A very long post

Everything happens in the fall. The nature turns to beautiful golden colors, the air turns crisp, school starts, work starts, life goes on, the car needs a tune up, I need a haircut and a serious makeover… It is fall! Fall is like a Kinder Egg (that I still can’t believe is illegal).

My regular work at my school starts Sunday. It is lots of new kids this year and some new staff. Very exciting. I am brushing up my principal and teacher knowledge and reading through the curriculum and the course syllabus from the Education Department. Nothing really new but linguistically better formed. I get kind of stuck on different formulations. When can you call yourself Swedish? Is it a passport question or a something you feel in your heart? Is it enough to speak the language? It is actually pretty important when it comes to who the course plan and syllabus include. Important to discuss.

I got my ski poles today, finally. Can’t wait to try my new gear out, really try it out. I made a halfhearted promise to not try it when I was home alone. That’s how much my husband trusts me. I know he is just worried since my track record is pretty bad. When I do stuff that includes wheels and helmets broken bones seems to happen. I listened, so I stayed around our house. I did not fall, don’t think that would have been possible since I rolled around so slow even the snake in the back yard stayed and watched. Challenging, that’s all I’ve got to say. It’s going to take some hard work. Phew.

I dusted off my mountain bike today. First time since my head and elbow smashed into the ground and left me in tears on the trail. The bike was full of spider web, that’s how long it’s been, 10 months. I was expecting a bad fall, handlebar in the stomach area, bad bruising… something. I didn’t even get a fly in my eye. Everything went really smooth. Biking is fun! And then I stopped by the pool, a short swim and then back on the bike to get home. 50 yards and I was dead tired, I forced myself to swim for 30 minutes. I’ve felt really good since I got back, not too tired and sore. But apparently I am worn out. Train wreck, my arms don’t want to move and my breathing is off. I guess that happens after a 9k swim. Who knew? And I thought I was immortal.

Life goes on. Kids started school when I was vacationing in the Swedish archipelago, swimming around with jelly fish, enjoying electrolyte drinks, thunderstorms and gel that tasted like lime slugs. I tried to take care of everything I could before I left (read: writing checks and signing papers). They are busy, volleyball and badminton takes more time than school. I feel sorry for the three little nuggets that we have to schedule sleep on Sundays, apparently that will be the only day of the week when I will see them in daylight. Less than a week and we are already questioning the importance of school and why the teacher mom forced the poor high school kids to take AP classes since volleyball is the most important thing happening in high school? And when will we have time for drivers ed? Hopefully not until everybody turns 20. And how sore can a body feel after two weeks of the season. Sitting on the floor is out of the question even for a teenager. I really tried to curl the kids today bringing Jamba Juice and food before the bus left for Whidbey Island. Curl kids you ask?? It is an excellent Swedish expression. It means that you sweep the surface for your kids, really try to help them out, make life all golden and they don’t have to do a thing or even think (and that is not always a good thing). It’s not always positive if you want your kids to grow up. Well, at the moment I am the queen of curling. I’ll take a chance here, they will probably grow up anyway. I kind of sense that the school year 2013/14 will be the year of curling.

Below I add on an old blogpost from January ’13. A reminder how much we care about our girls. New schools, new sports and new friends. Change is good but scary!

I have three amazing kids, three beautiful girls. I don’t know how it happened but they are growing up. What feels like a couple of years ago we worried about preschool and swimming lessons, now we deal with drivers ed and honors classes at high school. The days go by slow but the years fly by so fast. 15 years feels like 5.

Our move to Washington was a big change in our girls’ life, both good and bad. As a parent you always question your decisions that involve your kids. You always wonder if you did the right thing, made the right decision. We have all learned and experienced so much and it has been a lot of laughter but also tears. I can’t even remember the first year we lived here, my mind blocked it somehow. Did we make the right decision? I do think so and I really hope so. This adventure will be a lifelong experience that we will all carry with us for the rest of our lifes. And I am sure growing up in different cultures has shaped their lifes. They will always view life through a lens that is different from their friends. Friends that lives on two different continents. We live in different cultures instead of reading about it in textbooks, we meet people that are very different from us every day. What awesomeness.

The only thing you really want for your kids is happiness. Not power or money, just for them to find their sweet spot, their thing that gives them goose bumps. You want them to grow up doing what they like to do, enjoy their lives. And you don’t want them to make the same mistakes as you did. But maybe they’ll have to. To get the experience and to feel some sort of pain. If I could I would pass my experience down to them but I can only give some advice. Just a few life lessons on the way, some more serious than others…

Keep swimming girls… before you blink high school will be over.

  • Be nice to your sisters, always.
  • It is ok to be homesick and long for all loved ones in our other country… they will still be there next summer.
  • Never get in a car with a drunk driver. Call home, any time.
  • Work out. As much as you can and as hard as you can. And it is ok to look sweaty, not very cute and feel like you are going to puke. It is actually good for you.
  • Always work hard in school, it will pay off. But remember, you can only do your best.
  • Never be afraid to ask for help.
  • It is ok to spend a lot of money on shoes, especially running shoes.
  • Don’t worry about love when you are 15, you have plenty of time. I am sure you will not even remember the name of the cutest guy in 9th grade when you turn 30. Life goes on.
  • Accept people around you. Nobody is perfect. Not even you.
  • Do your thing. Be different. But don’t wear too short skirts.
  • Travel as much as you can.
  • Laugh often and hard. And laugh at yourself.
  • Keep your eyes on the ball, in sports and in life.
  • Learn how to drive a stick.
  • Learn how to cook and bake bread. Enjoy food, it is good for you and it brings people together.
  • Change is good, scary but good.
  • Do things that scare you.
  • No tattoos or visible piercings. And no, I will not change my mind about this.
  • You are all three so much stronger than you think.
  • If you can’t think, go for a run, a long run.
  • Don’t stress… you have a long life ahead of you.

This week’s favourite song:

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