Saturday, August 31, 2013

Banana Pancakes

The Saturday morning tradition of pancake making goes back to last year. It started as a nostalgic act of an American mother raising two Moroccan kids that have no idea of the childhood implication of pancakes, for theirs is a childhood of beghrir, msmen, and pain au chocolate filled breakfasts.

I choose carefully the things I introduce into their reality. Pancakes were an easy choice with all ingredients readily available here and always on hand. The goal was to have a regular weekend ritual that would culturally bind them to America and make me feel a little more like the mommy I always imagined myself to be; the kind that makes her kids pancakes on the weekend. I took the following photo precisely 9 nine months ago:

As I stood in my kitchen this morning repeating the same Saturday morning pancake ritual, I realized how far I’ve come since I took the photo.

Firstly, the girls would only sleep last night after I promised them that I would make them pancakes, this is a victory because it shows that they have, in fact come to love and rely on my pancakes.

 I imagine them at college one day, surrounded by adoring friends and acquaintances that compete for their affection and attention. These friends will obviously be in total awe of their multilingualism and cultural pluralism. Someone, at some point, will mention pancakes…and they will be able to share, to explode with nostalgia and love and a binding sense of cultural identity to their classmates because they too had a childhood filled with pancakes.

Secondly, I  have come far. When I look at the picture I posted above it reminds me of a tragic sense of longing and isolation. This is not the case any longer in my life. I have moved homes; my new kitchen gives way to a lovely terrace, an inner city bolt-hole, petite paradise. And while, now more than ever, I have a hollow sense of longing for my beloved Atlanta, and all of the people in it…this longing is not because my life is empty and sad and confusing here in Casablanca. 

The nostalgia for my home and family is pure love for them. It’s not inter mingled with the sadness of a husband that hasn’t yet come home from the previous night. It’s not confused with an intense juxtaposition of remembering my piedmont park and comparing it to a neighborhood that had nothing more to offer than dusty construction sites. I don’t have a husband anymore, thus, I am not waiting on anyone to come home and when I wake up in the morning these are not the first jarring thoughts that run through my head. I generally wake up happy and grateful to be alive another day. I wake up hopeful and in love with everything that life has thrown in my direction.  I wake up in a neighborhood full of life, beauty, markets, kids shouting and playing in the tree lined plaza, friends that live walking distance, and more coffee shops than I can find the time to frequent.

I love my life. I love my pancakes. I love my kids. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Moving on...

So…I have not written on here in months and months. I am not sure if I even still deserve this place! Is life any less brilliant since last time I wrote? Absolutely not, there is more brilliance than ever.
I wanted to wait until this was final to announce it. Now it is final. I divorced. Yes, I know again, another breakup, another upheaval, another letting go of dreams and hopes and wishes about the future. This time…with kids included. Wohoo, you know that is fun. 

The truth is this: It hurt very badly. I still sit with the pain, digest the scope of it all, cry at inopportune times.
The truth is also this: I am clearer, calmer, more sober and peaceful than I have ever been in my life. I am so very grateful to my ex. for giving me my children. These particular children could only have been born to he and I and nothing will ever make me regret or want to change that. Ours is still a grand love story, but now it has changed. As all things do, our story has changed. My story has a twist ending. Someone told me during this whole mess, “You will be ok, even if it the future doesn’t look how you imagined it”. No truer words have ever been spoken. 

I am so happy and so grateful for everything I have in my life. I lost a marriage, but I have gained so very much. New people have come into my life to help and nurture and hand hold me along on this incredibly transformative process. I believe in love more than I ever have. I am convinced that love is the most fundamental element of our existence.

So…I am still living in my beloved Morocco, not planning on going anywhere as I quite love my life here and am very grateful for everything and everyone in it. 

The girls made it into a great school that will bring them a 4th language and I could not be more proud and more excited for them. I have made major professional advancements and life is good at the moment. Even if it’s not the way I expected it to look, the view is still very nice. 

Now that I have gotten this announcement out of the way, I can start my writing here again. 

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Life, lately

So…apparently my kids in school means I don’t blog anymore…Here is an attempt to fix that. As an update to my previous post (LAST SEPTEMBER) I have figured out a functional system to avoid the traffic!!! Go me!!! I leave the house at 8H00 am exactly, which is when the school bell rings. That puts us at the school around 8H10 and the traffic has already dissipated. I then pick them up before the end of the day traffic and so I avoid it on that end as well. The specialness of their school experience still makes my tummy tingle with excitement. Especially as they have totally picked up French and furthered their English and their Arabic, just today walking around singing a Moroccan kids song:

How sweet is that? They know like every word…all of that…that’s school. That’s not me. 

What else has happened since I last posted…oh not much…bah hah hah hah (maniacal laughter turns into sobbing). To be continued… but here’s a preview:

There is a new apartment involved, say whhhaaaattt? No way!! I know I promised I wouldn’t move again, like ever, but I am. So…

There is a major life event involved, or a series of events or a bad year of events that led to a major transition of which I am surviving, if not, floating through.

I have become obsessed with tea. Should this be a tea blog? No? Ok.

More school decisions to be made (this is a never ending process). Spanish School? French School? Jewish School? Moroccan School? HELP!!!!!!! I THINK I AM LOSING MY MIND.

I  have a live in nanny again, I did that last time I posted and then I didn’t this whole time and then….WAIT A MINUTE…maybe THAT’S why I haven’t posted since September…blame DISPLACED.

I went to Scotland, lots to revisit from there, here.

I should be graduating with my Master’s in International Higher Education in 18 weeks!!!!

A story I can’t wait to tell about rue de l’atlas.

And how could I almost forget? More Moroccan Salon drama...gotta love that.

Stay tuned...