Oh, probably yes in so many ways.
First, I am sitting here, typing this. Instead of swimming laps at the gym.
I like the gym. I really SHOULD have gone to the gym this morning.
But I didn't.
Because although school started this week, today was the first normal day with a real, all-day school schedule. And it is so quiet in the house.
So nice and quiet.
All summer long, even though I was at the Summer Dacha in My Ancestral Village, I was looking forward to the moment when the children would go out the door.
And it would be quiet.
I have not done the dishes yet. (Although Muscovites are advanced and civilized people, we happen to not have a dish washer at our place except for me. This is not typical, nor was it my choice. It just is.)
I am still in my pajamas.
Haven't even bothered to brush my teeth yet.
Is it wrong to be happy the children are out of the house? Because, while I like them, if I have to have one more conversation involving SpongeBob, I honestly think I will go mad.
As an aside, while I was fixing breakfast this morning, Baboo came in to tell me she had a SpongeBob song stuck in her head. And while she spared me the actual melody of the song, she proceeded to recount everything that happens in that particular episode of SpongeBob leading up to the singing of the song. The Spouse, passing by the kitchen heard that we were talking and, before he was able to actually make out what was being discussed, said to himself, "How nice. For once Baboo is talking about something other than SpongeBob."
While I am on the subject of the children, I will say that although I probably had just a little too much togetherness with them over the summer, I did see them at their best and got lots of nice feedback from friends and family about how pleasant the girls are.
I cannot take full credit for that, but I will hold on like grim death to as much credit as I can.
Since motherhood, generally, is a rather thankless job.
There are no yearly evaluations.
No performance bonuses or even cost-of-living raises.
The product takes forever to launch.
It seems endless.
So this was as close as I get to any sort of customer feedback or project plaque from my boss.
Seeing as the girls are the only thing I feel I have produced in, say, the last 11 years (I don't count dinners and clean laundry), that was nice to hear.
Made me feel good even.
And while I spent the last week in the Ancestral Village not-totally-looking-forward-to-the-thought-of-returning-to-Moscow, I did spend that week reading a book called The New Global Student. Although the author is mainly addressing parents of high school students, what she said did reassure me about what we are doing to and for our daughters.
Namely, that making them uncomfortable a lot of the time, by forcing them to live outside their native culture and comfort zone, is largely responsible for making them the poised, charming people their American friends and families found them to be.
If you can navigate a foreign mass transit system in Cyrillic, a college interview, heck, a job interview, should be a piece of cake.
At least I hope so.
There has to be some reward on this earthly plane for what, let's be honest, isn't always lots of fun.
The book also reassured me about my decisions to do less with my kids. By that I mean that I don't have much scheduled for them outside of the normal school day.
Because I think having to attend school in a foreign language while living in a second foreign language is enough.
So I shouldn't feel bad that it is difficult (either because of transportation logistics, price, or my language limitations) to arrange things like swim team and horseback riding lessons. Things their cousins in the US or friends in the UK have and that I sometimes wish I could provide for them. I may even put cello lessons on hold this year since Baboo's school day is now as long as the average American adult's work day.
You gotta have time just to be a kid, and after speaking French at school all day and Russian on the street, well, it's nice to chill out and just watch a little SpongeBob.
Waiting... - *In October on Manezh Square, outside of the Kremlin* It's the final countdown until the Olympics... Here's a link to an article that was in the "Russia ...
3 years ago