So I am going to get real in this post, I try to be real all around, anyway… Here… we GO…
We have now been in France for a little over two months. Evangeline has been in school for Two months and though she doesn’t speak much, she knows quite a bit. I am sure she understands more than even I realize.
I started school about 4 weeks ago and it has been a roller coaster. It started out with a placement test and then there has just been the classes. 20 hours a week of various classes taught in all French and though I don’t always understand what is going on, I am understanding more and more each day.
For someone like me who loves to communicate through written word and just talking, being in a place were that is limited due to the language barrier is very difficult. I find myself frustrated and down sometimes. It is literally a roller coaster of emotions. Some days I am on top of the world because I get it, other days I am in the pits because I feel so inadequate. These very normal mood swings would be easier to deal with if I was not also dealing with my daughters moods swings. She goes through phases of missing family and therefore her behavior becomes more rebellious and difficult to deal with… to be downright sweet and helpful and full of joy.
Something I wished I could have done differently, is finding a living arrangement that forces me to daily interact with a nonenglish speaker. Someone to share meals with, to talk about our days with, someone to practice with. As it is my current landlord, though we do “share a place” has her side of the apartment and I have mine and she usually stays on her side and I stay on my side. She is a bit of a loner. I am almost wondering if she is like that out of uncertainty about me… if she feels like I am the loner and she leaves me be…to be respectful. I am hoping the better my french becomes the more we will interact. She’s traveled so much that I would love to talk with her more, have dinners with her and such…but as it is communication with her is nearly impossible…
I am lucky to have family that lives up North so my daughter and I can take the train and go visit, get out of Chambery for a while and see the countryside. This week was tough on me, but last week was amazing and I have made several new friends at school from all over the world. It is very cool to see such a mixing of culters into this one place.
Though I am discouraged now, I am looking forward to seeing the progress, even if it is slow and I am more determined than ever to get on track and learn as much as I can.
It is not all butterflies and roses, it is isolating at times, frustrating, and scary some days. But these are the things that build characters, the memories, and experiences that will inevitably shape me and my daughter. She is already growing so much and I am so happy to be able to give her this experience as well. I bet in another few months she will be speaking solely in French and mine will have improved by leaps and bounds.
I will post something slightly less… depressing next. Promise