Yesterday was a lifetime.
It began with Miriam and I getting dressed up, me trying to look older and responsible and Miriam not trying at all but looking adorable, to go to her Reception Induction. I think those are just fancy words for kindergarten orientation. The event began at 9:45 but I decided to leave early so I could ask some questions and return some paperwork before it began.
Google maps told me it would take eight minutes to get to the school. We left the house at 9:10. We arrived at the school, me feeling totally irresponsible, at 10:20.
It took me an hour and ten minutes to make an eight minute drive. I'll summarize it like this. I got lost. So I turned around and came back to our street to start over but I got lost again. My navigation on my mobile wouldn't work because I have poor data coverage. I was afraid to call Richard because that's illegal and I can barely drive let alone talk and drive. I began to feel helpless and alone. I started to cry. I asked for directions and the stranger could see I was so upset that he suggested he drive me there instead. I insisted I was capable. Even though people were honking at me and giving me dirty looks. Eventually I called Richard with the handsfree/bluetooth and he talked me through it.
But it was that moment. THAT moment. The one I've been dreading. The moment when I asked myself
"WHAT AM I DOING HERE?"
There was more to it (or at least in the drama of the moment it felt that way) than what I've written but this summary will suffice.
Eventually we made it to the school and everyone at the school was very kind. They could see I was upset and they were accommodating and went out of their way to be helpful. At one point a woman started talking to me and she asked how my morning had been and I told her everything, opening my soul to this stranger. She listened patiently and then I had the presence of mind to ask her about HER morning. Did she have a child entering reception?
"No actually I'm the Head Master of the school."
Gulp. I just word vomited to the "principle" of my children's new school. Thank heaven's the woman was not the least bit pretentious and remained my companion for the duration of our visit to the school. I'll write more about the school next week, Cameron and Eli have their induction on Monday. But everything got better after we made it to the school.
I promised the kids that if they were good during quiet time we would go back to the library. I only let them pick three books last time because I had to carry them all, and three books apparently didn't last long. So this time I was more prepared and had them bring their backpacks.
The library is only about a ten minute walk, which is such a blessing. Richard and I were talking last night about how everything is so close. The Lewisham shopping centre (mall) is about a ten minute walk, the street market is a five minute walk, the train station is a ten minute walk and there are bus stops two-ten minutes away. I remember having a conversation with Lori about how much location mattered to her in terms of convenience and access and having lived in Kuna for so long I couldn't relate. Now I know how hard it will be to have to drive to all those places.
I know that a pound and a dollar are not equal on the exchange, but Richard gets paid in pounds so for the sake of simplicity just consider that what is worth a dollar there, is worth a pound here. (As evidenced by stores like Poundland and All a Pound = Dollar store.)
At the end of the day they sell two bowls/scoops for £1.50. The price and convenience are hard to beat. We are a five minute walk from any fruit or vegetable I want for breakfast/lunch/dinner.
Like I said, a lifetime.