I’m deciding to just jump back in over here. No microphone tapping, no apologies, no excuses. There’s too much to share, personally, professionally and of course my foreign service/expat blogger duty to let you in on my perspective of life in Santiago.
I seriously considered shuttering and bulldozing this blog and starting fresh. It’s been nearly a year. I’ve said it before, here I’m saying it again. I love this online community and my piecemeal scrapbook. So onward I will press.
Quickly, the biggest events nutshell: Right around the time that my adventurous in-laws and our niece arrived for a 3 week visit back in February, the 8 month wait for my security clearance ended. I’ve been working full time at the embassy ever since as a roving OMS (Office Management Specialist). (I am infinitely grateful for the paycheck but my creative side itches non stop for a good scratch.) Snakes went for a temporary assignment to Guayaquil, Ecuador for the month of March, during which time my dear auntie came for 2 weeks to help out. Some of our favorites from A-100 currently posted in Suriname came down for a long Father’s day weekend. And finally, we took our R&R to the states for nearly all of August where we attended a family reunion in northern Michigan and spent the Bushbaby’s 4th birthday with family in Pennsylvania. (R&R tickets have since been revoked; we were the last family at post to receive this benefit having been paneled JUST before they decided to take them away. What luck!) Ideally I will flesh all of this out with stories and photos, but not making any promises. Now then… back to the present.
For weeks now, nay months! leading up to Halloween the only thing I heard from La resident Princesa was that she and her crew were all planning to dress as Elsa for the festivities. I shook my head, smelled the defeat closing in, knowing that my annual fantasy as a costume designer was nearly snuffed out. Throwing my Hail Mary, I suggested that she and I head to the fabric markets and carefully select the most sparkly, shimmering icy blue fabrics our money could buy. Mama could fashion them into the fanciest Elsa gown that Santiago has ever seen! Tears. THIS was met with tears. It MUST be purchased through the computer screen or it just will not do!
I realize how this sounds- that I wasn’t allowed to make my daughter’s costume from scratch. I know plenty of parents would rejoice in this good fortune, dialing it in to Amazon, shelling out the 30 bucks and checking it off the list. Perhaps you’re wondering how I allow my 4 yo to dictate such orders to her own mother. To that I say, I’m working full time now and I’ve learned to choose my battles.
Even so, I couldn’t shake the image of myself curled up on the sofa, sewing project in hand, tacking ancient bits of chandelier crystals I’ve been dragging around for years, yearning for such a debut on the intricate bodice of an ice queen costume. With less than a week to go and Snakes out of town, Colette and I were enjoying a movie night. Making a dinner of popcorn and milkshakes while watching “How to Train Your Dragon”.
I casually mentioned how cool I thought the blonde little rough and tumble character, Astrid is. How much of a resemblance I found between her and my own little hooligan snuggled in next to me. Hmmmm. Seed planted….. Ten minutes later, my heart soared when she turned to me and said, “Mama, I don’t want to be Elsa. I want to be a Viking Warrior.”
I hopped to it in the coming days. Any blocks of time which presented themselves were spent punching holes, slicing scraps of leather to fringe, stringing up skulls and setting rivets. Between Snakes and his cabinet of curiosities and my leather studio, we had a respectable arsenal of raw materials. In the end, she only wore it to one of the 3 parties she attended but I’ll chalk it up as a victory for viking warriors and creatively oppressed office workers everywhere.