A Country MileJuly 11, 2011 at 9:57 am | Posted in Bun, Giggles, Lollipop, Transylvania | 25 Comments
Tags: Babies, Balance, Challenges, Children, Expats, Family, Life, Motherhood, Multitasking, Romania
My husband recently asked me what I was doing with myself these days. I laughed. Okay, I sort of laughed. He back-peddled.
“I mean, now that Lollipop and Giggles are in preschool all week,” he said. “Don’t you get bored? Won’t this apartment start to drive you nuts?”
The answer? Probably, yes. But right now? I’m savoring it.
I do laundry, and I put it away. On the same day. I mop and no one inadvertently sprinkles specks of leaves on my wet floors. I walk down the hill to the market and back up toward home pushing 25 pounds in the double stroller, instead of 65. I have the brain space to notice the wildlife and the produce and the bumper stickers … instead of how many
feet meters are between my children and the taxi careening toward us.
If it’s cold and rainy, Bun and I burrow in our beds and nap. We play “You Didn’t Eat That Magnet, Did You??” We empty and fill and empty and fill the dish-towel drawer. We share cookies and laugh at each other. We swing and read our Kindles at the playground. (Okay, he swings. I read. It works.)
We enjoy each other’s company in a way we’ve never been able to before. And sometimes it feels selfish. All day, just me and the baby? Yes. Don’t my older children need me? Yes. Don’t they miss me? And vice versa? Yes.
But the truth is, they are getting so much more out of this year abroad by going to school than I could ever show them. They are with children their own age, many who speak two or three languages. They are cared for by teachers who want them to do well, want them to make friends, want them to be happy here. They have easy and immediate access to clay and paint and beads and real, live goldfish. They come home and report that, yes, they do like cabbage.
That’s not to say it’s been easy. It hasn’t. More days than not, they wake up and say they don’t want to go. There are tears at drop-off and cheers on Friday. But there are also smiles at pick-up. And goodbye hugs for new friends. And art projects, petals, and rocks proudly gripped in small hands. There are tales of cake for afternoon snack. Cake!
And with time for myself and the baby? I’m more patient. I’m gentler with my words. I’m a better mother. I’m a better me.
Funny thing is, it took 6,000 miles for me to realize it. I’ve come a long way. In more ways than one.
What makes you better? Have you ever been burnt out without realizing it? Isn’t it funny when caring for one child seems like a break?