Tuesday, May 10, 2011

All over again

We're back from an almost month-long vacation. First, it was two weeks in America; then, half a week back at work and off again to Mallorca for our triathlon training camp.

We had a great week there. The island is mostly known for its white sandy beaches, but cycling is another major source of tourism. We didn't train as intensively as the other members of our group, who are all accomplished triathletes (most of whom have completed Ironmen (Ironmans?) in 10-11 hours).

They would get up and swim every morning at 7 and then ride around a hundred miles a day.

The mountains on Mallorca go up to 1400 meters, with the highest paved mountain pass at 1100 meters. The longest climb is 13K at 7.4%. I've never climbed real mountains before and loved every minute of it. If I lived by mountains, I doubt I would be a runner.

Christian has no idea whether he is in Denmark, America or Spain. He liked the beach and the fact that we bought him toy cars and ice cream. He loves Lightning McQueen and screams "Lamma Queen!", when he sees anything related to Cars (which is all the time on the Mallorcan tourist strips).

Because of our peculiar life, Natali travels a lot, but she only sees the same two countries, and most of her vacations are spent at her mom's house. She lapped up the sights and sounds of Mallorca and tried speaking a little Spanish here and there. She is such a thinker; she notices and questions everything.

After we got back from America a few weeks ago, she missed her mom so much that she would wail in frustrated despair. It was difficult for a few days, but it got better. She has always stated that she wants to stay with her mom, and she smiles when I go on about how much I'm going to miss her. I think she considers me the strong parent; the one who will stay a constant in her life, no matter what. She often mentions that her mom does not miss her enough, and that she never seems sad when she says goodbye.

Now, her move back to La Crosse is just a month away, and she can see it coming. I realized that I have no more weekdays off until we leave for America in June. I told her, and the realization that we wouldn't have any more afternoons together dawned on her. I won't be biking her to school or picking her up - ever. Not for the foreseeable future, anyway.

Yesterday evening, we played soccer with the neighbor girls. She wore her new Barcelona jersey (number 10 Lionel Messi, away colors) and did the Messi cheer when she scored. She asked me whether I thought she would play soccer in America and if I would pay for it, if her mom couldn't. Later, she asked when our annual spring day in Tivoli (the old amusement park in downtown Copenhagen) was going to be. She perfectly well knew that no such day will happen this year, as I have no days off. And then, trying to pretend all her questions were unrelated, she wanted to make sure I would call her every day. She figured out that I could stay up till 11 and she would hurry back from school, and we could talk that way, despite the time difference.

It's horrible that she is leaving. I dread it and it clouds my mind.


SteveQ said...

I've been watching a Britcom series called "Outnumbered," which is just typical parenting stuff made nightmarish, like being stuck in an airport for 5 hours with three bored kids (and a senile parent) and it's so believable that I find myself thinking "There's no way I could ever be a parent; it's just not worth the headache" and then I read your post and I kind of get it.

Danni said...

But when you move back to Madison you can see her and your other son all the time.