I know, you’re probably already getting tired of seeing pictures of me and my smiling family cavorting on beaches and playing in the sunshine. I apologize, but I am going to continue posting them. I know there are at least some people who are living vicariously through us at the moment, and I think my mom would kill me if she didn’t get to see a few photographs of the girls every week.
I’m not asking you to feel sorry for me, but do consider a moment how impossibly stretched I am at the moment.
I have two small children who practically never sleep through the night. While Charlie was a fantastic sleeper when she was an infant, as soon as she started growing teeth – around the one-year mark – that all went to hell. Now she wakes three plus times a night, usually just when I’ve just fallen asleep or when I’m so deep down there that I gasp as I’m woken and then can’t fall asleep again for the pumping of my heart once she’s had some water or been rocked back into slumber. Oh, did I mention that I still seem to be jet lagged?
Believe it or not, I am working. You can’t move your family half way across the world for six months unless you’re (a) independently wealthy, or (b) working remotely or as a freelancer. As we are not in the former camp, I’m working freelance, as many hours as I can manage, between being a mom, taking kite surfing lessons, buying groceries, walking along the beach, cleaning, cooking and washing the never-ending pile of laundry.
Josh is on a sailing trip for three weeks. Yup, you read it right: my husband is away for the better part of a month. He only left yesterday but his absence is might conspicuous. Charlie’s confused. She keeps on looking around and saying “Papa? Papa?” When he called tonight, she could see his face on my phone and hear his voice, but when I tried to pass it to her, she started freaking out as though it were some sort of alien robot.
April is trying her best to be helpful, but she clearly also misses him. The fact that he’s been doing most of the cooking, packing of snacks and lunches for daycare, and grocery shopping up to this point is also painfully obvious two days in. BUT he’s going to have an amazing time and come back a more competent sailor and more experienced human being. How could I deny him that?
Kite surfing is exhausting. This is the point where you’re welcome to roll your eyes at me. But it’s true: learning a new sport, especially one that involves extremely cold water and very strong wind is rather exhausting. I have to admit that when I got a call today telling me that my teacher was sick, I was relieved. I’m already so tired from waking up multiple times a night that an extra day’s rest is welcome. Now let’s just keep our fingers crossed that there will be enough wind tomorrow for me to learn how to use the board. (So far I only know how to fly the kite.)
All that said, you know what? It’s totally worth it. I’m happy to work my ass off, schlep groceries home in a Chariot double stroller/bike trailer (hooray for the Chariot!), cook and clean, feed, bathe and entertain my children, and spend my evenings alone.
I’m currently listening to the crickets, sitting in a house that’s almost twice as big as our apartment in Montreal. I have a bar of dark chocolate, a cup of rooibos tea and an awesome book that I’m finally going to be able to read. Tomorrow will be sunny and if the wind is good, I’m going to spend much of my day at the beach, learning how to fly a kite with a board attached to my feet.
So yeah, life is hard, but it’s worth it. To say that we’re living the dream diminishes how much work goes into doing this thing on our own terms. Now to try reading my book without falling asleep after one paragraph.