Today is a beautiful, 75 degree day in Budapest. It is also Emma Jane's 4th day of 2nd grade and Anthony Ransom's 2nd day of Kindergarten. They are attending the American International School of Budapest, which is really an international school run in the style of an American school. Emma and Ransom are in classes comprised of students from all over the world. Both children were incredibly excited to start school, and they have loved every part of it so far.
I was emotionally prepared for Emma to go back to school. I thought I was emotionally prepared for Ransom to start kindergarten. I mean, there was a time when I didn't even know if I would like that kid (see blog post here), but low and behold, I really, really like him, and I really, really miss him. He asked if he could walk by himself to his class on his first day, to which I replied, "Of course not". He walked into his classroom all smiles, hung his backpack in his cubby and took out his folder as though he had been doing these routines for months. I shouted a "Bye!" and "I love you!", and then he looked at me with concerned eyes, realizing this was harder on me than him. He came over to where I was and gave me a tight hug, and then ran off to play at centers. I was pretty choked up as I walked Emma to the stairs before she headed up to her classroom. As Titus and I walked out the doors, all I could think about was Handsome Ransom, age 4 sitting on top of a piece of playground equipment at the park we used to go to. They grow fast.
And every goodbye is hard.
While driving around the city, I have been thinking about things I should blog about.
Here are a few random observations.
- Lots and lots of people here smoke cigarettes. It's just what they do. They may walk everywhere and eat healthy, but they also smoke. Emma and Ransom made a game out of counting cigarette butts. I think Ransom decided to just round up to 9,874 billion.
- Most people here have some form of a tattoo somewhere on their bodies, and there are many people with body piercings. The tattoos are usually colorful and in obvious places. It seems they do not worry about being disqualified from a job based on body art as would be a consideration (whether right or wrong) in America.
- The average age of women having children (first babies) is well over 30. The pregnant women I have seen at the doctor's office were in their mid-forties. I am considered quite young to have as many children as I have, especially a 7 year old.
- Public transportation (bus, tram, subway) and walking is considered the norm. Upper middle-class people take the bus to work. The people here think Americans are crazy for the amount of time we spend in the car. I have developed a love for the tram. For about $10 a month, I can have someone drive me all around town all I want while I read, sleep, or make eye-contact with my children.
- European butter is amazing.
I think I'm going to go have some bread and butter now.