Thursday, September 5, 2013

a big day!

Another huge life changing day. On Tuesday, we bid farewell to THREE children as they boarded the big yellow bus on their way to school. WOW! Mietta has been waiting for this day for such a long time and was super-excited. The boys seemed content with the idea of more routine and were more than excited at catching up with friends. All were up early, enthused and ready to get out the door. 
Our Summer vacation was even longer this year. At 12 weeks, this was far too long for the little ones to be without the routine of school. I was always led to believe that the long US Summer vacation time had an agrarian history: with all family members needed to farm and harvest. I have since found this is not the caseThe long vacation time here has been blamed for the 'summer slide' that is so talked about and is said to contribute to the widening knowledge gap between affluent and underprivileged children. I do like Australia's approach to school vacation time - with a longer summer period and several extended vacation breaks to split up the school year.

Coinciding with the kids first day at school, was a visit from Chris and her partner Keith. The impending arrival of house guests kept me busy on the first day of school. Chris and I had both worked at EDAW as landscape architects and hadn't seen each other for a very long time. Chris left EDAW to pursue her career in local government and a masters degree in criminology (specifically CPTED - or crime prevention through environmental design). Chris and her partner Keith were halfway through a 4 week tour of the states - Chicago-New York-DC-Atlantic Coast - and stopped off on their way through Virginia en route to Florida. Chris's intention was to observe American 'parks' and gain an understanding of their design, management and use - and of course, to celebrate her 40th birthday with aplomb. Keith came along for the ride and was made happy with the promise of driving a V8 muscle car and lots of boat-viewing along the coast - with the intention of buying a boat and having it 'shipped' back to Australia!

What a lovely respite for us. We loved learning some news of 'home', hearing travel experiences and catching up on the past decade or so. Our gracious guests arrived proffering chocolates, strawberries, cupcakes and wine - so of course they were welcomed by all! Mietta was still on a high from her first day and could not be quiet. For. A. Single. Moment. She and Nic had a new audience to express their obsessions with Hello Kitty and Slender Man. We so miss the uncomplicated and worldly perspective that Australians seem to be imbued with.

Chris paid me the greatest compliment - in saying I hadn't changed a bit. Sometimes I fear I may compromise myself... but so glad to hear that marriage, kids, living abroad, etc. haven't necessarily changed my outlook or sense of humor! 

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