It’s four months today since we arrived here, Christmas is looming before us, and I still don’t know which end is up. I’ve got a lot of thoughts about living here and I am feeling melancholy for “home.”
Simon starts a new job on Monday, in London, though eventually he will be consulting around the country and probably Europe as well. I–we–are a bit nervous about the change; it’s been nice having him home to help with the morning getting-ready-for-school-and-packing-lunches rush. Not that I haven’t done all of that on my own for five years, but now I’m out of practice.But it’s also time for him to go back to work, for us to find some semblance of normal and routine.
It’s going to be even harder getting two kids ready for school, and then getting them to schools three miles apart. Not far, I know, but it can take us up to 30 minutes to get James to school in the morning, while Charlotte can walk to her school in about 20. I am desperately wishing that James went to the school next door to Charlotte’s, for more than obvious reasons. His school is in an area I’m not comfortable with and daily I wonder how we ended up there (bureaucracy, that’s how).
Let’s put it this way, I don’t fit in or feel comfortable there because a) I am not tattooed, b) I am married to the father of my children, c) I live with the father of my children, d) I am not heavily pierced, e) I don’t smoke like a chimney. (I won’t go on.) I feel like a terrible snob to say it, but there you go. I’m a little scared of the mothers at James’s school, though he has a terrific, young, energetic teacher who’s very enthusiastic and who thinks he’s terrific too.
Charlotte’s school is the other extreme: a small(ish) village school with parents who have very high expectations and believe they are in a privileged enclave of southeastern England. They’re right. (It reminds me of Lake Wobegon, where “all the children are above average.”) Jumping between these two worlds is not easy, and I want for James what Charlotte has. Some days I am counting down the hours until the school year ends (not until next July). Worrying about what next year holds: will we get him in to Charlotte’s school? Or won’t we? Along with all the other worries: where will we live come July 2012? Will our house have sold? Will I have a job, what school will Charlotte be admitted to for next year, will it all work out?
I will also admit, December is not my favorite month. If you want to know why and you don’t know the story, see my other blog (landofbrokenhearts.blogspot.com). Plus, there is little sunshine now, it’s dark by 4:00 and I . . . want to go home. But home is also here, with my husband, with my kids. It’s a whole new world, strange and familiar and by no means bad, just different.
So there. That’s my four-months-in, tired-human-being perspective.