It's quite incredible to notice the difference although, from last year to this year, the anxiety and nervousness we felt going into the first year in contrast to the ease and familiarity we feel this go round. We're both very excited about the upcoming year here in Utah, ready to make waves, now that we no longer feel like we're getting our feet wet.
Robin begins teaching tomorrow, and his own classes start up throughout this coming week. Isla is also busting at the seams to start her preschool classes this week. She'll be attending a nearby program a couple mornings a week. Although she has always been quite a social little person, happy to greet and speak with whomever she passes by, I have noticed her desire to seek out friends this summer has increased dramatically. Perhaps it was the constant stream of visitors and playmates that defined her summer holiday back home. I'm already feeling overwhelmed with her constant requests to hang out with her buddies here, while I still have mountains of laundry and an empty fridge to deal with. Luckily we've been able to connect with most of her playmates already, and feel grateful that her friend's parents make up a social network of our own.
I am however also looking forward to reconnecting with my kids here. I feel like the summer was full of distractions and 'free childcare' (thanks to our moms), something that I don't have here in Utah. I'm also reading a book at the moment that has been a good reminder of the importance of parental attachment and influence, especially during these early formative years. Our arrival back in Utah has reminded me of how lucky I am that I can spend this time with them and that had we not embarked on this family adventure to go to grad school, I wouldn't have been so fortunate to stay home with them.
Somehow I feel more confident and better equipped to both parent and make the most of this experience. I am sure it will be an exciting year for all of us - Robin will have new ideas and work to pursue, Isla will make new friends and discoveries, Roscoe will learn to talk and even I have a few projects up my sleeve....Stay tuned!