you’re struggling in the south of France!” True, absolutely,  but is a struggle lessened because of the location, really? Is the fact that I/we have very few friends and social connections really not that bad because we’re in a place with a different culture where people don’t speak our language? Should I be comforted through my troubles by the chevre and baguettes? Sorry, thats not how it’s done out here.

 

I am absolutely lucky to be here, so are my children. We have made it through two very difficult economical crises, one which continues to threaten us daily, but are we here by some sort of magical happening? No. We worked our asses off and made a decision to spend time and money in order to remove ourselves from our comfort zones. We have learned a lot from this trip, and I imagine a lot of that will stay with us for a long time. I can only hope that when all is said and done I can look back on all the sacrifices and hardships and simply say “Worth it”.

 

 

 

Yeah, we’re dropouts!

I have started this blog post over and over, it’s a complicated one I know some of our readers are very interested in, and it’s rather interesting for us too, but more difficult to explain on a blog than in person, it’s a long haul story after all.

I have officially withdrew the kids from school. I would love to say it was a difficult, long thought out decision, but honestly, it wasn’t. One day I tweeted “Some days I don’t know why I bring my kids into that building” Not too long after I asked my self… wait, should I keep bringing them there everyday? I didn’t think about it a long time before I realized NO, of course I shouldn’t! I could have fought and had multiple meetings, and assessments, and if my kids were staying here permanently, or even longer I would have done that in a heart beat, but they aren’t, so I didn’t. I have stressed that my kids did not fail at this experience, the school system failed them, and I stress again, WE COULD HAVE DONE MORE, but taking off one extra month of school until returning to Canada seemed like a much easier choice, and a better one.

 

My kids started off school in France with high hopes, open hearts and kind souls, it didn’t take long until the french school system crushed all of that. My kids were being bullied, on a daily basis, and I want nothing more than to say it was from only the other children, but I will never be ok with how the teachers treated my kids, the worst teacher we’ve ever had in Canada seems like a total angel here. I had paths in front of me that included lawyers, psychiatrists, educations boards, etc. or on the other side, travel, hands on experience and true quality time together. Easy choice once it’s presented that way, right? Right. We’ll still be debriefing with psychologists back in Canada, not because the kids suffered any amazing amount of trauma (I think) but because I think it will do them both good to talk about their experience with an impartial person, because I love to normalize counselling, and because we have a ton of coverage for it before the new school year starts, so why not?

 

So, that’s that. We had enough of the French school system, or perhaps, the specific school my kids were assigned to. Now, them being out of school has it’s pros and cons, language learning was a major reason we were there in the first place, The kids being out of school actually did change our budget quite a bit, and we get to spend some amazing time exploring Provence.

C’est la vie! This entire trip was meant to take us out of our comfort zone, and here we are, giggling, travelling, and being uncomfortable.

 

 

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