Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Victorian Homesick Blues

Not to worry, I just thought that would make a good title.
Although there is some truth to it. But first to cover all the good stuff, of which we are fortunate to have lots of. Top of the list: we are now connected! But not by Telus. I grew tired of their "we're just not that into you" attitude and told them I was canceling my unfulfilled order. We signed on with the good people at Shaw instead, and they came when they said they would come and hooked us up. This happened last Friday, which was a beautiful day, so to celebrate Dylan and I took Sam to Willows beach where we played in the sand (ok, they played, I lay) and watched a sea otter playing off-shore. The girls were at school, and thankfully they have settled in quickly and have each made a few friends. Having attended the same school for all 12 years of my primary and secondary education, and then sending my kids to a school in a neighbourhood where I knew (what felt like) half the population, I was quite unprepared for the feeling I had entering the schoolyard on that first morning, without a single familiar face in the crowd. I think it was good because it meant I was in the same boat as the kids. The school seemed very organised, with the principal and vp on a stage in the school yard, introducing the new teachers, and then calling in last year's groups one by one. There were tables set up with coffee and healthy snacks, and the kids played on the playground until it was time for the new students to follow the principal to the multi-purpose room (with parents being dragged or pulled by their children). She sat them down on the risers and gave them a cheerful speech about how they were so lucky because this was the best school ever, and she'd been new last year but it only took a matter of days before she loved it and was sure they would all feel the same way, etc, etc. There were a few weepers up on the risers, and I was grateful that mine were not among them. Lily was a real trooper, smiling and nodding at the principal's enthusiasm, while Alex shared a rather discontented face that was sported by most of the other unhappily relocated older children. Since then there has been no turning back, they joyfully bike to and from school (Dylan accompanies them), and on the way home the bike along the Dallas Road, stopping at the beach for some rock-climbing, and sometimes for a grilled cheese or a milk-shake at the the Beacon HIll Drive-In. (This part makes me think of Harriet the Spy always stopping at some restaurant for custard on her way home from school. I have yet to go to the Drive-In myself).
Another piece of last week's news is that we traded in Big Red. We were sad to say good-bye (Alex especially, who I think has overdosed on good-byes, and cried as Dylan drove off in the truck), but it had failed inspection here and was not eligible for BC plates, so we were on the lookout for another used vehicle. Dylan spotted an ad in the paper for an '88 Chevy Celebrity (sort of a shrunken station wagon). It's not pretty, but it drives well and uses a lot less gas, and I don't have to worry about the kids scraping their legs on the rust as they climb into the car. We took the Grey Fox out for a spin on Sunday, driving to the Sooke Potholes for the afternoon. Not that kind of pothole. The naturally occurring kind in a river bed. We've had a string of really perfect fall days, and are trying to make the most of them before the rain!
Sam started at preschool on Monday, and let me leave within the first five minutes this morning, which was encouraging. I have signed up for an online course so that will keep me busy on his preschool mornings. I've been up and down on this roller-coaster adjustment ride, trying to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and not let myself loll in loneliness, or resentment for D. being so blissfully content here. I'm not exactly lonely, I'm just having trouble getting used to being so far away from everyone, and I wonder if I want to get used to it. Oh well. I've got another hour before I have to pick up Sam, so I think I'll go have a wander around the Emily Carr house. I'll report on that in my next post!

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