The answer is, yes, there definitely are all of the things I do on a daily basis at home, but they are easier to do here. For one, Nikola has actually been on vacation these past two days. He has been with me and Peatuk. He put away his computer (despite being late on a few projects- yipes) and stepped up to helping manage Peatuk and giving me attention. THAT feels like vacation. Not absolute, but taking away half of my daily responsibilities is quite a lot. I can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. That is nice.
Besides Nikola, the parks here are a great vacation. There is something about the way they are set up, with a giant square surrounding a rather large play area, that makes it safe to let Peatuk have a little more space and autonomy. He rarely goes outside of the park, and if he decides to, I can let him wander and just trail after him. It is relaxing to not have to constantly guide, engage, and shepherd him. I love not having to tell him no. This really makes me ache for a yard of our own, which he is free to roam and explore.
How nice the other people are here also makes it feel like vacation. They are super into football. I thought that kids in Bulgaria were into football, but here it is everyone. This morning, Peatuk was wandering around and we came across two little boys playing football on the alameda. They were using the columns at one end as their goal post.
|Photo from wiki commons. Columns @
Alameda de Hercules, Seville Spain
No one seemed concerned or upset that they were playing with a cultural monument. (This goes into my theory that the people here really enjoy to LIVE in their space. To make use of it. To enjoy it.) Instead, an older woman stopped and shouted encouragement at the boys, giving them tips on their foot positioning. She then asked if I was their mother. I said that I don’t speak Spanish and shook my head, pointing to just me and Peatuk. She didn’t mind that I didn’t speak Spanish. She continued talking for a moment, with a huge smile, and then engaged Peatuk for a bit.
Peatuk was enthralled with the strange game he was watching and, of course, toddled up to the boys. They let him take their football away and put it on the ground and they both shouted, “GOAL!” for him when he gave it a little push. They didn’t have that much patience to stop their game, so I took Peatuk away at that point, but the fact that they were so polite about it made my morning.
A while later, the ball got chased away by a football, and a woman around my age trapped it perfectly and kicked it back. It was like, ‘If you are on the alameda, you are engaged in our game.’ And that was just it- everyone WAS engaged. They were happy to be engaged with each other.
I notice fewer phones out, a few more old school newspapers in the morning. But mostly, people earnestly chatting with each other. Listening with desire to understand. Speaking with animation and passion. I really wish that I knew how to speak Spanish, but even without it, I can tell that these conversations are lovely points of engagement.