As I’m reading thru some of my more recent posts I’ve realized that I’ve become a bit sidetracked. I’ve been so busy talking about our adventures that I feel like I’ve forgotten to post the things that count – about our adjustments to being here in Barcelona. About how we feel after more than 8 months (wow that went by quickly). What are we (ok what am I) still ambivilent about? What have we embraced? Do the things that seemed so strange before still seem strange or are they normal now (though there is nothing normal about seeing people in MC Hammer pants all the time)? How are the kids doing?
Let’s start with the kids. They amaze me. Every day. One of the hardest things for ME to adjust to was that my ability to entertain the boys is limited here – or more limited than it was at home. There are things for them to do and I have had to think outside the box more as well as put forth more effort for things that would normally come so easily – riding bikes, rollerblading, playground – things that were in our backyard (or front yard) are no longer as accessible. I can’t make dinner while they play on the swingset here. But one of the things the boys have taught me about adjustment is that while you can miss the things you no longer have, they are not the end all, be all of your life. They are just things. I’ve come to the realization that I miss these things FOR the boys, that they are things I WANT them to have – grass to play on, a swingset, to be able to run outside and immediately find friends to play with. What I’ve realized is that while there are moments when they miss these things, they do not define them. They are ok without them and have, wait for it… adjusted. And adjusted beautifully.
I was concerned about how Aidan especially would do when we returned to Barcelona after 2 weeks back home in August. Would he be upset about missing his friends? Would he miss having grass to play on? Sure, he misses his friends but knowing school was just around the corner he was more excited about getting to see his Barcelona friends. He, at age 6, has managed to balance both worlds nicely. He still continues with his relationships at home and yet is able to pursue new ones here. I struggle with this more than he does and while things have improved on that end for me, I should take a lesson from him.
Not only have we all adjusted (Josh and Liam the most well adjusted of the group) but we’ve come to really like it here. I most definitely can’t see myself living here forever – I miss home, my friends and family, my house, etc etc – you’ve heard it all before. But we like it… and I’ve learned that there is nothing wrong with liking it here. There should be no guilt about those left behind. No one has made me feel guilty about leaving home and liking my life here except for me. And it’s got to stop. I’ve got this new found “freedom” with the kids in school now and I can’t spend that time wholed up in our apartment. There are days things are still a struggle. The language is still hard for me but gets better every day. I can communicate my most basic needs verbally and for those that I can’t I’ve become quite the pantomimer (try to pantomime ear infection and let me know how you do!).
So now that I’ve got time on my own I want to refocus some of this blog (there are still lots of adventures to be had) to my observations again – seeing the city thru the eyes of an adult, not those of a parent looking to entertain her children. I’m up for the challenge 🙂