I can’t believe it’s been a year but, here we are, back in Bordeaux. Sean was offered a permanent position at the Universite and, despite my insecurities we have returned. I recognize that my lack of enthusiasm the first time around was primarily due to my self-inflicted hesitation to explore the city solo with baby in tow, lack of friends, and poor language skills. Like last time, I am starting this new adventure in the role of a stay-at-home mom – this time, with a walking, talking, energetic, one nap a day toddler. In our three months in France last year, I found two public playgrounds. Neither had age-appropriate equipment for a 9 month old. At the time, I don’t think Owen minded so much. He was just as happy with a cut-up cardboard box to use as a tunnel. But at almost 2 years old and used to spending all day outside at daycare in a yard full of toys and climbing gyms, Owen can’t seem to get enough time at a playground. Rain, sun, or snow, he wanted to go to the playground near our house everyday in Colorado. So, I am exceptionally nervous to find things to do with a toddler in Bordeaux. And I have to say that a search of the internet, granted it was done in English, did not ease my fears. Virtually nothing comes up other than references to the Jardin Publique, the site of one of the previously mentioned playgrounds.
So, here we are. Back in Bordeaux, temporarily in the same internet- and phone-free house as last year (this time there is a TV, though very few functional channels). But I promised myself and Sean that I will not suffer the same, depressed fate as I did last year. For the sake of my son and my own sanity, I want to make this experience as great as it can and should be. In telling people that we were moving to France, not one person said, “oh that stinks. I’m sorry”. Instead, we heard, “take me with you” or “I’m so jealous. How exciting!” And that is just the kick in the pants I needed to shake the blues off and jump in this time with high hopes.