Today provided two reasons for celebrating. Perhaps the most exciting was the arrival of a care package from home sent a mere 6 weeks ago. This package was overflowing with goodness and delight. Unlike the last package we were anticipating, this one arrived without the need for strong negotiations, begging, pleading or the promise of a future born. This is why we have our Besties in life. Some of us happened to luck out with the most amazing Besties the world has ever known.
It’s arrival sent us into a frenzy of excitement and chaos. Pens, hair elastics, Tupperware, 2 sets of pencil crayons, markers & sharpeners, scotch tape, hockey cards, games, a balloon animal making kit…wait, what? Did you say a balloon animal making kit?
This particular item has caused quite a stir in our United Nations Condominium. In no time the children had gathered, pushing their way in to see what delights the Canadians were harbouring. Evidently balloon animals are popular world wide. In no time we were surrounded. Kids from Serbia, kids from the Dominican, kids from countries we have yet to identify…all streamed into our wee apartment waiting for their balloon animal.
The crowd of awaiting children were a captive audience for Manolo to practice his new German skills on. Children are the very best audience. They don’t judge or become impatient. They wait patiently as you struggle to find the right word and then giggle away when you fail to do so, mixing up the word for “already” with “pretty”.
There is a new (somewhat alarming) comfortablness with coming and going into our apartment among the neighbourhood kids. 90% of me wants to encourage this as it means friendships for our two. The other 10% sees the wide eyed expression on my own kids’ faces and wants to yell “I know! This is totally weird that they all just come on in! How do we shut this down?” For now we’ll let the free-range scenario play out and see where it leads.
With Manolo well established as the most fun Dad in the whole complex, exceedingly popular with the short people, it really leaves me as the only option to play Fun-Cop when the time comes. Bugger…
The other reason to celebrate today was because it is our 14th wedding anniversary. Thank goodness for my relatives who ensure that the day is remembered. If it were up to us we’d miss it every time. Usually the “Happy Anniversary” email arrives from my mom while we’re getting ready to set out at the start of the day, perfect timing for a quick high five before we go our separate directions. Given the time change and the fact that Switzerland is 8 hours ahead, Mom’s email caught me just as I was preparing dinner. “How about that!”
Something had guided us to opening a particularly yummy bottle of wine tonight and now we had an extra reason to be enjoying it. It certainly wasn’t the Swiss meatloaf on tonight’s menu.
Surrounded (is swarmed a better word?) by our neighbourhood buddies, we enjoyed a quick moment to cheers and to reflect on where this 14th year has found us.
Looking around, the only consistent part of the scene we find ourselves in, 14 years later, is us. We sure didn’t picture this moment, that day in 2002, but we did picture love, happiness and adventure. It would appear that we’ve got that in spades.