I guess it’s inevitable. I’m constantly comparing our current experience with what we were going through this same time a year ago. It can be hard to recognize our progress here — almost every day can pose a new challenge, and often leaves us feeling deflated or discouraged. But, looking at how much things have changed gives me better perspective. Today, Benjamin went on a field trip to a Christmas market with his class, and I keep thinking about how differently things went this year. I can see how much more acclimated we’ve become.
Last year, when his class went on the trip to the Christmas market, it came as a complete surprise to us. It was really unsettling, kind of stressful and relatively worrisome (even though it all turned out just fine). I remember debating with Dan whether we should continue to send B to school at all, in light of the fact that we obviously didn’t know what was going on and weren’t kept informed. This year, we knew it was coming. Our German is MUCH better, and we have taken it as our sole responsibility (which, of course, it is) to keep ourselves informed about what’s going on with his class. It’s pretty unlikely that anything like that could take us by surprise again.
Last year, we were kind of overwhelmed about the idea of our little guy going out without us, and we were shocked by the fact that there weren’t any permission slips or liability releases to sign. This year, we know how it works. He’s been out with his class quite a few times, and the sight of a kindergarten class walking down the sidewalk, following, hand in hand, in the wake of a teacher, is commonplace to us. I always smile and imagine how cute B is, along with his class, when they’re all out together.
Like last year, he had a wonderful time, but unlike last year, we expected that to be the case. I bundled him up in a warm hat (the wolf hat, of course), fuzzy mittens, cozy fleece-lined pants, wool socks and his winter jacket. Last year, we were just acclimating to a Vienna winter and we didn’t really know how to prepare to be out in it. Now we’ve got it covered.
He had a great day today, and it was no big deal for him. For me, he’s still 4 and I’m still his mom, so I still worry. But we’re all getting the hang of this.