This school year we won’t have a “home.” No apartment or house that we regularly return to after being out and about at school or work. We will likely have a roof over our heads for the majority of the year, but it will be ever changing as we move from city to city and cross the borders of many countries. Transitions are challenging for my 6 year old son, so I was expressing my concern about this the other day with a dear friend. I opened my Pandora’s box of fears. I’m not a good enough parent. We are doing the wrong thing pulling the kids out of school. It’s irresponsible and impulsive and will damage them by taking away their support systems. I said out loud that surely ‘Kurti’ would be irreparably damaged by the year his parents yanked him out of school and traveled like gypsies. My friend, being the wise woman that she is, noted that getting up and going to school everyday was a huge transition with which he would not have to deal this year. Instead, what he was going to get was the gift of being together with his family ALL DAY. Actually, ALL YEAR with his mom, dad and siblings. After all, isn’t the family supposed to be the most important support system for children?
I begin to imagine how comforting that will be for my young son to sustain our connection when normally he would be at school and we are physically separate. Wow. No calls from the nurse, teachers, or other parents. He would have a direct line to me all day, every day. I felt my fears evaporate immediately as the lid slammed shut on my Pandora’s box. What became clear is that home is not just a building filled with furniture and walls painted sailor blue and bubblegum pink. Cliché as it may be, “Home” is where your heart is, and we will be traveling with all six of ours together this year.