Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sister Bear Goes to the Zoo

To coincide with our big move I decided to start a brand new blog. The old blog will continue to chronicle our last weeks of expat adventures, but life ticks on and there is so much happening here today as we settle back in. I don't want to miss a minute of it. I can promise this blog's posts will be less frequent and less involved than our European tales. Such is life for a working mom!

We have kept our frenetic pace since landing back in the USA. Yet strangely it suits us. C remains flexible, happy and sings throughout the chaos of change. Family and friends strengthen and remind us of those we have missed the past 18 months. I am amazed at how the roots replant so reflexively. And so even though moving and repatriating have been difficult - the difficulty is surrounded by love, hospitality, and sincerity that humbles me and reminds me to be always grateful.
I will rewind the past weeks in upcoming posts - but today is a poignant one. Today marks a milestone. It is my last full weekday as a stay-at-home-mom with C. She will be back at school tomorrow and I start my new job Monday. I wanted to make it a truly special mother-daughter day so we headed to the Zoo! Way back when I served as a "Panda Interpreter" Volunteer at this same zoo - when I was a childless DINK hungry for any opportunity to be outside and with children. I taught the kids about Lun Lun and Yang Yang and the bamboo they ate. If only I had my crystal ball then. To see myself the stay-at-home-mom on a Thursday morning with my three year old gazing at those very same pandas! A full circle moment.
C LOVES the Berenstain Bears right now. You know the bears, right? Mama, Papa, Brother and Sister Bear... When I got C dressed and put the pink bow up on top she looked right up at me with satisfaction and exclaimed, "Sister Bear has a pink bow just like mine!" I had to laugh. Indeed she does!
C adored the zoo. Together we laughed, skipped, ooooh'd and aaaah'd at the animals all morning. We were two peas in a pod. C thought the elephants looked like Dumbo! And we spotted vultures just like from "The Jungle Book!" Way to go Walt; there must be a Disney analogy for nearly every zoo animal! There were baby warthogs, a parakeet kingdom, and silverback gorillas chasing each other swinging from limb to limb. What an animal gift right in our own hometown! At the end C proclaimed the "Stinky Elephants" her favorite. (I hadn't noticed the stench but I guess they were covered in red GA clay. I asked her again several hours later and she again repeated "STINKY elephants" so I guess the smell stuck).
I snuggled C in her bed as she was going down for her nap. I know there will be many more opportunities to kiss her to sleep but it seemed sentimental knowing this was the end of this special stay-at-home chapter together. I took C's "Sister Bear" pink bow out of her hair. C sat right on top of me and put her nose to my nose, smushing and nuzzling me. Out of the blue she asked, "Mama Bear doesn't have to go to work when Brother and Sister Bear go to school. So why do you?" I am not kidding. It will be a hard week. But I know it is best. For both of us. I looked through our books and - Bingo! - even Mama had a career.
PS - The name of our blog comes from the nursery rhyme. I have heard and said it all my life when returning home. It seemed apropos given our transition situation!
To market, to market,
To buy a fat pig.
Home again, home again,
Jiggety Jig.

To market, to market,
To buy a fat hog.
Home again, home again,
Jiggety Jog.

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