Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Lux-Themed Party! (We Tell the Kids...)

We were crazy excited to tell the kids about the move...but naturally a little nervous too. Madeline and Charlie are old enough to have developed some special friendships. So I decided to plan a little Luxembourg party to share the news of our family's new adventure!
Wearing their "I heart Luxembourg" t-shirts!
Rob took the kids out for donuts while I decorated with the Luxembourg flag, balloons and a few special gifts, including their wrapped passports (which we told them was like a ticket to anwhere in the world), jelly beans and lollypops in the country colors, a stuffed dog with a Lux-themed collar, iron-on patches, and the book that Papa sent the kids.

We explained that our family was moving to beautiful place in Europe that wasn't far from the Eiffel Tower. That we would all be together, and that it was going to be a really cool adventure for our family. The boys were immediately excited, but Madeline is older and understood right away that moving to Luxembourg meant leaving Whitefish Bay. She said matter-of-factly that she wasn't coming -- it was a very heartfelt reaction, and we were prepared for mixed emotions. I told her I was really looking forward to our life in Luxembourg, but that I was also very sad to leave our home, our friends, and our family. I told her that we can feel two ways at once. Slowly, she began asking questions about Luxembourg and showing interest. It only took her 10 or 15 minutes to "come around." These kids continue to absolutely amaze me with their resilience and adaptability.

We continued the celebration by taking them to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch (which they think is the greatest place in the world). We told Madeline and Charlie privately that they would be coming with us to help pick out our house in Luxembourg and see their school (we already had a sense that John might stay back with Rob's mom, who is a saint. It was incredibly difficult for me to leave him behind; in fact, I wept the entire way to the airport. He, however, was happy as a clam. Prince John for a week!).

Rob and I sighed with relief that the entire family was finally in on the plan. At last, we could talk openly in our home, at school and with friends. The stretch of time that Caterpillar asked us to keep the transfer quiet -- though understandable for business reasons -- was emotionally taxing, and there was no one we wanted to tell more than sweet Madeline, Charlie and John John! No matter where we are in the world, if we have each other, we'll always have fun! Go Team Vlach!

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