As I have often mentioned in this blog, one of the greatest luxuries that I have living here is the domestic help. And one of the greatest benefits of this luxury is the amount of stress-free time I have to spend with my kids. Now that the girls are back in school, we have resumed our ritual of weekly “dates” with each of them alone.
Siena and I had one of those perfect afternoon dates this week. It was a glorious day, warm with not a cloud in the sky. We took a local bus to the town square. We usually take taxis because they are so cheap here, but the smallest bill I had was COP20,000 (about $11) and I didn’t want to haggle over the fare (Taxis aren’t metered here and upon hearing my foreign accent, prices sometimes rise to unreasonable amounts. I therefore prefer to have exact change to pay the driver.) The bus ride turned out to be the highlight of the afternoon. It was nearly empty and the driver navigated Chia’s pot-holed streets at neck breaking speed. It was like a roller coaster ride! Siena and I sat in the back, where it’s the bumpiest, and held on for dear life, laughing all the while. So fun!
Once at the plaza, we bought scoops of ice cream and people watched. Wanting to prolong our date, we then sat at my favorite outdoor café drinking hot chocolate (the temperature dropped ten degrees in twenty seconds as it often does here at 9,000 and we were suddenly chilly after eating all that ice cream). Siena sat on my lap and told me all about her school day, animatedly acting out the story their teacher told them that day. It was heavenly! I felt so blessed to be able to sit in a two hundred year old plaza, watching all sorts of characters walk by, with my six-year old on my lap, acting out her favorite Waldorf stories, full of gnomes and magic.
Yesterday was Jade’s turn. We drove to Centro Chia, a very modern shopping mall here in Chia and had what I consider to be Colombia’s best ice cream at Crepes and Waffles. This was followed by a game of mini golf, as Jade and I talked and laughed and jokingly competed (I won by a mere point. She is getting good!) I got the latest scoop on what’s happening at school and it was great to hear her sounding so happy.
Last but not least, I spent some alone time with Saige, my 20 month old, this week. It was wonderful to focus all of my attention on her without her sisters around and I was amazed, yet again, on how much she is growing and what a personality she has! She calls me “mamita” and answers me in Spanish if I speak Spanish and in English if I speak English. Sometimes she translates between the two. I offered her eggs for breakfast and she responded “huevos?” It’s great to watch her growing up bi-lingual.