Funny how my "write every day" resolution resulted in the opposite. Next year, I will resolve to not write a single word, and see if my rebellious soul decides to write a novel instead.
A rundown of the past few months, give or take four:
1. After 3 1/2 years in Amsterdam, I FINALLY got to send the following text to a friend about her son: "Ummmm, so xxxx just fell in a Canal. Mark is bringing him home." Xxxx was just fine, but this is the reason why the Dutch school curriculum includes swimming lessons, where every child learns to swim fully dressed, and getting your first Zwem Diploma is possibly a bigger deal than graduating from college.
The canal episode happened in the nearby park, on our way to bury Squeaky the hamster, who crawled under his hamster ladder and died on Mia's 12th birthday. Because that was the kind of day it was. RIP Squeaky, in your pizza-box coffin. Not cool the way you made me cry though you were smaller than a grapefruit.
2. We revisited our decision to move back to the US this Summer. The days have been so gorgeous lately, we had no option but to extend one more year, despite the utter foolishness of it. There is just something about riding your granny bike along the canals of Amsterdam on a bright Spring morning that breaks your heart wide open and whispers to you that you will only ever leave this place kicking and screaming. I wonder what would happen if we tried to make this decision in the bleakness of a Dutch Winter, fighting on our bikes against a bitter headwind...
3. Mark turned 41. We started a new tradition:
4. As I was coming home one night, I was stopped by two young men trying to drive to the city center. Our street is currently a mess of construction, and the intersection was entirely blocked off. As I was thinking of the best route to tell them, an older woman walked by and with zero hesitation or timidity let us all know, "There's no way to get to Centrum. The whole place is a mess. You just need to turn around and go home right now." This was, of course, not true, but I just loved the unapologetic gutsiness of it. Definitely one of the top 5 Most Dutch things I've ever witnessed.
Some people just like to blend in.
6. A Dutch friend invited Nate to join his baseball team, which was when we realized Nate probably has no idea what Baseball is. As we were explaining it, Sam piped up: "Oh, I know that game! It's where you try to hit a ball with a stick."
Oh, sometimes we suck at being American. However, word has it the American kids are infecting the poor British kids at our school with their alarming American "twang"-- like a virus. Which is why I'll be teaching my kids to say, "dude, no taxation without representation!"
What will happen to us when we ever move back?
I'll think about that next January.