After a gorgeous, sunny Saturday, the weather’s direction has made the autumnal switch with mild but grey, drizzly days throughout this week. Leaves are starting to slowly fall from the trees and as Luke says when the wind blows, “Mummy, it’s raining leaves!” I have this eager desire to bake with pumpkin, apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The weather seems to fit my mood.
Ever since getting back from our California holiday, I’ve felt slightly strange and perhaps a bit out of place within my familiar setting. Lots of little changes seem to be happening all around me, with all the mixed emotions that go with new and different things. Although uncomfortable, my heart is opened fully to what God wants for us in this very odd season of perseverance, yet I’m also asking God to show us fresh perspective and direction for the season we are exiting and the one we are entering into now.
It seems like yesterday my little Anna girl was about to start school nursery and my baby Luke was strapped into the baby carrier to do the school runs with me. He was my little buddy always going shopping, doing errands, playing at home… essentially my shadow! And now I’ve blinked three years forward and Anna is settling into year 2 and for the last three weeks, I’ve had an eager toddler boy asking, “Is it September yet and time for Nursery?” On Monday, we got to the point where everything was labelled, book bag out, coat (Anna’s old one) was ready and uniform was stacked next to his sister’s. We had the last stay & play to visit the classroom and it was nearly time to start the school year! He was the last child to leave the session, as he was enjoying it too much to exit. Although we’ve been glued to the hip for so long and mostly, I really do enjoy doing our routine together, it’s time to enter a new phase of life. He’s desperate for some independence and I need a bit of space too.
Tuesday was Luke’s first day of school nursery. And he loved it! I can tell he’s processing a lot, since he came into our bed four times last night, but he was happy again to be there the last three days. He walked into his classroom bravely without separation anxiety or tears. To be honest, since the summer, I’d been so emotionally numb that I hadn’t felt like crying on his first day. It’s been such a juggling act to ensure Anna and now Luke are getting on well, that I’ve not had time to process what’s happening right before my eyes. I came home from the evening’s curriculum meeting at school to watch the one show I watch regularly, Great British Bake Off, and then it truly hit me. My baby is no longer a baby and this is just the beginning of various levels of me letting go of him. The tissue box stayed close to me the rest of the night.
It was also the first night since getting back from our San Francisco trip where I felt like I was really starting to process some emotions of our transatlantic life. We had a fantastic trip and we saw so many family members and friends, many of whom flew in from different states just to spend time with us! One of my favourite little spots was going down to Dr Insomniac’s, a cute independent coffee shop. Maybe because of their great variety of drinks or the fact you can sit out under an umbrella table to relax in the consistent sunshine but that became my ‘go to’ hang out spot. I allowed myself to remember how mellow life can be in a smaller California suburb. People aren’t in such a hurry to whizz past you on their way to busy London jobs. We were in town for Nostalgia Days, an annual vintage car show where the main street is bustling with the likes of the Mustang, Camaro, Corvette, Bel Air and more. Charlie and I stopped by with my cousins and met up briefly with my good local friend, Pilar. I remember thinking to myself, this is the America I miss! The local, downtown neighbourly type of place where you can take life at a slower pace, get the best doughnuts in town from the same local shop that’s been there for years, where Hawaiian shirts are worn by the local grocery store workers and a friendly, “Hello,” is never far away.
I’ve worked hard to assimilate into British London life over nearly a decade this February. I’m not perfect at it, but I have certainly embraced it wholeheartedly. Having married an Englishman, I think in my thoughts, I didn’t just marry him but his country too, so there was all the more reason and desire to love and appreciate where he is from and its culture. There are so many bits of England and our London suburb living that I love, yet I so strongly desire some more of the lifestyle I grew up with. Hence, I continue to live the transatlantic life and wishing to be in both places at the same time.
So for now, we persevere. We carry on giving it all we’ve got for today and the life that’s been put in front of us here. We still long to have the other life too but we’ll just have to see about that. Wherever we are, there is an endless list of God’s goodness to be thankful for throughout our lifetimes.
In this exact moment now, I’m pretty excited with the fact that I was able to vacuum AND mop my floor without interruptions while Luke was at nursery. I plan to finally exercise again using my new running shoes a few times a week, write and do more blog posts, and get to grips with this new but odd season.
And to my little Luke, enjoy your adventure! You’ve taught me all about every type of vehicle there is, from land, sky, and sea! You’ve been so active that sometimes I’ve not known what to do with you but just laugh and tickle you with your crazy energy. I’ve learned that unlike your sister, I actually have to be worried if I can’t hear you playing because you’re probably climbing daddy’s bookshelves to get a model car down! You are strong and such a good problem solver. Stubbornness runs through your veins yet equally you have a loving strength and gentle sensitivity to those around you. You really made me understand that sleep deprivation can make a mummy go nearly crazy, but I still love that you want me to snuggle with, as you fall asleep in your big boy bed now. Run, play, learn, grow and share your energy, strength, kindness, and fascination for adventure with classmates and the many people along your journey. This is your new season too and an opportunity to thrive.