Another day under our belt and as promised (through so many thoughtful emails and comments from you all) each day is getting a little bit easier. Today was the day that Helena did the morning bus ride, with the busyness that mornings bring, on her own so that I could continue to go with D. And D gave me the “I can go from here.” dismissal, just at the edge of the parking lot where I watched him pass through the giant front doors all on his own. Once again I sat down on a bench outside his school but this time there were no tears, just relief. Once confident that he didn’t need me I made my way back onto the bus for the ride home.
The daily bus ride is gaining some sanity. Monday’s 16 busses has reduced to a mere 8 in that Wednesday is a half day for both kids. Tomorrow I should be able to keep it at 8 as after lunch we can all bike back to school together to drop D off. H and I will do some homework and play until it’s time to collect D again. Every day this week has been different and we’re slowly but surely refining it all.
When I arrived back home this morning it was the first time that I had a morning to myself with a mind set that didn’t result in sitting on the couch blubbering. I got so much done! I was even able to harvest another batch of apples for more applesauce.
The morning at home goes quickly and I know that I will need to be wise about how I spend my time. Returning home and puttering, no matter how appealing that is, will not result in me learning German. With the kids and Manolo all out of the house living real life, it will just be a matter of time before I am left behind in the language department. Need to find some dialogue out there myself!
Picking up the kids for lunch is such fun, especially on Wednesday as it means they’re done for the day. Considering how proud we are of them both, today was the day we made good on our promise of a Swatch for D and ear piercing for Helena. 1 out of 2 were successful. The ear piercing is on hold this week. The forecast through to the end of the weekend is hot and sunny which means we’ll be seeking swimming holes where ever we can. We decided it was best to avoid any infections or complications.
With the errands taken care of we bussed home to swap out our transportation method. Onto our bikes and off to the river for an afternoon of fun. This mid-week reprieve will be exactly what we need to make it through each week. Tomorrow D will take the bus on his own to school for the first time. Definitely feeling the pressure from his little sister’s success, he says he’s ready. As with every morning, we’ll all depart together on the first bus and then go separate ways once downtown.
Tomorrow is the first time I get to take Helena to school in the morning. It seems strange that four days in will be my first morning with her. Insert mom- guilt. I feel like I owe her so much time and attention and yet obviously she’s the one who needs it the least. But for that exact reason I can’t wait to invest in her this year through our Tuesday & Thursday afternoons together. Just 1 3/4 hours really but it will be great. Just because she’s incredibly strong and capable doesn’t mean she doesn’t still need and deserve my full attention. Oh the fun girls’days we’ll have!!
And so, a new groove is slowly but surely establishing itself here. We’ve overcome some big hurdles, some hard fought battles, had some pretty huge victories. This is the stuff that shapes and changes families, or so we’ve been told. It’s what this leap of faith was all about.
And yet, so much is the same. One might think that in the warm glow of overcoming fear and digging deep to find our inner strength that we’d be spending our evenings basking in the glow of our newness. We’re not. We’re exactly the same. Supper time is still the witching hour when the exhaustion of the day doesn’t let us be at our best. Someone is a little cantankerous, someone else a little too sensitive and before you know it a beautiful evening over dinner feels exactly the same. Fraught with angst, impatience and weary tempers hinting at the fears of tomorrow. The transformation into becoming our better selves, it would seem, is not a smooth road but rather a push pull, always testing the boundaries of those we hold most dear.
But we’re getting there. We see each other through new eyes, eyes that know how hard it was to get here. We do talk a little more softly, listen a little more intently and generally slow down. It will take some time. Luckily we’ve got that in spades. Our year abroad has really just begun.
And sometimes, when the dinner hour is done and everyone needs to decompress, I get out for a bike ride. The days are getting shorter here as I’m sure is noticeable at home as well. The evening light is so pretty. It is easy to get caught up in marvelling at the beauty of this place and lose track of time.
Thank you to everyone who has been pulling for us this week. I have drawn from every ounce of encouragement, humour, shared experiences and love you have sent. It means so very much to know that despite feeling so very far away, everyone we need is just on the other side of a key board.
Tschüss for now. (Sounds like “juice” and is our bye.)