three years later

Believe it or not here I am after three years (well, nearly). So much has happened in three years that it completely boggles my mind as to why I didn’t add something here, but it makes perfect sense at the same time. Let me summarise the last 33 months: in the summer of 2018 we went back to Japan, I got engaged in Kyoto, at the Fushimi Inari and a couple of days later, in Ginza, Tokyo we found out I was pregnant;

The rest of the year was kind of a blur. L went to school for the first time in September. It took her a while to get used to the whole thing, and then she had to get used to a new something in her life – but that comes later. Over the mid term break, in October/November 2018 we went to spend some days in Spain, next to the border. We had a nice time.

After Christmas, more blur. And three months in 2019, L was no longer an only child, she had a sister! M was born in March 30th, and I have to say it was a pretty easy and fast delivery. It’s true what they say about the second time around. You know your stuff, you know what to do and even in the middle of all the unexpected, you kind of know what to expect.

Summer was pretty chill. We went to the beach and we went to Amsterdam where we cycled our way around and just enjoyed the sights. It was the first time we travelled as a family of four and we wanted to go to a place that was familiar to us, so there was no ‘pressure’ to go sightseeing every little thing. We still went to some cities we had never been, like Harlem, but other than that, we kept to the usual places.

In September my maternity leave was over and off to school we went. It was still pretty warm outside until mid October, so our weeks were punctuated by the occasional walk outside. The end of October brought another trip, this time to warm and sunny Dubai. We had a wonderful time there. Besides the obvious walks and beach fun we won a giant stuffed toy at a fair. I tried to give it away but were unsuccessful, so we left it in our hotel. I have a couple of photos from this trip so maybe (maybe!) I’ll give it a go at another post, only about Dubai. This was the trip I gave up on using my camera for photos. It’s just too much hassle with two kids and a stroller and whatnot. Maybe in a couple more years, when the kids are a bit more independent and I’m able to have both hands to myself. Who knows?

So from November until Christmas, it was, once again, another blur. We didn’t do much, just enjoyed life. Good thing we did because no one could prepare us for what was about to hit. Main highlight just before Christmas was the Harry Potter Exhibition. We had lots of fun, but that was also when we found out L had yet another ear infection and we took the decision of going for surgery for her nose in order to help her avoid the ear infections as much as possible. Looking back, it was the right thing to do.

Christmas came and went and at the end of February we were getting on a plane for the last trip in a long time — though we didn’t know it at the time. We went to Disneyland Paris with the grandparents and we couldn’t have had a better time.

As soon as we got back home the news about Corona virus were getting more and more prominent, and on the 2nd of March Portugal got its first case. Around mid March we were all sent home. It wasn’t easy. And I can’t believe this was more than a year ago! We were prisoners in our own home and nothing crossed the threshold of our door without being doused in either alcohol or bleach. Streets outside were empty and everything felt like ghost town, like we were in the middle of a war. We thought things would subside quickly, but more than a year in, we haven’t stopped wearing masks outside of our homes and we are now, slowly, getting out of the second (or is it third?) lockdown.

It’s like our lives have been on hold, even though we are lucky enough to be able to continue working. We miss travelling… but most of all we miss the little things that we used to take for granted, like going outside without a mask, or sitting outside and have a beer, or going to our hometown to our parents’. It hasn’t been easy. It’s not easy to teach the whole day, sitting in front of the computer while managing my own two kids at home and having to teach L at the end of my teaching day, or in the middle, or whenever; or simply ignore the million tasks sent home for her to work on and enjoy spending time with her playing tag or hide and seek at home.

And that’s it. A summary of what happened these last three years. Will it take three more years for me to write again? Maybe. I don’t know. Probably. Does it matter? No, not to me, at least. I’m fine coming back here and finding some memories, no matter how much time has passed.

Thank you for being on the other side.