We have successfully survived our first important holiday without our boys!
Father's Day (Dia Del Padre) is celebrated in much the same way as it is in the States (with family!). To say it was easy (without family) would be lying, so I will tell the truth...the whole truth!
It definitely was not easy, but it was made easier by planning ahead. Knowing in advance that holidays -- both big and small -- would conjure up notions that somehow we were depriving our "children" of their parents, we were proactive in our solution.
Snuggled amongst six suitcases (mas/menos) were carefully chosen memorabilia that would ease the transition into our new life in Ecuador. For Father's Day, I saved the best of the best cards given by our sons to their father, a coffee mug with their picture, and a "tribute to Dad" written by our oldest son when he was just 14 years old.
Last night, I wrapped up all the cards, letters, and memorabilia and set them on the dining room table and closed the light. At 7:30 a.m., I awoke to my husband's loud sobbing. Oh no, I've really done it this time! I thought.
After about 20 minutes, my husband emerged from the bathroom with tear-stained cheeks and the hint of a smile. I sighed with relief and said, "Are you going to be okay?"
Mark wrapped his arms around me and whispered in my ear, "That was -- by far -- the best gift I have ever received."
Who knew that "leftover" cards could be so healing?
Thankfully, there's more where that came from (I have enough cards to survive all the holidays). Trust me, it was worth an extra suitcase. And if I were to do it all over again, I would do it exactly the same way. Those little scraps of paper, the handmade cards, and "yes" even their baby teeth will come in handy someday to soothe the separation anxiety we might feel.
We love Cuenca and will never regret our decision to move here, but we also know that there will be days -- like today -- (Dia Del Padre) when separation anxiety will be felt.
We called our boys, talked to our own Dads, and enjoyed a day of celebration, culminating in a dinner for two at one of Cuenca's finest hotels -- Oro Verde. It was an easy "walk" as we live right across the street from five-star dining. Most Cuecanos celebrate with family in the afternoon; however, we choose a quiet dinner for two in the evening (it took us that long to call everyone!).
We have survived our first major obstacle -- a holiday without family -- and look look forward to our second one tomorrow...the beginning of language school. I sure hope our teacher enjoys our Spanish with an Italian accent!
Until next time...we hope you have a great "Feliz Dia Del Padre"!
Connie and Mark