Found: thoughts from a few months ago about my [amazing] kids...
My bigs go to a sport class every Friday afternoon. We've been doing this for 5 months now, and we are on the last month. Each month has brought a new sport, and along with each sport, new cultural experiences. Everything sports is done with a club. Their sports club happens to be one of the oldest in the East. Olympians have come out of this club. As a former athlete (...washed up has been), I really enjoy reading the articles and looking at the pictures on the wall. You can just smell the history and success and excitement.
So far the kids have taken on track, ball sports, gymnastics, dance, and now we are entering the world of diving. Let's just be honest. This opens a whole new can of worms. We try our best to prepare the kids for situations that are new, but when we don't know what to expect ourselves, then the best we can give them is..."its going to be different, but that is okay!" Let's just say that locker room experiences are much different in Europe than they are where we are from, which is not always a bad thing, but can prove to be very interesting sometimes. Not knowing what to expect myself, on their way out the door, all I had to offer was "Listen very close to your teachers," (remember that whole foreign language thing?) and "have fun!"
I'm glad to report they came home with huge smiles and big eyes and had loved every minute of it. During their detailed run down of the evening, I learned a few new cultural things that I could not have prepared them for and would have made me blush at their age. When I asked what they thought of it, all I got was a shoulder shrug. Normal to them.
They are better cultural navigators on their own than I could ever help them to be. I'm proud to watch them grow in this way. "Its going to be different, but that is okay!" Different is not always wrong. Different can be much better. Different is okay.