Learning to Adjust
It has been a year and a half since we left our home in Portland and moved across the pond to Stockholm, Sweden and I won’t deny it hasn’t had its challenges. Thank God I taught my daughters Swedish from the moment they were born. If not, this move would have been so much harder on them. In fact, I was almost obsessive about them learning Swedish and by three years old both my girls only spoke Swedish and refused to speak English which put my husband in a little bit of a pickle at times. He only knew broken Swedish so when they started speaking whole sentences to him he would have this panicky look on his face and call on me for translation.
In fact, my girls felt more Swedish than American and if you asked my youngest daughter Linnea where she was born, she would proudly say Sweden. No matter how many times we corrected her, she would still be completely convinced of it until she was 4 or 5 years old. Both girls were very excited about our move to Sweden. We have gone to Sweden all Summer, every Summer since they were born and we also spent many Christmases there as well, so it is no foreign country to them, but living there is very different from just visiting.
I remember Mckenna’s first day of school in Sweden. We walked in and she completely stopped and looked around, then looked up at me and whispered “Mom the kids here have no shoes on…what do I do”?? Since I never went to school in Sweden, I had no clue and was not much help.
In Sweden, you are not allowed to have shoes on inside the school, which I actually love and think they should incorporate in the US. The floors are so much cleaner and it also makes the school feel a little homier for the kids. The teaching is a little different in Sweden than in the US. Here they have a more relaxed approach and are not so strict. Mckenna has many times told me that they were allowed to lay on the floor when reading or drawing. School days are not as long here and they have less homework.
One of the great benefits here is free lunches in school. We are talking mostly organic, fresh home baked bread and choice of either vegetarian or non vegetarian meal. They also get a mid-day snack consisting of yogurt, cereal, bread with the topping of their choice and fresh fruit. My daughters were amazed and agree with me that the school food here is 100 % better than in the US. That said, I do feel like both systems have their benefits. My daughters received a great education in the US and were happy in school and the same is said for here.
So to sum it up, my daughters have done a tremendous job of adjusting to a life in Sweden and although it has been a little harder for Mckenna, my oldest daughter, they both are starting to love their life here and their life in Portland has become more of a distant memory these days. But how about for my husband and I? Most of the time I feel like a stranger in my own country. Adjusting to things over here has been harder than I thought and Portland is in no way a distant memory for my husband and I…..3