Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It's a mom's life.

We’re back in little Latvija, Gaŗezers, amongst family and friends. First the basics: it is 20˚ cooler here than in SC, I’ve brought with a total of two pairs of pants for each of the boys and (0) warm long-sleeved shirts for mom. But isn’t that how it goes, it’s harder for mom than it is for the boys?

Lauris attended his first day of Biz Biz yesterday, the morning program for 3-6 year olds. As I left him crying with the more than capable counselors I repeated to myself all the reasons we had decided he would attend – the Latvian atmosphere will be good for him, he needs to learn to interact with other children, I can’t keep him with me forever, a week of mornings with only Mikus will do us all good – and then I cried, as what kind of mother leaves her 3 year old behind, crying for her, without looking back? It’s harder for mom than it is for the boys. (And of this I was sure upon returning, as Lauris came flying towards me with tales of all he had done, the cepumiņi he had eaten, the other boy he had met… and of course the refrain of mēs ejam caur’, mēs ejam caur, caur veco Rīgas tiltu which was repeatedly sung all afternoon.)

Mikus provided me with the biggest parenting scare of my life so far, after taking a tumble down some stairs on Saturday night. Used to his antics resulting in various bumps and bruises and not having seen the fall, I scooped him up – only to have him loll back in my arms, seemingly unconscious. All the years of first aid training I’d received during my years as a firefighter were replaced by pure panic as I calculated our distance from the closest ER, so luckily I was surrounded by calm and rational friends that guided us to the first aid station where we were met with a pediatric ER doctor, an EMT and my mom. When it became obvious that Mikus had just had all the air knocked out of him and was emerging from the experience with just another bump, all attention turned to the frantic mom – it’s harder for the mom than it is for the boys.

We attended the boys’ cousin’s birthday party on Saturday, where both Lauris and Mikus were truly in heaven; surrounded by kids and loving family members they enjoyed an entire day of play in the sand and surf, with almost unlimited access to shovels and trucks for the sand, fishing poles for the lake, and cupcakes for the stomach. Meanwhile mom tried to remain calm despite the close proximity to all kinds of dangers; water, stairs, cars, cupcakes… It’s harder for mom than for the boys.

That evening was a wonderful program at the Gaŗezers summer high school, muzēju nakts. On the campus are three museums: Klinklāva galerija (the art museum), Skautu un gaidu muzējs (the Latvian scout and girl guide museum) and Grīna muzējs (the museum of Latvian culture). Based on similar museum days in France, the museums had coordinated this festival to introduce visitors who might not otherwise visit these wonderful cultural resources to the treasures within their walls. This free event allowed us to participate in various activities such as baking bread on a campfire with the scouts and guides, painting a masterpiece with the art museum and listening to kokles being played by students from the high school. In addition we feasted on foods specially prepared to reflect the three museums, including pīrāgi and Jāņu siers at “Café Ūsiņš,” representing Grīna muzējs. The boys loved being the center of attention, getting messy with oil-based paint, getting up close and personal with a campfire and occasionally taking off into a throng of people. Again I repeat – more difficult for mom...

The adventures will no doubt continue, as tomorrow marks the arrival of my cousins from Chicago and this weekend is the annual volleyball weekend that brings hundreds of Latvians to the Latvian Center every summer. Maybe at some point I’ll have the mommy angst more under control to be better able to enjoy these summer days, however until then we’ll try to keep ourselves busy in the sand and sun.

PS I’ve heard ice cream (for the boys) and wine (for mom!) helps, I’ll keep you posted…


  1. Glad Lauris is enjoying himself.

    Sounds like Mikus gave you quite a scare, hope he is ok now (knowing him, he will be!)

    Hit that wine girl, I swear alcohol was invented for parents......

  2. Phew! Labi, ka juus visi esiet paardziivojushi shiis pirmaas dienas! Noteikti, ka turpmaak buus vieglaak...! Suutu lielas buchas jums visiem un gaidu dzirdeet veel par vasaras deekaam!!!


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