And most of the time we love it. just yesterday we were out shopping and had to choose between La Madeline, Chipotle, or a Mediterranean grill that we had never heard of before, and needless to say we went with the medi grill. Caro was not too happy about our choice, she is highly picky about what she chooses to put in her mouth; but there was yummy, warm pita bread involved so she consented.
And we loved it.
It wasn't like what we had eaten here in Houston before and everything tasted to authentic and delicious. Dad wasn't able to eat with us that time but we plan to take him there again in the near future.
Another time when I was seven or eight I still had training wheels on my bike. I knew how to ride without them; I had gone around on friends two-wheeled bikes perfectly fine.
Honestly, I liked my training wheels, not entirely for the security that they brought
but because I was convinced that I could go faster with them.
You see there was this "really big" hill in my neighborhood; Mica and I would spend entire afternoons going up and down, and up and down again, almost never coming in until it was dark. And it was my firm belief that I could never have as much fun on just two wheels. So I held on to training wheels as long as I could until my best friend took off hers; then something had to be done.
So came the day when I told my Dad to take off the beloved wheels, and Mica and I started up the "hill" together (Yes, we walked our bike up then rode down--it was a pretty big hill, especially when your seven).
I let Mica go down hill first, then I went down and found out
that I loved it--go figure.
I don't remember going any faster, but it certainly wasn't any slower than before; and I could take turns sharper and do all sorts of figure eights in the street (things you really couldn't do with training wheels).
The point was that I didn't want to go back to training wheels again; they were fun while they lasted but now I enjoyed riding without them.
I could go on about the countless times in which we did something different or changed something about our life. Moving to Germany and to California brought its own challenges and discoveries (Like always order your water "without gas" when you want tap water, mineral water tastes very different.) But in each place we have gone, whether a new beach, country by train, or even a new eatery, we have always tried our best to take in as much as we can while we are there.
Naturally, I've learned, that change comes with it's own difficulties and pains.
Moving to Germany was hard because we knew very little about the country previously, knew next to no German, and didn't have a car, phone, or much internet while we were there.
California presented many of the same challenges, but in a way that only Southern California can do.
And I don't know how many scrapes, scars, and bruises I got from taking my training wheels off.
I've been thinking about all of this lately because I see so many areas in my life that will soon bring change. And when I say "soon" I mean, "in the next five or ten years" soon.
For example, there is a sweet family that I enjoy babysitting for. And this past week they were considering asking me or Mica to stay the night and watch their children the next morning. Mom said, "Well, Elena can't because she has her nanny job in the morning, but Mica would love to go over..."
And that got me to thinking that, Lord willing, when I marry, how that will all change.
At first I felt so very sad.
That is one of the aspects that I love most about staying at home; I love being able to leave at a moments notice for whatever reason. There have been times where we had something else planned as a family, but an emergency with a friend arose and I was able to go and watch their children. And in those few moments, I thought about how all of that would change when I have a husband and a home. I brought these concerns to my parents when we were talking later that evening. That's when they brought it to my attention that yes things would change, but that doesn't mean certain things would just stop.
And that is the beauty of it.
Sure, I probably won't spend weekends at other peoples houses when the parents go out of town, people would bring their children to me if they want. And my Mom pointed out that these ladies would probably stop being her friends, but will probably become my own friends on a different level.
I love everything that I am doing now for my family and for different families that we know.
And yes, things would be different but thankfully, in this case, things wouldn't change.
I'll still have friends and family, only that I will have different desires and priorities.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, I am wonderfully accomplished on my bike and I enjoy many off road rides, especially different ones.
Picture Credit: "High Dive" by Norman Rockwell, AllPosters.com