Tough to follow up a week of extreme adventure and luxury in Davos and a wonderful visit with friends in Geneva.
Week two of our Sport Holiday was substantially less sporty but lovely nonetheless.
We did nothing, which was just the right way to follow up an action packed week. The biggest reason for doing nothing was because I am in German school presently and missing the week while we were in Davos put me behind in a substantial way. I was fairly proud of my status near the top of the class so I had to really pull up my socks to get back up there.
While I was at school in the mornings, the kids puttered around the house, reading playing uno, sneaking things from the treat cupboard and driving each other nuts. Once I was home we did out best to find adventure. We are still trying to knock off the sights to be seen in the Best of Winterthur book.
And we did pretty good too. It sure helps that Spring like weather has arrived here. At least this week, anyhow. Some sunshine and mild temperatures sure make adventuring easier.
We set out to try to find Winterthur’s best look-out view. A 36 minute walk from our door through our urban landscape which is wonderfully accented by the odd farm here and there.
It’s fantastic to live in such a walk-able city. Everything seems so close and yet compared to our wee-hamlet life before, this city still feels so grand.
On our way we found another wild-bee home. It is great that the bees here are so well looked after. This was an actual Bee-Hotel, just awaiting their arrival…soon? We hope.
The look-out spot did not disappoint. It helped that we went on the sunniest, warmest day of the month. We took our book (reading the kids a super adventure series at the moment which they can’t get enough of) and we sat up on a bench overlooking the view for ages.
Before heading back down, my tiny-bladder-daughter chose to use the facilities. Up in the forrest on top of a hill was another fancy space-age toilet. Opened up like an elevator at the push of a button. So civilized.
We also took in the Nature Museum, the one we are always told is great when we ask locals about the best sights in Winterthur. And it was great – far more than we had expected. Of course the dinosaur part didn’t impress but what do you expect…we are frequent fliers in Drumheller – the best dinosaur museum in the world is practically our playground.
But what made the week so great was the friendships. I think I actually have friends here now. I had my first Swiss Girls’s night! We did speak English all night and 2 of us are still North Americans’ pretending to be Swiss but the other two are legitimate, red passport holding, Swiss ladies. And it was lovely. And I think there will be more which feels really great.
Diego also made some leaps in his friendship journey. It was a big hockey weekend which meant another trip to Austria. I assumed that similar to last time we’d travel by bus-train-train-bus and meet the team there. I was informed that “oh no, the kids will all take the team vans to Austria.”
We knew that there were team vans but we hadn’t yet needed to opt for that as one of us (and by that I mean me) was always happy to take him to his games. Plus D had made it clear that we would NEVER go on the team bus. His social anxiety had already been pushed to the brink by being forced to shower with these kids, he had no interest in being trapped in a vehicle with them.
Well, never say never buddy.
So I informed him that he would, indeed, be riding the team bus.
Cue the melodrama. Poor boy can fixate like no one I know. He gets himself so tied up in knots. And I remind him time and time again that we can’t live a life of avoiding everything that’s scary. You’re ok. You’ll be fine.
Getting him to and then onto the bus was no small feat. Days of talking it through, tears, plague-like tummy aches, tantrums (him, not me, just in case that wasn’t clear, although the agony of it all gives me my own tears and tummy aches at times.) Pushing our children into the face of their biggest fears can feel so cruel and makes us question our ability to be a loving parent.
And yet, at the end of the day, when he hops off the bus, full of smiles and walking light as air, you remember – no, that WAS the right thing to do. We aren’t in fact ruining him.
He admitted that he had fun and rattled off his list of all the guys on his team who are his favourite. They’ve welcomed him into the fold so nicely – perhaps because they’ve realized that the kid can score goals! But there really is no better feeling than the sound of his teammates calling “Diego!!” when they see him enter the room.
Just don’t tell him that in 2 weeks he has an over-night with the team in Ticino. That one will be a doozy!
Helena and I did the journey to Austria too, to be there as morale support and as the cheering section.
And hockey for me is starting to become a friendlier place too. There’s now a mom & player combo that we regularly travel to the games together with. And a lovely group of mom’s who I cheer with and who I feel brave enough to try out my new German language skills with. Its all feeling so nice. Like we’re really a part of this community.
And forever more, I, and I hope my kids will too, will go out of my way to try to make any newcomers I encounter feel welcome. It makes such a big difference in an otherwise lonely world. If you see a new family at hockey, at school, in the neighbourhood, say hello. Give them a warm smile. Ask them about themselves. It might feel like work and that you just don’t have time but in this crazy world we’re in right now a welcoming smile is exactly what we all need.