First Day of School at 3 Different Schools

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I love the first day of school. I love the excitement and thrill that comes from change. I love back to school shopping and picking out new papers and pens and notebooks and clothes. I think I love the sense of newness and wonder and magic associated with starting over, anticipating what is to come. For the kids, they’re excited to find out who their teachers will be and what friends will be in their classes and who they will meet. It’s a bit scary not knowing and so there is a bit of anxiety as they begin again… just enough discomfort to help them keep their eyes open widely and observe and soak up all the newness. I absolutely love it and think they do too. We’ll see.

I loved getting up early and taking the kids to their new schools and helping them find their way, although they didn’t really need me. I just needed to be there a little bit.

Juliana was the first one to drop off at 7:20 am. She stood in line at the middle school quad outside and got her new schedule, and locker assignment. She shared it with me and found her friends, and off Jeff and I went. At lunch time, she texted me to tell me everything was great. And after school, she said how happy she was and excited to return tomorrow. That’s always good news.

Christian was next to drop off at high school!! WTH! That scares me. He’s not ready, I mean I’m not ready for high school. He’s more than ready. I dropped him off, even though he wasn’t sure where the quad was and he found a friend and together they went off to discover where to get their schedules and to settle into high school life. Just like that. His last four years in school are beginning and I’m fully aware of how fast four years goes by. He came home and was missing the ISA, wishing he was still there instead of here. I hope the newness turns into more comfort over the next few day and he finds his new rhythm. I’m sure he will. He did have several good stories to share.

After dropping off Christian, we dropped off the car at home to walk Charlie to elementary school. We anxiously waited at the corner for Jessie and Sydney to walk together. I had a minute to FaceTime with Jen in Amsterdam, and she shared well wishes for Charlie’s first day. That was really cool, especially for me, since I’m still “house” sick for Holland and missing my friends there. 😉 Thanks, Jen!!

Once we began the familiar walk down the street and to the elementary school, I started to feel at home again.

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It felt right. It felt exciting to be walking and watching and observing our routine, back in step again. I was so happy bringing him back where he wanted to be, like we were giving him a gift. I was excited walking into his classroom, the same classroom and teacher that both Christian and Juliana had before him with one of the best teachers around. I felt comforted and at peace and he was beyond thrilled and happy to be there too, especially with Sydney and Dylan and Thomas in his class. And at our family dinner tonight, he said he couldn’t wait to go back to school again tomorrow. Music to my ears. Don’t we all want our kids to find peace and happiness?

I Am Home.

I Am where we belong.

I Am (almost) content.

Actually, I was happy to drop them off and get them settled and actually had coffee with a friend.

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We then volunteered at the Junior High School for an hour, and then I did some grocery shopping. But then I felt so sad that they were gone. I wanted them back, noisy and chaotic and all. It’s kind of like when they were babies and I just wanted a break from them, and once I had an hour or two to myself and my thoughts, I was good to go and wanted them back again. The same feeling came over me today.

Yin and Yang.

The good thing that came from that feeling, was that I got the house back in somewhat order before they came home, and went to Trader Joe’s to pick up their favorite orange chicken for dinner tonight and I was well prepared and rested for their return. When I went back to pick them up, I was excited to see them and hear their stories and to love on them again. The joy was back.

And with that, we’re back. Back in school. Back to starting new routines. And ready for the world!

Hope y’all had a great day! I wish you well.

Namaste.

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Hiding Place

Do you have a place you like to hide away? Sometimes I want to be like a hermit crab and climb into my shell, away from the elements.

4 more days until school begins. I am anxiously awaiting this new beginning, like a miracle drug. I feel like maybe once the kids go back to school, I’ll start feeling normal again. Right now, I still feel quite unsettled and don’t foresee this feeling going away right away.

I’m waiting for the kids to establish their routines.

I’m waiting for our cargo shipment to arrive from Holland and through customs by the end of the month.

I’m moving stuff around and in and out, and making space for our stuff and selling and giving away our old stuff. I’ve become quite a good shuffler.

I’m waiting to establish new exercise routines for myself when my schedule opens up.

I’m working on establishing boundaries and limits and managing competing priorities.

I’m waiting for company to arrive.

My hiding place is my backyard right now. I love sitting alone and with Jeff and just hiding away, pondering all the life changes happening right now.

I wish you well in your life transition moments, and hope you find a place for some quiet thoughts too. Remember to breathe!

Namaste.

Day 33: First Full Week of School

I like new beginnings. I like starting over and I like change. I like keeping things fresh and exciting. How about you? What do you think of change? Does it make you smile? Give you anxiety? A little of both? Hmm…

Today the kids started their first full week of school, and my new, long-legged super model friend, and I hit the gym! We decided we are going to check out all the local gyms, try out the free trials and then decide which one is best. It only took us 1.36285 hours to go through the formal process to register.  We had to schedule intake interviews, and evaluation interviews and have a hand scan and pay a deposit and sign our life away and photocopy our id and walk through the building and ponder the thought of co-ed mandatory naked saunas, all before we could jump on an elliptical machine for 38 minutes. Thank God, we had a nice glow and a little glistening action to make it worth our while. And you’d be surprised how much you can learn and share while working out side by side – laughing at the craziness of it all and trying to get our machines to function in Dutch. 

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After working out, I went shopping and exploring at a new grocery center. It took my 8.5 minutes to figure out how to pay for parking and whether it was free or not.  Finally paid my 1 Euro and shopped at the Lidl and C1000, rushing to get back to the car before I received a ticket. I think the Lidl is a discount chain as the displays were in boxes/pallets and I didn’t recognize the brands. Hopefully the food I picked up is tasty!  I learned the hard way that I should have deposited 50 cents to get a shopping cart from outside the store before filling my arms full with stuff! They didn’t have carts or carriers inside the store. And of course, I didn’t pack enough reusable bags so had to buy more! You’d think I’d learn by now, but no! I was just going in for a couple things plus 37!

I had a few more chores to do, like calling for a family doctor, checking into soccer leagues for Char, and finding some tennis friends for me. I called the recommended doctor, listened to the message in Dutch and had no idea whether I should press 1,2 or 3 as all the prompts were in Dutch. A man answered, was probably the doctor, as I asked if he spoke English. Yes, sure, no problem. I introduced myself and explained we needed to register with a town doctor as required by residence, and he said, sure – call back tomorrow as I had called the emergency line!!! Oops! Oh well, at least he was kind and seemed to understand this stupid American!  

I had better luck with the soccer league and was able to have Char go over to the field after school to practice with the local team. I learned that the team only speaks Dutch, which I loved and he hated. I’m hoping that he warms up to the Dutch and makes a friend or two before giving up. We met Kelly from Atlanta and her kids and had a very nice conversation. It’s kinda fun to compare stories how we got here, how we picked our homes, what the move has been like, etc., etc. 

I’d say we’re getting somewhere and I see a structure starting to form. Just finished doing homework with the little one and trying to get the kids off to bed at a decent hour!  We’re still staying up way too late and morning comes way too soon.

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Cloudscape out back at 8:45 pm

Hope you’re all enjoying your new routines too, whatever they may be – and hey, if you haven’t shaken it up in a bit – go ahead, shake it, shake it! You might like it!