Monday, September 19, 2011

Our New Normal

I can't even describe how I have felt over the last two months. Today is the two month anniversary of our arrival into this great country called Germany. Due to the nature of this move, it seems like it is eons ago we were sitting in a hotel room wondering if we would ever get quarters. Eating out every meal (except for the great breakfast at the Marriott) was just frustrating. The refrigerator in the room was smaller than the one I took to college (30 years ago!) The rooms were not adjoining so we spent a lot of time in the halls between rooms attempting to keep our cooped up children in check. Then there was the parking in the garage for sardines. Seriously, these people have the smallest cars and smallest parking spaces. I guess they aren't used to the machines we call vehicles. Seriously, our cars in the states are ridiculously huge and total gas guzzlers. At about $8.50 USD for an equivalent gallon of gas, I think our cars in the states would definitely start getting smaller. Americans are spoiled with cheap gas prices, big warehouse stores, and grocery choices. Yes, grocery choices. The food here is found in stores like Aldi, Norma, Kaufland, and Rewe which all have limited quantity, choices, and supplies. Now the things missing in America are the good old fashioned bakeries. Or Bakerei here in Germany! Oh my, they are fabulous. And Donner or Kebap (kind of like a gyro) restaurants. So yummy! But I digress.... oh and chocolate. My goodness it is SO good over here. I need to get my friend's addresses and send them some of this chocolate monthly. It will take all your cares away!
The emotions that we have endured since our move here are all over the place. With Bekah being here, going to France with Rachel for 5 days, getting ready to go back to the states for school, to Rachel going to volleyball camp, starting a new job, going to school for the first time in her life, getting on the volleyball team - oh wait, no she didn't - that's another story.... Then there is Sarah going to school part-time, making some good friends, starting girl scouts and youth group, to Zach going to school full-time, becoming a Boy Scout for the first time in his life, and learning how to manage all of this has created a roller coaster of emotions which very well might derail by the end of this blog entry. Bekah is all settled at school and working to finish up the last of about 3 semesters before she graduates. Her time here was limited but we wanted to make it as eventful as possible. Not to mention the fact that we wanted to get out of the hotel. So, we went off to Munich and saw some cool things there and then to Dachau concentration camp. Truly an awe inspiring place. These people endured so much and yet still had faith. There are four churches on this site now and the protestant church even has service on this site every Sunday. How incredible to still have faith after so many people were massacred there because they didn't agree with one man's view of the world and how it should be! Truly these are grounds in which to tread with reverence. She also had a chance to go to Paris with Rachel for 5 days. The events they experienced as sisters will never be forgotten. But I was a bit uneasy with my two beautiful daughters off to Paris without an "adult" - even though Bekah is truly an adult, I still see her sometimes as my little inchworm! A number of other things happened with Bekah that won't be written down for eternity...but caused intense emotions, but also brought some things to light that needed to be brought into THE light! All good, but all exhausting! Rachel who is usually pretty easy going and goes with the flow, struggled the most with this move. Understandably, as she left good friends in GA but also because she is at a rough age to meet new people. So, she wanted to go to school, first to experience it, but also to try to make friends quickly. Oh and yes, she definitely wanted to play volleyball. During the 2nd week of August (after her return from Paris), she went off to volleyball camp for a week. She quickly learned that she was an "outsider" and that to become an insider, they needed to put you through some tests so to speak. Outside of attempting to make her feel bad that she was a "virgin" they shunned her because she didn't cuss, drink, swear, or have her first kiss. One girl said, "Wow, I feel like a ho-bag sitting next to a girl who hasn't done anything." Another girl said, "Oh don't worry about not being a drinker - that'll change here since you can drink at 16." Lovely set of girls to hang around, eh? Tryouts for volleyball were on Monday (or so we thought - as the flyer said "Tryouts begin on Monday at 1530 to 1700")- what does that mean to you? Did you understand that to mean that the tryouts are ALL WEEK? Not us either...but after figuring that out Monday at 1700 Rachel asked coach about missing a practice or two during the week since she had to work and didn't know tryouts were all week. He said, "Oh not a problem - I saw you today and you will probably make a team - Don't know if it will be Varsity or J/V, but you'll make a team" - this was said in front of another parent, too! Hmmm.... OK.
Rachel missed practice on Thursday and after practice on Friday the first cuts were made. Rachel was cut. She was mortified. She went to him in tears and asked him what she could do to improve to make it the next year. He saw the look on her face and immediately realized he had made a mistake and forgot to add her name to the list (since she was absent the day before). After he realized what emotional upheaval he had caused, he said, "Oh I am sorry. And since I put you through that, let me let you in on some information. You will be on my Varsity team!" WOW! She was so excited. That weekend we went out to purchase all her volleyball stuff and then the list for Varsity came out on Wed and guess what...??? PSYCH! Nope. Her name wasn't on the list. REALLY ??? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? The next day the list came out for J/V and NOPE her name wasn't on that either. Oh my word - this was unbelievable. We were in complete shock. How could a person do this to an adolescent? I couldn't fathom what he had done. The emotional rollercoaster almost flew off the tracks at that point. I was needing an intervention! Rachel has stayed on with the team as their manager so that she can condition with them and workout as much as possible. But also to stay close to a game she loves. Her heart is so sweet and tender and she holds no animosity towards this coach. She continues to amaze me as I would like to hurt him. But I have allowed her the space to deal with this on her own! She is doing well in her courses and seems to love her job. Oh wait, that's another story too. She is getting sexually harassed at work and doesn't even realize it. Had to teach her about that too!
Sarah keeps us busy with going to school, homeschooling, girl scouts etc. She is doing very well with this move and seems to take a lot of the punches we endure in stride. I am so proud of her and grateful that she is happy go lucky and willing to experience whatever is thrown at her. Same with Zach. Although he is learning some really tough life lessons, he is definitely handling most of them very well. It is evident that Zach doesn't like authority or to be told what to do that is contrary to what he wants to do. sounds like a kid right? Well, he can take it 5 steps beyond that with some doozy temper tantrums, but all in all he is manageable and we are getting accustomed to our new normal. That's it for now. I will save a blog entry for Greg and my updates!


alainaw30 said...

Wow...sounds like YOU'RE the one who needs chocolate! I know you've been excited for this opportunity. I pray that the new normal settles in quickly.

And if you want to send some of that chocolate my way...

Carol Anne Wright Swett said...

Oh, Lorene! I do not LIKE your new normal and am so sorry for what the kids have had to endure! I hope things are getting better now. I hope the kids have found 'better' folks to hang around with and feeling less like they have a 3rd eyeball! Now you know why I don't WANT a passport! ;-) Of course, in truth...doesn't sound much different than what Isaac has endured right here on our street! UGH!