Friday, May 16, 2008

Thinking of Others


Natalia and I had an unexpected free morning today. It was nice hanging out "just us" the last three days while Katya was away on a school trip again. (Three times a year the kids from her school go on neat field trips to a lodge that was previously used for outdoor retreats by the Communist youth organization--the Pioneers. They do the neatest interdisciplinary activities focusing on one main topic while there--and they prepare for months in advance). Wednesday afternoon my mom asked Natalia if she missed Katya and was eager to have her come home again. Natalia thought for a moment, then honestly answered, "Uh, no..."

Things have been really tough with Katya for the past few months... The insomnia and resulting behaviors have worn ALL of us down. So down we're underground.

That being said, I'm really glad that absence does make the heart grow fonder. By this morning, Natalia was eagerly anticipating Katya's return. It was very cold out today, too cold for us to want to go to the park--so we made a stop at Starbucks on the way to school instead. We did her homework over a latte and some orange juice in their nice velvet chairs. While in line for our drinks, Natalia spotted a sale bin with some really cute butterfly teddy bears. They had originally cost a ridiculous 500 rubles/$20.10 but were now reduced to 150 rubles/$6.33. (Sales just don't happen in regular Russian stores... It's great that there's always something on clearance at Starbucks!) I thought Natalia was going to ask for one for herself--and I'd have said, "No"--but instead she grabbed one to cuddle and asked if she could get one for Katya to welcome her home.

Of course I said, "Yes"... It made both girls feel equally wonderful when Natalia surprised Katya* with the little bear tonight. A really sweet moment, a nice way to start the weekend...

We then decided together to also get one for the adorable newborn little girl of my friend Julie--who is my official Moscow Starbucks buddy, equally thrilled about the new location opening soon... Gotta welcome the little one into the fold!

We also got two more to add to all the outgrown toys and clothing we're donating to a local orphanage. Natalia's idea, too :-).

*Katya wants to blog herself about her school trip. Stay tuned; she'll do it some time this weekend. Spoiler: it was great, the best she had this year.

11 comments:

Tina in CT said...

That was very sweet of Natalia to want to get one for her sister.

Of course, you've just weeded out stuffed animals but you couldn't say no. I'm sure both girls felt good about it when Katya returned home from her adventure.

Nice that some will go to the orphanage too.

Is Kate going to take some of the clothes for her D2B?

Tina in CT said...

Yeah, the headband is not down on her forehead.

MoscowMom said...

She reluctantly agreed to push back the headband long enough for me to take the picture... Then she slid it right back to it's regular maddening position on her forehead...

Tina in CT said...

Drat!

AdoptaMama said...

Very sweet. Sisters have such a wonderful bond, even on days when they absolutely can't stand each other! ;)
And if it's any consolation, Katrina does the exact same thing with her headbands. She'll either wear them on her forehead, ala Natalia, or way back where they hold absolutely NO hair back whatsoever! Yet, she loves her headbands. What's the point?

~Patti

Rachael said...

I'm eagerly looking forward to Katya's blogging debut. I think she'll be quite good at it!

Carey and Norman said...

Thanks for your comment on my food post. I actually used your blog while in Russia to determine where to shop and where to eat/go with a 3 year old child. So, thank you. I didn't post before as I didn't want to overwhelm you and thought you'd have plenty of people to leave comments. I just wanted to officially say hello and thanks for sharing your information with me. I would love to have any information you can provide on Russian children's holidays and how you celebrate them (food, decorations, etc.). You can e-mail me at russianfairytale@gmail.com.

Thanks again-

Carey

Carey and Norman said...

P.S. Your girls are absolutely beautiful. How wonderful to grow up in Moscow and learn another language and culture!

Tina in CT said...

I've been looking forward to seeing Katya's blog entry.

Nataliya said...

I'll be very interested to read about Katya's adventures in "pionerskiy lager'". I used to go to similar ones every summer when I was a little girl.

How nice of Natalia to surprise her sister with a gift. How sweet!

garnet said...

Natalia, that was so thoughtful of you. I'm sure Katya appreciated it.