After joining the expat facebook group, I’d made some inquiries and given notice of my trip to the ‘mums cafe’ every Tuesday, and over the next few weeks I had spent some time with 6 other mums all in similar situations each with their own story to tell. They had travelled or relocated with husbands, all with children, just like me. Some moving permanently, some temporary, some home schooled, some not. I was fascinated by all their different paths in life they had taken and found them all to be the most loveliest and welcoming of people. Not only did I feel comfortable in their company, my daughter did too and her socialising so well with other children of all ages made me so happy. I remember walking home one day with a wonderful feeling inside me, a feeling of positivity, thinking I made the right decision I can do this!
One particular Tuesday morning at the cafe I was joined by a certain mum, unbeknown at the time the friendship that would blossom between us. She had two children with her, an elder girl of two going on three and a baby boy of nine months. She spoke the language fluently (Quito was her native home) and she became my interpreter. At the time I doubt she knew just how much difference that coffee morning had made to my life at the time! Over the space of a few hours we had swapped our journeys so far and shared the things we had learnt on the way. We had common interests, and most of all our children got along. It melted my heart to see my daughter playing with others so well after me uprooting her to a new country and being alone with me everyday for weeks. In just 5 weeks of meeting at that cafe I felt like I had known her for years and to this day we are still in touch and will continue to meet up in which ever country life finds us. She has become a wonderful friend.
Besides the adult conversations and meet ups I’d made, a lot of time was still spent alone with my daughter. Although it was and still is sometimes an exhausting day I feel lucky that I get so much time with her, watching her grow, teaching her new things, and she amazes me everyday! Sometimes I have done somethings that have made me laugh, like cutting the feet off her baby grows because they were getting too small, leaving her looking like a pirate, but needs must when clothes are limited and expensive! We have learnt different ways to keep entertained, with few toys and no TV the imagination can go wild! Beside the balloons, one day we used her cot mattress as a slide from the sofa, something that brought back memories for me as a child, and something that after 30 minutes of holding the mattress and helping her climb up and down it wasn’t my smartest move. For at least 2 weeks her favourite thing was a potato! She carried it everywhere in a green reusable shopping bag. She became my little helper with the washing and had so much fun with the empty basket, crawling inside it and peeping out of the side. These are just a few of the days we spent together and it felt like home, a little bit of normality in an abnormal situation.