Actually, we’re IN America and have been for just over a week now, hence the prolonged absence. I have a lot to write about and say, but am obviously prioritising spending time with our friends and family, which doesn’t leave large periods to blog. But I did want to let you know how we’re doing. In no particular order, some of the highlights of the trip:
- The Duchess finally meets her Grandpa. I worried that if he tried to hold her right away she might burst into tears because sometimes she is a little nervous around people (particularly men) she doesn’t know. And although this is totally normal for a baby, I didn’t want it to dash my Dad’s hope and dreams about this big event of welcoming his granddaughter off the plane and seeing her for the first time. Especially since over the last few months he’d sometimes make little comments about how she doesn’t ‘know’ him. He walked up to her said hi with a huge smile on his face. She stared. Seconds passed. I held my breath and prayed her lower lip didn’t start to pop out. A huge grin then crossed her face and they have been buddies ever since. He even held her while we loaded up the car and both were as happy as a lark. There has not been one moment where she has seemed nervous or scared around him. Perhaps it’s all of those Skype calls or perhaps it’s because Grandpa looks like Mommy dressed up as a man.
- The Duchess stays awake. We stayed down South for a couple of days and in that time we got to spend time with my Mom, Dad, and nephew, who all flew down to meet us. After 17 hours of travel, I thought that baby of ours would be incredibly grumpy. Instead on the afternoon of our arrival she played with her cousin and Grandma and squealed and laughed the loudest I’ve ever heard. It was genuinely really special and perhaps a little bizarre. She was pushing 2am in British time. That baby has stamina.
- The Duchess meets her uncles. My brother and brother-in-law (Sister’s husband) hadn’t yet met The Duchess. And for guys who haven’t really been around babies much recently, they both have insisted on holding her as much as her busy bum will let them. It is sweet, but may also be ever so slightly influenced by the fact that there is actually a little bet going on in my family about who she would like the most. I think each of them may argue that they are the front-runner.
- The Duchess watches her first (3rd grade) basketball game. Sports are huge in America – even when you’re nine. We’ve never gotten to watch our nephew play football or basketball before, but we finally got to see his athletic prowess in action over the weekend. After hearing stories from The Sister about crazy parents who get in fights with other parents at their 8 or 9 year olds game, The Native got really excited and brought the video camera. I’m not really sure what he was hoping for, perhaps to capture the next YouTube sensation. No major bust-ups, but we did really enjoy watching The Superstar play (he even led the game in points and rebounds. Go Nephew!)
- Seeing friends from near and far. We have had friends drive up from Florida, in from 2-3 hours away and even have more friends to see soon. It makes us feel really loved and reminds me of just how much life is changing and how different, but the same things are every time we come back.
- Last week when I went to lunch with The Native, The Duchess, The Sister and my Mom, we were given a stopwatch and told that if they didn’t have our food to us 14 minutes from when we placed our orders, we’d get it for free. The Waitress arrived to our table with the food at 14.10. Lunch was completely free. I ordered dessert to celebrate. We walked away with a $7 bill. God bless America.