My dad came and we had a great time and some really nice weather to boot. We had a lovely day trip to Ghent on an amazingly warm and sunny day.
My birthday was probably on the warmest day of the year and we even ate on the balcony.
We restored this little wooden chair I'd found by the dumpster. Like the color?
It's always great to have visitors from home and feel like I am at home again. To talk about old times and new times and discover new foods and places together. I barely worked when he was here due to the abysmally low number of classes I've been getting lately. So on the upside I could spend more time with him.
But after the highs of his visit, now it's the lows of getting back to reality and my sort of confusing life here. The fact that Remi works seven days a week and comes home tired and grumpy certainly doesn't help matters. That I have so very little work now (the month of May alone has four public holidays this year, two of which are even consecutive and all of which are during the work week). And thus so little pay!
I know I try to be upbeat on this blog and focus on the little things in life that make me happy. I'm not trying to get sympathy from my readers nor bring you all down. But things could be better lately. Sometimes this expat can still feel like a fish out of water on this side of the pond. Underappreciated and misunderstood. Or like I'm always swimming upstream (to take the metaphor a bit further, eh mom?).
This morning I chatted with two of the moms from Juliette's class in front of the school. One is Tunisian and has three kids and went back to work last year. She's tired and misses her kids. The other is now looking for work after taking parental leave for her two kids. They both said it's just so tough on women, having to juggle kids and work and husbands who generally just aren't as interested in their children's lives as we are. I felt a little bit of comfort talking with them and knowing I wasn't alone. Whether we work or not, full-time or not, we're all kind of "desperate housewives" looking for the rhyme and reason in our lives.
And so on a lovely day in May, with the sun shining, I'm just trying to keep my head above water and remember what matters: family, friends, happiness and kindness.