For starters, thank you to all of you for the thoughtful emails and messages in response to my last post. I have appreciated them so much.
I was asked the other day whether I was “loving it” here. Not yet, I said. I’m liking it quite a lot, but I’m still working on the falling in love part. And as I have come to realize, it doesn’t matter if I love it. It only matters if my children are happy and if they love it. Another realization I had completely underestimated.
I started to understand the depth of my concerns only after the kids started school last week. I had no idea how much I would be affected by how they would fare. I hadn’t even noticed that I had been holding my breath. I wanted, and needed, so desperately for them to be warmly received in a safe and happy place. But I also was praying that they would adapt easily.
(Hilarious picture of Julien, age 100, for the celebration of the 100th day of school at his awesome new school!)
It’s hard for any child to start a new school, but it can be even harder in a completely new country. I’m happy to report that for the most part, the transition has been wonderful. The schools have welcomed us with open arms, the teachers have been thoughtful and kind, and our kids have been happy for the return to a routine & to sports teams. But not all three of them has had a smooth transition, and she and I have cried together as she has reminded me of just how hard it can be to be in middle school in a new school. As one of my new coworkers just said, ‘girls can be such cheeky tarts at that age.’ That made me smile; what a great expression.
We’re working on it; and I know it will get better with time. But make no mistake, it cracks my heart wide open and fills me with tremendous guilt when I think that it was my decision that led to this pain she is feeling. And yes, I’m working on that part too. 🙂
In other news, it took some work (some might even call it stalking,) for me to track down a great new house for us to move to at the beach. The house where we have been living is very nice, but there are no other young families near us and it’s in a bit of an industrial neighborhood. If you’re going to move to NZ for a year, you might as well live at the beach, right?
The house is beautiful and just steps from the beach – the kids are delighted with their new “front yard” and I’m so happy with this modern beach house in a family-friendly neighborhood. We move September 15th, and I only wish it were sooner.
Last week I also started my first week in my new office, which may have been the single best pre-move decision I made (to find a place and call ahead.) Thank goodness I have found a place of my own, with my own coworkers (fellow business owners who are sharing this office too.) I have been able to get back on top of things at work, feel productive again, and just as importantly meet other women with similar ambitions!
As a family we have been out and about discovering this spectacular country. Day trips, overnight trips, most of which I am sharing on Instagram and FB, so I won’t bore you with too many details here. I’m starting to work on our travel plans for the next six months – trips to Fiji (maybe in August because it’s cold here,) and to the South Island to see the penguins, the glowworms, and to my great despair a non-negotiable request by Lucas to go bungee jumping.
As I told Jesse, if Lucas is going to dive headfirst off a bridge, we are going to go to the most expensive place we can find that has the most number of success stories around. And I will look the other way as he dives off that bridge!