We have not stepped into a shopping mall in two months. Riding a jeepney has become such a luxury. And remembering to bring an umbrella is a blessing in disguise under the sizzling Los Banos sun.
We have moved into our new home and realized that the process of “settling down” is indeed very long and tedious. We spent our first weeks painting floors and shelves, buying furniture, installing appliances and finding a new home for all of our stuff… clothes, books, toys. We had to get used to so many things in such a short time–Ari starting school, Uri having a new yaya, the longer trip to the office.
The kids suffered the bad end of this entire adjustment phase. They started getting sick, losing weight. Ari slept through his classes for an entire week before he kicked out the afternoon nap altogether. Uri had a recurrence of separation anxiety because he was never used to not having Kuya around. He suddenly felt really lonesome especially with a new yaya that he barely knew and he would cry his heart out every time anybody stepped out the front door.
In the middle of all the moving-related stress, we found ourselves waking up at a later time than the previous day. Because every morning felt like we were waking up from a vacation. Maybe we were. We enjoyed every moment of our cool, quiet mornings. The lovely sunshine entering our screened porch. The marvel of seeing bees pollinating flowers from the garden way up close and all the other creepy crawlers we only saw in museums. The boys pleading to take their morning pee outside instead of the toilet. We had dirt and soil around us and they had much liberty to do so.
We are relieved by the convenience offered by the UPLB community. A quick walk takes us to parks and open spaces where the kids can run around safely, play ball or ride their bikes, while us adults stretch out on a picnic mat. At a short distance from where we live is Ari’s school and some of Turo’s relatives. And everywhere else are food stalls, eateries and specialty restaurants where the food is always good, fresh and cheap–my easy way out of cooking dinner but with a lot less impact on my wallet. Since two months ago, the definition of fastfood has changed from french fries to paperbag-wrapped lechon kawali.
We are glad that Turo and I know this community quite well. It has eased a bit the difficult process of moving in. There is adjustment still going on but we face it at the same time that we discover much more about our new home, our new community, our new life.