School is about to break for summer vacation in France and walking by my old little primary school in my village when kids are about to say goodbye to their friends for the summer I realize how different my childhood was from my kids.

I lived in the same village, same house next to my maternal grand-parents for 20 years. I went to the village Primary school then to the next town Middle school (where all the kids from surrounding villages would go) then onto High school in the next bigger town (with a good chunk of the same friends) and finally College in Grenoble. But most of my friends follow the same pattern. There were no tearful good-byes at the end of the school year because none of my friends would not come back for the next school year or i wouldn’t start yet another year in another school in another country with another set of friends to meet.

No my childhood last day of school was not a mixture of happiness (yeah for summer vacation) and tear (saying good bye ‘for good’ to your BFF) and a plane to catch to see your family far away on another continent. My last day of school was pure happiness for the upcoming days of freedom which I would mostly spend with exactly the same kids I hanged out at school roaming the woods around, riding our bikes all day long and surrounded by my family (I did have a set of grand-parents in Italy that we would visit but it only involved long car ride).

Definitely a different childhood, not better not worse. And as we spend our summer in our house in a village only a couple kilometers from where I grew up I can still see my old childhood friends. They often ask me if my kids wouldn’t like a ‘normal’ life (aka stay put somewhere long term). But for my kids their life is normal, that’s what they are used to and the way their friends live too.

Not better, not worse