Monday, September 12, 2011

For The Man

Every word they sing rings true for you & me, Babe.

Love you.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I had just the three big kids today. Decided I wanted to try and make the most of the time I have before I leave and spend a bit of it with just them. We tucked Rosie off to the creche and then headed into town for a little bit of bowling, something I had promised them we'd do during vacation and never got around to doing.

We got the funky shoes on, found our lane, and with thanks to those bumper thingies, we were able to bash the pins quite happily. Of course, Bubba took to throwing the bowling ball rather than rolling it, but his approach was effective because he won. Which, of course, caused a minor hysteria with the other two.

I tried to explain, over and over again, that it wasn't about who was winning but that we were having fun together. Cue horrible theatrics from The Princess. I tried to point out that I missed the pins pretty much every time and I was ok with that. Cue The Princess throwing herself onto the lane and weeping, with long drawn out sighs between shrieks.

We finally finished up and I was able to get the grumpy group back into the car and head off to the grocery store that started it all for me in France. I figured over Nutella crepes at Cora, perhaps I'd get that quality time I was hoping for.

Silly, Dig.

They ate fast, told fart jokes, and didn't listen to me when I tried to spill out all the worries in my heart. I wanted to tell them how much I love them, how proud I am of them, how I hope they'll take it easy on their dad and be nice to the nannies we've got lined up. I wanted to explain for the 700,000 time how I needed them to really help with Rosie when the gang flies over the pond in October. I just wanted to have that moment of deep sharing, a connection, like a scene from one of those movies where the whole smiling family gets together and says through hugs and high-fives, "yes, you betcha!"

I didn't get that.

I stared at their chocolate smeared empty plates as they ran off to the play area and felt like crying.

These are my babies. My babies who I've pushed around that store in all kinds of car seats and shopping carts. My babies who make me insane and crazy mama-bear proud. They leave half eaten cookies next to the toilet, fight over DVDs, and leave The Man's tools out in the rain. They don't listen, they eat with their mouths open, and hit each other when I'm not looking. There are times they make me want to run away as far as I can and now that I'm actually doing that, I'm scared.

I'm scared of leaving them. I'm scared of missing them. I'm scared of being me and not mommy.

I know these weeks will fly by and I'll be back to going insane with them and their Legos on the other side of the pond before I know it, but until then, I will ache. A deep, silly, unsettled ache until my whole tribe, The Man included, is with me again.

I know. I know. Deep breaths. Deep breaths.

Monday, September 5, 2011


I shouldn't be here right now. I have mounds of laundry to put away, dust bunnies to slaughter, and, oh that little packing thing I've been avoiding....

I still can't believe that in just a few short weeks, I'm outta here.  How do you wrap up 8 years of living in a place in such a short time? I have a new found respect and admiration for my crazy ancestors who decided to get on a boat and sail far, far away from everything and everyone they had ever loved, never knowing if they would hear from or see their loved ones again. I'm a lucky sod. I get email and Facebook.

Someone asked me yesterday if I regretted anything of my life here and the answer was most definitely, no. They then asked if I was really ready to leave and the answer was most definitely, yes.

Get me on that boat, Captain. It's time to sail.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Step One: Make More Coffee

Our coffee machine broke a couple of weeks ago and with the pending possibility of upping sticks, we bought a cheap and cheerful replacement at Carrefour. It's a lovely little white machine that makes ever so cute steaming noises while at work. The only downers are that it's white, and therefore likes to show off it's hard work, and it drips everywhere when you pour out the coffee. The other bummer is that it doesn't turn itself off automatically after 2 hours like the last one we had, so I have added another level of stress to my life: I shout and fight, get the tribe into the car, head off for destinations far & wide only to suddenly wonder, about 45 minutes from home, if I turned the coffee machine off.

On the positive side of things, since we don't own a microwave chez nous, there is a new found joy when I can stumble into the kitchen, frazzled and freaking, and find that the coffee I made after The Man left for work is still there and hot. Sure, it's thickened up slightly, but hey! Coffee soup! That's what's for dinner!

I've needed this overdosing of caffeine this week. Trying to sort out flights, nannies, clothes, toys, stuff, crap, friends, dogs, life is intense. But I'm sure you already knew that. In about two weeks, everything changes and we have two months of nuts. Even though the knot in my stomach is for something positive this time, I'm ever so glad I can still drown the sucker in a nice strong cup of Guatemalan.

My first cup coffee in the morning is the most perfect because The Man brings it to me and we sit in bed, stare out at the hills behind the house, and enjoy the peace. These days are flying. We sip as slowly as the minutes can allow.

An hour later and my second cup is done, just as the sun peaks out from behind the church. I hear the boys yelling for Nutella and the background noise of Rosie's favourite Wallace & Gromit film.

My cup is empty. But overflowing.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fasten Your Seat Belts

Wow. Whoa. OH MY GOD! I got that wonderful job. And now, everything changes.

After 9 years in France, 11 years in Europe, I'm taking my people back to chez moi. I arrived with a fuzzy malamute and a backpack crammed with t-shirts and coffee mugs and now, I'm leaving with 4 little people, a fuzzy Brit, and suitcases filled with Lego.

I have no idea where to begin with anything. I have no idea how to say goodbye to all that we've lived at the Birth Control Bed & Breakfast. I'm beyond excited and miserably sad.

I know in my heart this is the right thing to do. It's time for all of us to move on and do new things, become the people we want to be in a place where The Man & I think everyone will bloom.

I sit here, staring out the window at the village church, and I'm in awe how the weather reflects my mood. It's stormy out there, windy with the clouds swirling around the steeple. But just when I think it's going to finally rain, there's a flash of lightening and glimpse of brilliant blue sky.

I hear the kids fighting with each other in French as Rosie tries to squeeze next to them on the couch.

I hear Typhon howling as the church bells chime.

I see my neighbours heading up to the boulangerie for bread.

I watch the clouds.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Almost As Bad As Waiting for Your Due Date

I'm having one of those problems of thought block yet again this week. My mind is a jumble of past, present, & future and I really wish I could clear it all out.

Adding to my wonderful mental mess is that fact that I'm waiting on news about a possible job. I've interviewed roughly three times with the company and I really, really, really want to land this. Trouble is, if I do get it, this job will radically throw us all up into the air. Such fun trying to live day to day and plan for the immediate when there's a chance that the immediate we know won't be the immediate we live.

So until I know what's up, I'm back to impersonating a pinball machine as I wander around the house, cleaning up random Oreos that Rosie has licked and left laying about, listening to Bubba make deep philosophical statements like, "funny how all fish sticks are made from all kinds of fish, but I only like fish sticks and not all kinds of fish."

The Princess is obsessed with earrings and make-up, MH with Airbus 380s, and the dogs with finding a cold spot in lock-down to beat this amazing summer heat that has finally arrived.

The Man laughs at me as I try to stay calm, pointing out that staying sane has never been an option since 2002. He's working on part 3 of the 'Great Wall of the Village on the Hill' and believe it or not, the end is actually in sight. The psychological release of this is massive. I see a happier, zenner Man in the not too distant future.

So, my imaginary friends, patience. Take a deep breath with me and look around us. Perhaps this is the calm before the storm. Or not.