Thursday, June 10, 2010

Death by princess

I'm in the kitchen, my daughter comes in.

Naomi: "Mom! An ant!" (We still have a bad ant problem in my house).
Me: "Oh yeah."
N: Maybe I'll pet it."
M: Um, ok.
N: "Or maybe I'll kill it."
Naomi leaves the kitchen and returns with a small princess figurine. She crouches down on the floor and proceeds to pound the ant to shreds with the princess.
N: "I killed it! It's dead! Benny, come look at the ant, I killed it!"

Never a prouder moment.......

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Amsterdam to Montreal

Lazy Sunday morning and I should be doing a million other things, my house is tonrnadoed, my stuff needs organizing, breakfast. But the kids are watching a movie and I should catch everyone up. I've been doing a lot of writing, but not of the blog variety, there's a lot of stuff flying around my brain right now.

I arrived in Amsterdam and got to Jane's place early afternoon. Within a few hours, I'd already managed to be drunk, have a nice meal at a cafe, and learn how to ride on the back of a bike. It helps to have an experienced person telling you what to do. They start peddling, then you hop on to the back rack sideways and scootch around until you get your balance, and cross your ankles! That's important. Then, you hop off at intersections and hills and repeat to get back on. I didn't knock Jane off, and she told me when to hop off so I looked reasonably coordinated. I rented a bike, it was not Walter, but it was an ok bike and it served me well for a couple of days. Amsterdam is this amazing unwinding place for me. I know that it's a party town, but if you stay out of the grotty downtown area, it can be very serene and chill.

The first evening I passed out early, and the Saturday was spent running some errands, groceries, a nice lunch in a hip area of town, and a trip to the Noodermarkt where I picked up cheese and perused the antiques and flea market treasures.

I also had a scrumptious nap on her sofa. Jane made a nice dinner and we got through a couple bottles of wine. Sunday she made pancakes and I went to return my bike. I didn't realise that it was raining quite so hard and I should have borrowed an umbrella for the walk back through Vodelpark. I got back to Jane's drenched to the bone and without much extra time to dry off. I changed my jeans, put my wet clothes in a plastic bag and Jane walked me to the bus stop with a brellie. It's always nice to drop in on her for a couple of days and catch up. I got to the airport, picked checked in, picked up stroopwaffels and a few requests from duty-free, and had a decent flight home. When I arrived it was hot and sunny and I came home, picked up my car, grabbed stuff for the kids and went over to see them. Naomi ran halfway down the stairs and jumped into my arms. I'm not sure that I want to be gone for that long again without the kids, at least not when it's not completely necessary.

I love travelling, I love experiencing new things and meeting people and eating new food and just 'being' elsewhere. I get excited and engaged and my brain lights up when I walk around a new city and I see how much is different and how much is the same. It's a connection that's so important to me. So I'm caught between my desire to be elsewhere and my need to be with my kids. It was very obvious that the kids were effected by my long absence this time around. I was too. Naomi seemed so much bigger when I saw her. The best part of this week has been waking up and cuddling with the kids first thing in the morning. Ben has told me many times how happy he is that I am back from Sweden, which melts my heart every time I hear it.
The jetlag is finally fading. It was pretty bad, for the first couple of days I had dizzy spells and my brain was fuzzy. It's taking a while to get back into the right mindset, and frankly I'm feeling a bit ambivalent. I've been reminded again of what I want, what I really want to make me happy. Now that I'm home I feel restless and too overwhelmed and tired to get anything done.
I need to have a good long look and let go of some things that are weighing me down and start making other things more of a priority. I'm not getting to a point where I feel empty all the time ever again.