Fresh Eyes on my City

I live in a city I was not born in. In a country I was not born in. I have adopted both country and city. But, I am here alone with no siblings or other family. It’s often difficult and challenging but in truth, I’m grateful for each day. I have my own family now, and although I do miss out on having a village help me raise the children, I’m totally accepting of the situation. The reality would probably be nothing like the fantasy in my mind anyway, so better just enjoy what I have now. That being said, every time a family member comes to visit from abroad, the kids get excited and we all enjoy the time spent together. We take them around the city and try to be good hosts.

Most recently, my aging aunt and uncle came for a visit. I planned a bunch of stuff to do. I thoughtfully took their age into consideration and planned all activities in the neighborhood. Well my dear, let me tell you. I know nothing of the elderly and I found out the hard way. Just like when my baby was born and I thought I had this motherhood thing figured out. Wrong. I still know nothing. And I now realise I know nothing about being older either. Everything I thought was “close”, with an elderly couple, seemed so far!! This is a walking city and it’s ultra challenging to navigate with older people who are not so active. Distances that I thought would take 20 minutes (taking their age into consideration) took longer than that to walk. We managed to do 2 things on the whole list of activities I’d prepared. I ended up modifying the whole plan and just taking them to a nice diner in a busy section of the neighborhood. That was the best part of the whole plan. Turns out, I did learn something from being a mother. You can’t plan, and you have to go with the flow.

The next day, instead of schlepping them out in dubious weather, my thoughtful husband suggested going to them and ordering in. My aunt and uncle were thrilled and touched. We spent the whole afternoon indoors with them and it was lovely.

I’m so used to navigating places with kids, I now see the city like I’ve never seen it before.


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