My sister tells me (more nicely than this) that we suck as bloggers. It’s true, I suppose, but the past couple of weeks have been especially bad for anything other than the most pressing of responsibilities. Blogging didn’t make the cut; grocery shopping barely did… So, to any faithful readers we might have, our apologies.
Why so busy? I’ll blame Kim, even though it’s not fair to do so. Mostly I’m envious. The craziness started when she and the students took off for a 10-day trip through Budapest and the Balkans. I was jealous at the start – since being a single parent at home is never fun for anyone. And then, once they were back and I saw the slideshow of their exploits I was even more so. It looked like a spectacular experience for all.
Back at the homestead, we managed to have some fun. My single-parenthood was an exaggeration…. Grandma Bud came to town for 10 days to help with the kids, get to know Salzburg, and, since she’s Grandma Bud, clean. I tried to stop her, at least at the beginning. Then I just gave it and told her where the cleaning supplies were. By the end of the visit, she and Claudia (who works with us here and does most of the house cleaning) were managing to communicate despite no common ground language-wise. The kids adored Grandma, and of course she adored back. We toured the sites, mostly guided by Teo, and paid particular attention to the Sound of Music sites. If you know Sue, that’s not a huge surprise.
Kim and the students returned last Saturday night, and we had three days of togetherness before Mom left on Tuesday. Then Kim left again. This time for Edinburgh to serve on a Ph.D. committee – all good, but again, I’m totally envious. We have wonderful friends in Edinburgh that we both miss, and she got to see them! And this time, I was a single parent. And this time, the students were here. Well, for one day, and then they all left on their weekend travels except for those whose parents are in town. Many many parents, and many are our age, or look it. Yikes.
In other less whiney news: Teo speaks German now at school, probably half the time. Amazing, and I want to be five. Mara is also saying more in German. “Daddy, fünf is five.” That sort of thing. Kim’s German atrophied while she was traveling, but mine has gotten better. Not proficient, not literate, but I think I’m going in the right direction – being trapped here has its benefits. We’re settling into the community at the kids’ school as well – making more friends, socializing a bit… Frankly, it’s all starting to feel a little bit more normal.
Until, that is, we’re confronted with things like registering Teo next month (not sure where, not sure how) for school next fall, or asking for some silly little thing at the store, or calling the exterminator on the phone. Or the rest of the things that we all do in our normal lives.