Differences to our other home in Portland are somewhat striking. For one, you have to be prepared for Sunday as all stores are closed. All shopping needs to be done on Saturday, and I shop directly at the butcher it has to be done somewhat early in the day. Okay, I admit early is flexible by that I mean before two in the afternoon :) Other differences are that children are so much more, for lack of a better term, "free range". Children, as young as first graders, walk to and back from school all by themselves. Parents are not to enter the school building. Children go off to play on the playgrounds, or woods all by themselves. And yes, I am talking about children as young as five. Our children are now on a much longer, again for lack of better terms, "leash" and I think both of them are enjoying it.
Overall, I think that the girl also feel that Tuttlingen is their other home. Alena started preschool - called Kindergarten - here when she was three; she was in her first school play here a couple of years ago; Alena went on her first school hiking trip in Tuttlingen; Mia Rose is hiking every single day with her Kindergarten class into the woods for a week; both girls learn to swim in Tuttlingen; and Mia Rose lost her fear of dogs...
And I know that all of my thoughts may raise the question. Where is it better? Where do I like it better? There is no answer to that question. It seems like many things are more complicated in Germany. The rules for everything but still I feel like always sitting between two chairs, or loving two people at the same time, I also call it the perpetual grey zone. I love, absolutely love and adore both places. I hope to instill this love of both places also into our children.
Oh, and before I forget here is a picture of the three of us at TuWass (the indoor pool)
|Alena, Mia Rose and me. Can you find me?|