Saturday, January 09, 2010
I need to be slapped
To think of the days I spent, sitting in my beautiful, sunny, warm post and beam house that my husband built, lounging by the Finnish masonry stove, reading to my children, occasionally glancing out the window at the rolling countryside, dreaming of life elsewhere. You know, somewhere different, somewhere exciting, somewhere that didn't make me feel as if I was falling asleep at the wheel because I had traveled the same damn road so many damn times.
To think of how obvious it is, to everyone but me, that I got that wish. I so got that wish. I'm living, breathing and smelling that wish. And all I can do is complain about it.
But then I catch myself, or my readers catch me, mid moan, and I realize, just as many of you said, I will most certainly be laughing about all of this one day. And I want to be laughing with fond, entertaining, ridiculous memories, not cursing myself with regret for not carping the diem, that is seizing the day.
So, one week into this new place, our new digs, and I'm realizing that kids are amazing. It's the crusty old grownups who have a problem behaving. It's the grownups who need a finger wagged in their direction and to be told, "I don't like your attitude."
Esther and Isla like it here. They don't care about the stains on the floor or the lack of comfy chairs or, the furry bathtub or this is a big one, the fact that we no longer have access to a kid-friendly DVD library, we don't even have a TV, like we did at the last place.
They think the long narrow corridor, the one that originally made me think of an inner-city crack house, is the shit, and they spent all morning pushing every toy they have with wheels on it, back and forth through it.
I spent a whole afternoon scrubbing every painted wooden door in the place, there was definitely something growing on them, and scrubbing the base boards in the corridor, and the effect was instantly gratifying.
Inspired by that experience, I made room in a cabinet and started to put some of our books and games away, and rearranged Esther and Isla's room in a way that made it feel less like a cheap hotel and more like a kids bedroom.
I bought us all new pillows and bug-proof mattress covers so now I don't get that vague feeling of my skin crawling when I lie in the beds here.
The place is even starting to smell a bit better. Just us being here, infusing the rooms with much-needed life, along with garlic, chilli powder and a dash of cumin, is dispelling some of the desolate air and replacing it with something decidedly more hopeful.
And the sound of Esther hitting runaway high notes on her new recorder could send any bad spirit with ears off in search of a new dwelling place.
We had our favorite neighbors over for a glass, or three, of wine last night while the kids, there were six of them at one point, stirred up some more good energy, yelling, screaming, strewing the place with odd socks. Why do kids always take off their socks when they come inside?
This morning, Ian and I lingered over our tea in the kitchen. We listened to French radio, picking up snippets here and there, "They are talking about the weather, right?" and discussed the fireplace-- it works, we just need some wood-- while the kids watched BarbaPapa reruns on YouTube, and I determined that it wasn't even remotely close to the end of the world.
Then I finally got started taking our clothes out of our bags and putting them away. This is huge.
Speaking of moving forward, I've written about Esther losing her favorite stuffed bear here.