Tomorrow is November 7th and my official last day as a Microsoft employee and exactly a month that the babies and I have been in England. The past month has been filled with frustrations and amazing experiences. I still don’t have my own debit card but seeing Patrick study the ruins at the Roman baths in Bath was awesome. So now a month later am I glad we decided to go on this adventure? It may depend on the day you ask me but today I say yes I’m very glad.
As of tomorrow my paid maternity and parental leave are over, I’m sure if we were still in Seattle I would use some vacation time during the unpaid portion of my leave but I would be heading back to work in the next few weeks. I can’t imagine leaving Ella and I’m so relieved I don’t have to go through what I did when I went back to work after Kellen was born. I was in tears each morning when dropping him off for about a month and while I’m sure it would be easier this time around I’m so glad I get to stay with her. I’m also excited that now that we are settled I can start getting Kellen involved in local toddler activities. He has his first soccer lesson tomorrow; he is so crazy about running and kicking that he is going to love it. We’ve joined a Mom and toddler group so we are starting to make friends from both myself and Kellen.
I also think about everything Patrick has experienced in such a short amount of time that it’s amazing to me. Today we took the train into London then the underground out to Camden market, Patrick is now a pro at navigating the train station and the underground. Yesterday we were touring Roman ruins in Bath just an hour and half drive from our house. He was amazed by the ancient tools and architecture. He pointed out damage on the outside of the cathedral from the time of Kind Edward that he had studied in class. Two weeks ago we spent the day going for a drive through the countryside and drove through the Cotswolds, as we walked up to an old church the first headstone Patrick spotted the cemetery dated back to 1600. His world view is going to be shaped by this experience far more then Jamie’s, mine or the babies’.
It’s because of these things that I try to take a deep breath when I feel like a total idiot at the grocery store for being too slow when bagging my own groceries or when I can’t actually get a cell phone plan so have to do pre-paid which means I inevitably run out of minutes at the worst possible time. Skype is turning out to be my lifesaver, I can actually see Grandma and Papa when we chat and they can see how chunky Ella’s getting. I’m already dreading the day that my parents leave in January without knowing when they’ll be coming back and I can’t believe I won’t meet baby Emmett until he’s at least a year old. I’m sure there will be plenty of days when it all feels too lonely or overwhelming but I’m confident those days are going to be fewer and fewer as we start to build a community here. So I think we’ll make it, at least for a couple of years.