One of Benjamin’s many books is one that was also a favorite of mine as a little kid, “Too Much Noise”. It’s a folk story about a man named Peter who is unhappy that his house it too noisy, so he is advised to fill it with all manner of loud barnyard animals. After the animals have been removed, he finds that the noises he used to find so bothersome are now pleasant and peaceful.
I love that book — I loved it as a kid. I’ve enjoyed it, now that I’m the mommy, because it really provides some wisdom that can be applied to anything from holidays to house guests to bringing a new baby home: nothing will make you appreciate how easy your life is like having it be hard for a while.
That’s what this is like: living in Vienna is my “Too Much Noise”. This is so much harder than anything I’ve tried to do before — when I go back to the US, where I speak the language, where I have the support of my friends and family, where I understand the culture and the etiquette and how everything works, I will be able to do anything. Short of an incident that would require a call to some sort of emergency services, I really think I’ll be able to handle just about any eventuality. (And hopefully, I’ll also learn some things here about enjoying what’s around you, taking the kids out and about, and being a little less hard on myself.)
If I can do this, what can’t I do?