It's 3:45 a.m. in Rouen. This is actually the first time I've been up in the middle of the night without Anna waking me. She appears to be making it through the night tonight. At least so far, which is a great sign. I don't mind being up now though — it gives me an opportunity for some much needed silence. As I was lying in bed not sleeping I realized that it's been 10 days since Anna's been in school. She had some play time with her posse back home, but that was time I spent frantically pack, working, or cleaning to make it here. As much as I wish I were the perfect, patient mom, I'm just not. I try. I really, really try. And there are days and even weeks where I feel like I'm doing a great job. But sometimes I struggle, and 10 days without a real opportunity for silence surely doesn't help.
Part of the problem is just recognizing what it means to be three. It's not something I remember, and without any previous exposure to kids (no siblings, cousins, babysitting, etc.) it's just all new. Anna is this misleading mix of wicked smart, funny, and sophisticated, on the one hand, and a clingy, often whiny, mama's girl on the other. Sometimes I forget the latter is actually the more typical behavior at three.
And, of course, these are extenuating circumstances for us all. My family basically picked up on a whim (mine) and relocated to an unfamiliar town in an unfamiliar country with almost no knowledge of the language and no support system. In the winter. On the other hand, pain au chocolat. ;-)
Like everything, this is a process. I expect that by the time we really get it nailed down, it will be time to come home. My hope is that in the process we will all laugh and play and grow. Perhaps me the most.