the Ignatz conundrum

So moving a teenager is never a nice thing to do. I mean, I moved around some as a teenager, and it wasn’t really that grueling, but that’s because I didn’t have any friends – because I moved around so much as a kid. (Okay I had one friend in junior high. She was really nice. I still owe her an email.)

Ignatz has lots of friends, and they’re actually pretty cool – my mom always liked teenagers, and I’m finding now that I do too, as long as they’re not stupid swaggering sneery thuglets or bitchy-manipulative barbies, which Ig’s friends are not. They’re cool, and leaving them will totally suck. He’s not happy about this move.

SO not happy, in fact, that I seriously considered leaving him here. We’ve discussed it: would he like to stay with Georg, and finish high school in Munich? He wouldn’t have to learn Dutch. Or would he like to move in with the Oompas? He wouldn’t have to change schools, though he would have to take the bus. To both he said no, which tells me that he’s at least resigned to going. He seems to recognize that he still needs his family.

I also think this is a tremendous opportunity for him, to learn yet another language and culture. But he doesn’t see it that way, and probably won’t approach it with the fab-new-experience attitude, but rather with the my-parents-are-making-me-do-this attitude, which is not really the way to enjoy life to the fullest. One of those things you only learn once you’re not a teenager anymore, I’m guessing.

But if we wait a year, if he’s 15 1/2 when we go, what will have changed? Will he feel better able to cope with the move? Will he feel more independent, ready to stay behind? Will he have a girlfriend (excuse me while I step into the next room for a coronary moment…)? How will my choices affect my child? It’s impossible not to worry about this, because with kids, there are no do-overs. I can’t rewind and reset, I can only say “well, that was the wrong choice, as it turns out, and now I’ve gone and damaged my child.” And I get a little tired of saying that.

Song du jour of the day: NOT Que Sera Sera. Umm, This River Is Wild, by the Killers.

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3 responses to “the Ignatz conundrum

  • Isabella

    My goodness! This is certainly a dilemma. I hope more thorough thought will help him out. But also I hope it happens in a timely manner for you. I never recall my mom carefully taking into consideration my personal welfare when we once made a major move in my teen years. Not saying my mom is a bad mom for it, but I do applaud you for considering these things. đŸ˜‰

    I love your new profile picture, by the way!

  • amy

    Huh. I have absolutely no advice to offer there, except that kids really are resilient. Honestly. And also, that parents can’t win. You could do something that he hates now but appreciates later, or vice versa, and I really think it’s a crapshoot. My guess is by involving him in the process like you have, you’re already doing the right thing. Whatever happens, perhaps he’ll be less likely to feel it’s been done TO him rather than it’s something that he isn’t thrilled about but at least he had a say in the decision making. Make sense?

  • Melanie

    No advice, just wanted to say that I am am having a co-anxiety attack with you about this, and every other decision we parents make.

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