When your move to another country, your main concerns center on your children and their adjustment, followed closely by trying to make everything as seamless as possible in the household so that your children continue to think you are the Almighty Mother. The second thing can be harder than expected when they need a swimming cap by tomorrow or when the movie you promised to let them watch is being blocked with the “this content in only available in the US” message. You will gladly spend the day driving around in search of a swimming cap, and saying yes to other (perhaps inappropriate or completely inane) movies that the firewall could care less about.
With those concerns at the forefront, one of the unexpected gems of living in Luxembourg has been my Thursday morning running group. One: because it doesn’t involve my children. Two: because it doesn’t involve my household (or require my household to be tidy.) And three: because I’m in the company of other Almighty Mothers who are doing the exact same work I am. And we get to talk about it while running up an Almighty Hill that kicks our cute Lulelemon butts.
There have been few things that I consistently do week to week when I’m in town, but this running group is one of them. It’s something I look forward to every week and miss when I’m gone. It didn’t start as an organized group; it just kind of morphed into this regular routine. There are five of us regulars. We all have children at the International School, all but one of our husbands work for Amazon and all of us have willingly chosen to leave something behind to have this adventure. None of us came here kicking and screaming. In fact, more than that, we all came here ready to endure a few headaches for the sake of something new. That’s perhaps why the group has “stuck.” Though we have different interests, kids of different ages, we have a shared attitude that says: “I’m ok with finding the swimming cap, and can I pick one up for you too?”
Angela and Alessandra are the Lux
veterans. Angela was my lifeline as I
was moving here. She also has two high
school boys and has been a source of great encouragement as we navigate the
challenges of moving a teenager. Angela
is an artist, fluent in French (a nice friend to have here!), and finding all
sorts of treasures here in Europe to reinvigorate her Seattle-based Window Darlings business. She’s also usually the first one up the hill. Alessandra is a professional photographer, originally from
Peru and one of those people whose company you seek out in all situations because they are such a
pleasure to be around. Most days she’s
got a toddler on her hip, and she always has a kind word and easy laugh. Ale sees the good in everyone, which must have something to do with her being an amazing photographer.
Jessica and Heidi are the newbies like me. They both moved here from Russia, so nothing here is hard by comparison. In addition to being genuinely optimistic people, they are also wickedly smart and fun. Heidi has her Ph.D. in Social/Personality Psychology and left behind a college professor’s job to follow her husband to Moscow and now Lux as he sells John Deere tractors. (Tip: he's the non Amazon husband. I don't *think* Amazon is selling tractors yet.) Bubbly Heidi has already hosted a Friday Happy Hour involving a prize for best set of heels. I wore sensible flats due to long walk and being from Seattle. (There was no judgment.) Heidi was also some crazy competitive triathlete, but she has a broken toe right now which allows us to keep up. Jessica left behind a job in Tax, and if she was secretly a Rhodes Scholar or discovered something really important – I wouldn’t be surprised. She’s one of those smart AND humble ones. Holly, the recently sabbatical-ed Marine Biologist from Seattle, will be joining us in July …
It wasn’t a topic of conversation today, but I know that today two of our husbands were in Moscow, one was in NYC, and one was in Oslo. That might be a big deal back home, but here for this crew of Almighty Mothers – it’s just another day.