We were thrust from one world into another in one car ride. Traveling does that to you, it doesn’t just take you to different places, but to whole other worlds. Sometimes this can happen in just a few hours. In three hours we went from a dusty, internet deprived cabin on the beach with spectacular scenery, to a modern well-connected Santiago suburb. My daily highlight went from tranquil walks along the shore or hikes through the woods to taking the kids to school.
Since we were staying only three hours from Santiago, my sister-in-law asked if I would mind taking care of her kids for a few days while she enjoyed a quick getaway with her husband. Being expats with no family nearby, they’ve never had an opportunity to leave the kids and get a break. They have three boys under 5 years old, so I know it was hard for her to ask such a favor, but the truth is, I was so happy to give her this much needed vacation. I know exactly how hard life gets after the third baby. The entire family dynamic changes. Everything with two children is orderly and well planned, and then you throw in that third kid, and suddenly your world is spinning out of control. At least that’s how I felt for the first year or so after Judah was born.
Joaquin was already staying with his aunt and uncle, supposedly to immerse himself completely in Spanish and to be a helping hand, but let’s be honest, he’s there for the fast internet. Jovani started with a fever the day before I left, so ended up bringing him with me to take him to the doctor in Santiago. I was able to take him to the doctor before my sister in law went out of town, so this was one less worry. This made a total of five boys and me.
I arrived for just in time for my nephews’ first week of school after summer break, so they were back to their morning routine. The rush of packing lunches and daily dropoff and pickup all came back to me. It was familiar, yet distinct at the same time and brought back memories of all those years of school routines with Joaquin, and even Jovani when he was in preschool. I loved getting a firsthand glimpse into this part of their life.
I bonded with my sweet baby nephew who also reminded me that I’m too old for a baby (just in case that thought ever came back into my mind). He, of course received baby swim lessons as part of the babysitting package deal. The boys played after school with their cousins, they also went to play with friends, they went to the movies once, and we even got to go to Chuck E Cheese (where I quickly remembered why it’s my least favorite place in the world!)
It was a great break from the utter seclusion of our housesit, but I look forward to seeing Israel and my sweet not-so-baby Judah. I will catch up on some sleep and get loads of reading done as well as enjoy more of our beach exploration.