Monday, July 4, 2016

Declaring my Independence from the Motherland

Yesterday I might have bawled like a wee babe as we stood in church to sing America's national anthem.  No one really noticed as I was mostly able to shield my face by whichever babe I was carrying/swaying to the music, so I got away with it.

Too, a friend recently commented on my missing London by telling me I should only miss those things that can miss you back.  Both her comment and the Star-Spangled Banner bawl have left me wondering:

Why, if I loved my country enough that I could cry while singing the national anthem (and for not having the chance to stand and sing it with hand over heart for so many years), did I fiercely miss that country from which we declared independence? What, exactly did I miss? Thought it a fitting topic for the wee hours on this day of days...

So here goes - I miss not being able to walk places and ride my bike nearly everywhere.  Whenever I pull the bike out to ride myself and the kiddos into town, it thrills me.  Something about not having to wrestle car seats, experiencing the wind on my face, and the exhilaration of using my own woman-power to transport myself and my chilling' (ok, so I have an electrical lift, but still...) gets me. So here's to riding my bike more here.

I miss knowing that amazing things are just around the corner - both by Tube and by airplane.  This bit of isolationism has been helped of late to blitz down to Boston and New York and Newport, Rhode Island (see pics below) within a few hours--not to mention realizing that very cool and unexplored cities in Canada are a few hours' drive away--and to explore the amazing things at my doorstep - our town pond, for instance, and local hikes a stone's throw away.

First view of the town pond.  This place is sheer heaven.

My littles with Aunt Tammy center.

One of our favorite trails on a Sunday morning
I miss some aspects of the weather - certainly not the constant cloud cover, but the mildness of the temperature.  I am forever layering up as if I needed to here.

But what I mostly miss is the tight-knit community of Primrose Hill - the dear friends I made who knew me and I them well enough to laugh or cry with in the same conversation, who I could call or text at a moments notice to see who was up for a meet-up in the park, at the pub, at a museum.  Or, probably even more so, the constant bumping into people at village haunts and in shops - the spontaneous little conversations that breed community and make one feel as if they belong. I had a handful of very good friends from church and school and other activities, and I miss them as I do other dear friends flung to the four winds.  But it is the feeling of being part of a place where you are loved and love in return that I miss, and dearly.  

I suppose it is a good thing that I miss London, or our little Primrose Hill community.  It means I built good friendships there.  But today I declare my independence from the grief of loss of that community, and recommit myself anew to building a new community here.  Luckily, I live in a town whose population is likely the same size as that of Primrose Hill, and which also has several town centers and opportunities for spontaneous interactions.  I need to serve instead of just participate.  I have started two mothers' groups, and that has helped, but I need to dig my teeth in and figure out ways to serve the new friends of this town and really grow to love them as I hope to be loved.

Small Wonders
* Esther has learned to create the kissing sound by using her tongue, applying it to your face, and pulling away just so.  It makes for very wet, warm kisses for all around.  She is very proud of herself for learning this skill.
* Esther and our bunny have a very special relationship.  Chloe has learned not to be scared of her, and our aggressive little girl has learned to be gentle with our bunny, stroking her, "talking" to her softly by cocking her head to the side and speaking coaxing baby talk to entice Chloe to do whatever Esther wants, beckoning with her hands.
* E will say thank you whenever you hand something to her, or when she hands it back.  It's the cutest little words she says...'
* Gideon has become very responsible and thoughtful.  He will say "your welcome" whenever you thank him, or appropriately when receiving praise.  He will also open doors, hold Esther's hand, or comfort her as needed.

Visiting a local petting zoo/pancake house.

The Elms in Newport, Rhode Island.

We took the servant's tour, so this is their staircase, hidden from the rest of the house. 
And quarters.

Rooftop view of the harbour.

Gideon's favorite part of the tour - the underground coal tunnels running several blocks away where they were filled up and automatically sent back.

luggage room

This tour guide was amazing - G was her little helper throughout and she held his hand and showed him things to keep him interested and engaged.  G loved it.

We loved having Aunt Tammy visit!

lunch at the shipyard - very cool place.

G putting E's shoes on.


1 comment:

  1. This was a great post for me to read today! A big part of "getting over" London for me is letting it be as perfect as it was in my memory while realizing that it wasn't sustainable. I know every situation isn't the same, but part of the mourning process for me is requiring an understanding that in order to have stayed, we would have had to give up the very things we loved about living there. I loved reading your thoughts. And I'll declare my independence too!