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.