Monday, January 09, 2006

Changes: big and little

Beau and Ryan left for home yesterday evening. Three weeks passed quickly and now it was time for them to go home. I watched teary-eyed as they moved through security and onto the tarmac to the 737 bound for Los Angeles. How many family vacations like this do we have left? There are so many transitions we are all going through right now. Both boys are adults and Allison is no longer our baby. And we are living in Mexico!

Allison started school today. We had to awaken at 6 a.m. to get ready and arrive early to get her enrolled. We were the very first people there and after wandering around a school painted entirely in shades of marine blue we settled on a bench outside the classrooms and listened to a cacophony of roosters crowing. It is written that Loreto has an abundance of roosters and it is true. At a few minutes before 8 a.m. students in green and grey plaid uniforms began pouring in through the blue iron gate, most of them carrying overstuffed backpacks. An older nun greeted nearly each one with a hug.

Overall, the childrens' mood was cheerful with lots of grinning and happy salutations. I could see Allison was curious but guarded. Her body was stiff with trepidation but she never cried or begged to be taken away. Her teacher, who speaks no English, led her through introductions and then to her seat at the front of the room just behind J., her only english-speaking acquaintance in Mexico. I did not hover long, only enough to learn she needed a notebook and pencil. Robert and I went immediately to the supermarket for both. Her required uniform, I learned, will have to be made. We have to purchase the material and find someone to make the skirt. After delivering the notebook and two pencils and a sharpener (on the advice of the store clerk) we walked away and left her to her new adventure. Without us. She's not my baby, but a citizen of the world and she has to take her place. I respected her a lot today.

Robert and I had the rest of the day to ourselves and we were busy meeting with various persons involved in the building of our home. I made some minor revisions to our bath subtracting one sink, adding a linen cabinet. I kept a promise to D. to feed a litter of wild desert dogs while she's away. Toting Purina Chow and a jug of water, I followed her directions to the spot where I am to call out, "here puppies, here puppies," and three scrawny pointy-eared, people-shy mutts peep out. I am glad for the chore since I spend most of the day asking others for assistance, advice, directions, help.

Later, this evening, we had a couple over and the four of us, my mother, and Allison sat down to an American-style dinner. I've come to realize that a home-cooked meal is highly appreciated here and is the one thing I am able to offer in reciprocation. Everyone shared their day's experiences; Allison recounted her day at school with a lot of candor ("the playground stinks.") But at bedtime we had trouble. She began complaining that she wanted to go home. Her brothers got to go home. She was old enough to fly on a plane by herself and somebody could pick her up. Living in Mexico was our dream, not hers. She worked herself into a nausea "from the germs she got from school" and thought she might vomit. Then the tears began and she had a little breakdown. I cheered her up with discussion of lunch box planning that included apple juice and powdered donuts and she finally fell asleep. However, now I feel a little shaken off-center, in need of someone to issue me a pep talk and remind me of my purpose--which is???

I talk to myself and land on the thought that there's no need to work on the big picture, just stay occupied on the dailies. Tomorrow we will get up early, pack the lunch, go to school, look for fabric for the uniform. All the little details. Then I suddenly remembered today on the construction site we met a man responsible for details. His job: overseeing the finishes or, detalles, on each house. He is called something like, Detalle Man. The resulting object under his charge gets the greatest scrutiny as well as the greatest praise when done well. I can relate to that as a Detalle Woman.

No comments: