Something amazing is happening here…children from our apartment complex are ringing our doorbell to invite our children to play. And they’re going!!! It is lovely and awkward all at the same time. They can’t speak to each other so it is essentially parallel play but it is sweet and affirming and warms my heart so much!
I told Manolo earlier that this was one of those days that I really liked living here. Not all days are like that, many are. Today had all the great elements to allow me to exhale. Happy morning at home before school – no need to bribe or force anyone to eat, dress or get along. Then a tour through the Friday market with my hubby which generally makes me feel like I’m living in someone else’s life. I was even brave enough this time to purchase things! Golden beets & spinach which were much cheaper than I expected. Also some dried fruit and delicious Italian cookies which were dreadfully more expensive than I had thought. Thankfully not as bad as the woman before me whose dried fruit order came to 149CHF! Oops-a-daisy, awkward…she had to put some back.
Then back home to unpack the market wares and pack the picnic lunch for the kids – the golden beets & spinach were not for them; I’m not that mean of a mom! Must hustle to make it back to the train station to meet them for lunch. A warm (still +27 here) picnic with loads of idle time to practice cartwheels, yoyos and hacky-sacks. These are the moments I’m certain we will look back on with such fondness; the Swiss seem to value slow time and it feels like an incredible gift to our family during the years we were all so consumed with our busyness. Then the kids were back on the bus for the afternoon at school. I hustled back home for a few German lessons before returning to meet Helena to while away the hour until D would join us. We found a few friendly market vendors handing our samples and a nice fountain-turned wading pool to cool off.
Since starting school I’ve established that on Friday afternoons we go immediately for ice cream once the weekend has officially begun. There’s this super quirky place at the end of our bus line with the yummiest flavours of soft serve. It is a place that time forgot, old-school kitschy Swiss, with old timers bent over their beer and cigarettes. So much character. It’s set on a lake (read: pond) on the edge of a forest – such a pretty view if you keep the weird old place behind you. And then we walk through the forest, past our cows, apple trees, cats and fountains and find ourselves back home.
And Manolo and I have a date at the gorgeous orange restaurant in our neighbourhood that we’ve only ever ogled at. A place close enough that we can leave the kids at home and tell them to just wander down the street if they need us.
So really, with a day like today, what’s not to like? It isn’t real life though. True, today it WAS our real life, but it is not a scenario that is sustainable. It won’t always be +27 with farmers’ markets, slow picnics, ice cream and Aperos. But while it is, I’m doing my very best to ensure that we’re soaking it up. These days are a rare gift and I hope that we can take with us this wonderful appreciation of time. Please don’t hate me for it, believe me, not everyday is bliss and I promise you that there were also toilet scrubbing moments woven in between.
And as I’ve learned through this blog, I now need to brace myself for the wailing and gnashing of teeth that tomorrow will bring. Sharing too much of our bliss always comes back and bites me in the ass…life has a way of keeping you humble that way.