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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Parallel Life

Today was Elizabeth's first day at her new "Big Girl" school. She has moved from going two times a week for two hours to everyday for four hours. I never really thought I would send her to school every day for four hours when I chose to stay at home with my kids...but in reality..there isnt much else for little ones to do in Lagos. There aren't any parks or streets we can take walks. Our compound is very nice...but the playgound here and the swimming pool can get really boring for a little one if that is all there is to do day in and day out. So, she is off to school. I have to say that she did a great job. I planned on staying with her for an hour today and then see how she was. When we were walking into the school, she said," Bye Mommy!" I wasn't ready for that at all. She is so differnt from her brother who would cling to me for dear life. I do have to say it is kind of refreshing...but also makes me feel a little sad that she doesn't need me quite so much anymore. She was so happy to go in and play with the other kids and when she saw the drama room with all the dress up clothes, she was absolutely sold!:)

It was interesting today that I was really feeling guilty that I sent her to school every day so early, and then I got an e-mail from a dear friend of my mom and dad's. She was an expat wife and totally understands what it is like to move with young kids. Her children are in college now, but she always drops me a line every now and then to let me know she is thinking of us over here and offers her support. Today she wrote me that she always felt like she was living two separate but parallel lives. One of her lives she said is that of a "suburban mom" and the other is that of a " nomadic expat". I thought that was very interesting to me and suddenly a light bulb went off in my head. That was exactly how I feel. Yesterday and today I have been thinking, "Who was that girl who got in her car and drove to the store herself? Who were those kids who were able to play outside in dust free air and play on a great playground? Who were those people who could take walks on safe streets without worrying about being robbed or hit by a runaway okada?" Of course, it was myself and my kids in our separate universe of "suburban life". When I come back here, it is really crazy to me how well the kids adjust to living their nomadic life. They don't ask questions about why we don't drive ourselves anywhere or why there aren't any other parks to play at or why we don't go on walks here. It is just their "life" here. I thought to myself today, in my parallel universe in the U.S., where would I be taking Elizabeth? Probably to library for story time or to the children's museum or the zoo. I certainly wouldn't put her in school every day at only two years old. Part of me feels a little guilty that I can't take her to those places like I did with Jeremy when he was small, but my friend's e-mail made me feel okay. She told me that her boys really have great memories of living all over the world. Elizabeth may not be doing the things I could do in the U.S.,but she is learning about a different culture and acceptance of people from literally all over the world who make up her class(as is Jeremy). So, maybe living in parallel universes isn't so bad...we can have the best of both worlds.

1 comment:

  1. I bet they will be able to adapt to most situations when they are older than most kids! They have learned how to adapt so well from you and Guy! Keep going strong!