June 10 (finally. I’ve thought it was the 10th for four days now), 2014
Bilbao, Vizcaya, Spain
Welcome to your new home! After a full month since the movers arrived to pack and take all our things from Alpine, TX to Bilbao, Spain, here we are. You did fine on the plane, are eating croissants and chocolate like a native, and even occasionally deign to speak Spanish. Your best phrase is, “No hablo mucho Espanol.”
You are enjoying terrorizing pigeons and pressing the button before your brother on every conceivable elevator, apartment call system, and more. When you don’t get to “press the butt,” as Avram says, you throw a mini-trantrum. In public.
Avram is realizing that the stroller is not the “special seat” we told him it was at first, and is arching his back over the safety bar to mop the sidewalk with his beautiful curly hair and scream like there are razors in his socks. Which might be believable, if he hadn’t already kicked off his shoes and socks over the last few blocks.
The Spanish government is in no hurry to give your daddy the documents he needs to get our container out of purgatory at customs, so Bear (and the rest of our worldly possessions) may or may not be rejoining us in a few weeks as originally promised.
We are currently enjoying the musical stylings of city jackhammers. Lucky for us, our temporary street is getting a complete sidewalk and pavement overhaul for the entire five weeks that we’re here. You both love looking at the heavy construction equipment, and we all enjoy the early morning wake-up calls. The apartment vibrates—for free! You have to pay for that in the nice hotels.
We have also, apparently, rented our temporary apartment on a street full of local color. While mommy thought the flags with the Basque region of Spain and the paintings on the local bars of fists raised in the air were a fun sign of local pride, our relatives here think we might have to duck a few Molotov cocktails before moving to our new place. Don’t worry. I’ll throw my body over yours if need be. You were too much work to use as a human shield.
You’ve been helping us pick out our new apartment by running out onto seventh-floor terraces and giving old, hacking realtors small cardiac events. They also comment on how ably you both operate the light switches in rapid succession. Lucia wants the one with the pink room and creaking, original pre-war (WWI) armoires. Avram seems to want the one with all the light switches installed at wheelchair level. We’re just looking for something with the master bedroom far, far away from yours.
We hope that everything works out, and we don’t have to turn the container around and slink back into Alpine. We hope we get our new terrace appropriately childproofed and no one takes a swan dive down to the charming pedestrian street on which we will live. We hope we twist enough arms to get you into school despite missing the deadline and looking like we live on the streets (is it too much to ask of a vacation rental to have a hairdryer and iron??). We hope that you learn Spanish and Euskera (ancient, insane local language) so you can translate for us at PTA meetings. We hope that we can find an affordable computer, find the IKEA, and find brown sugar so we can once again eat cookies.
We mostly hope that our new lives here bring us happiness and opportunity, and that you like it here so much that you don’t move overseas after you have our grandchildren someday. Sorry, Dad.