Monday, January 19, 2009


I love Fridays! I just wanted you to know a wonderful follow up and answered prayer to my previous post. Friday is now my favorite day here in Brussels. We walk to music class – a brisk 45 minute walk - first thing in the morning. It is a good “get up and go” activity first thing in the day. I love all the sites we routinely pass on the way to class:

--- the cartoons painted on the sides of buildings (Brussels is known for comics)
--- the royal palace (where they are usually changing the guard)
--- the art museum with the bell tower ringing different songs
--- our favorite park, Parc du Bruxelles, with mammoth gates and sculptures
--- the random Asian woman doing taekwondo in the middle of an intersection
--- abandoned bread delivery awaiting pickup outside the gates of fancy hotel
--- the hustle & bustle of walking up Ixelles boulevard, a major shopping route

Connor expectantly starts singing her favorite French song from class Bateau, sur l’eau as soon as we start heading in the familiar direction. By the time we make it to class she is ready to jump and dance out of her skin; she is so excited. It is all I can do to get her coat off before she dashes into the room and onto a cushion, ready to SING and make music! Everyone chuckles at the magnitude of Connor’s glee. It is a great time to cuddle and connect with my little wiggle worm! And then this week, as if in answer to my need for friendship – I not only had coffee with my music mom friends after class, but I also met Emily – a new friend and fellow expat from Georgia. Small world! Emily has been here 4 years and is already a terrific resource. What a comfort to hear another “y’all” spoken in Brussels!

Things are also starting to click with my English-speaking playgroup. I have attended 4 of them now. I tried to go to 2 others and just couldn’t find the right location (each group takes place in one of the mothers’ homes – so it rotates around). Getting all bundled up in the cold and then failing to find a selected destination once you are en route is so frustrating, but honestly the street signs are in both French and Dutch and they follow no logical grid or plan. So sometimes I just have to throw in the towel and admit directional defeat! But I am persevering and this last time I actually made it to the right address AND remembered several of the other moms’ and babies’ names. We held somewhat coherent conversations despite the children running around. And Connor started to actually play WITH some of the other kids. Usually at this age they play more in parallel than together (except to take each other’s toys).
So things are looking up!

Above - a street sign. I mean really. Who really names a street Onafhankelijkheidstraat?!?! I knew I found the right spot for playgroup when I saw the congregating strollers!

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