Ah, health. It only took about a full week for everyone to be back on top of their game but we made it. The carpet, I’m afraid, didn’t fare so well. I don’t think that whoever was responsible for making our reservation here had a fluish ten month old in mind, but unfortunately – that’s what we got. Now that we’re back on our feet, I’ve been trying to plan at least one excursion per day – mostly because leaving the apartment and walking the city with my entourage is hard. I’m pretty sure that every trip out by myself with the kids takes one year off my life. If I didn’t plan to make these things happen, they wouldn’t. I’m finding that it’s hard to educate our kids on scenarios until we’re actually in them – which highlights a) their complete lack of street smarts, bordering on what I like to think of as “common sense,” b) their breathtakingly poor manners at times or “impulse control,” and c) how silly my facial expressions are when I’m trying to keep my cool. I like to think that people around us smile inwardly as they watch my flailings and think, “Ah – I remember when that was me. Bless that mom. She’s trying.” I like to think that. Often, their looks move more into, “What’s wrong with your kid?” or better yet, “The pack of wolves your kids were raised by called and they want their hairless cubs back.” But, what do you do?
No seriously, what do you do? If it works, I want to know.
Fortunately, they’re learning to not go all “singin’ in the rain” on every. single. vertically inclined object in their path (sometimes people, even.) They’re learning not to shove their way on to elevators (or lifts, as they’re called here) and trains, and they’re learning ever so slowly to not speak at full volume no matter what situation they’re in. (Maybe it’s just that I like to think so.)
Logan ate a whole salad the other day, even! That by itself is proof that times are changing.
Speaking of trains, we took the train to Ikea the other day for practice so that we wouldn’t be totally clueless for the trip to church. I’m glad we practiced. It turned out to be a fun full-day trip that felt just a little like home. (We went and wandered around Ikea a lot in Houston too.)
(Yes that’s Dallin licking the stroller. *sigh*) We had the boys run the stairs for a while before getting on the train to get some energy out. I’m not sure that they were really that tired, but at least it gave them something to do besides pretending to fall onto the tracks below. *Again, sigh.*
I hope I’m not sounding too cynical in all of this. I’m not. My kids are just very exuberant types and I think that sometimes, amid the trying to figure out where we are and where we’re going, what things are and what they cost – exuberance can complicate things. However, we go out at least one time each day. It’s good to go out and it’s nice to come home. Especially when the view looks like this:
I’ll miss the view but I am looking forward to getting in to our house. We were able to sign a lease on a place up in Kingsley – a suburb about 20 minutes north of Perth. We’ll be living just behind the school that the kids will go to and about a 15 minute walk from the train station for Tom. I think it’ll be an ideal setup – especially since there are so many church friends in the area for the kids. We’ll move in on July 7th so I’ll post pictures after that – although there really won’t be much to look at for a while. We need to figure out (rent/buy/borrow) a fridge, a washer/dryer, a car, furniture, kitchen stuff, etc., etc, all in the space of about the next week. Fortunately, I will be able to take the driving safety class tomorrow which means that we’ll be able to rent a car. This is a HUGE relief because moving without a car, buying a car without a car, and purchasing major appliances without a car are all surprisingly difficult. One thing at a time, though. First a car, then a GPS. The last thing I need is to be trying to drive on the other side of the road while attempting to read a map. I’m definitely looking forward to being among the driving types again.
Church on Sunday was a lot of fun and felt like attending someone’s family reunion – but in a good way. I’m looking forward to getting integrated, settled, and being contributing members of society. Everyone has been so incredibly helpful and nice but I really value my self-sufficiency.
I went and registered the boys for school today. It was another big, long trip – bus, train, walk 20 minutes and then do it in reverse to get back – but it was something to do that felt productive. I’m excited for their school experience although I’m a little apprehensive about how the settling in will go. Dallin’s never been to school full-time and he’s being thrown into kindergarten (they call it pre-primary here) mid year. However, he’s right on track and a little ahead of the curve as far as what they’re learning right now goes. We’ll see. We got to meet both boys’ teachers and see their classrooms. It’s a very small school – especially by American standards. There are, at most, two classes in each grade. I’ll save all the details for another post but it seems like a small, friendly place where everyone knows everyone and the kids feel safe. It’ll be great.
Above all else, I’m so thankful to have this experience right now. I think about my mission and my time in Denmark a lot. I’m not sure how I’d be coping with everything if I didn’t have that experience to draw from. Today as we walked from the train station to the school dragging my children along, I thought a lot about walking through foreign looking neighborhoods, sometimes dragging a reluctant companion and just felt happy. My mission is one of the things I am most proud of accomplishing and it’s always been something that I have wished that I could share with my family. It’s always felt like there was a piece inside of me that they couldn’t fully know because they weren’t there when it happened. (Go figure and I’m sure everyone has experiences like this.) I’m just thankful to be here together – reinventing ourselves and having an experience that will always be ours, even if bus etiquette was a little rocky at the start.