It occurred to me yesterday as I sat in our lounge room with two sick kids … Ok, one sick kid and one who knows how to twist his mum around his little finger … that our time in Denmark had witnessed quite a few firsts for this little chicken.
The biggest first was walking across a frozen lake. To be honest it was my first time walking across any lake, frozen or otherwise. For an Aussie whose concept of snow, prior to expat life, was non existent, this was major indeed. Our nearest lake is Lyngby Sø and it is a short walk from our house. Whenever we talk about winters here friends (specifically those who have been here longer than we have) say, “that’s right, your first winter was incredibly harsh”. We thought it was fantastic. Hard to believe that I used to trudge on foot to the train station everyday with two kids fresh from Singapore. My son still hates snowsuits with a passion.
I’m not sure whose idea it was to go for a walk on the ice, probably the hubby’s, but off we trekked one morning with snow sled in hand. The kids and I sent Daddy onto the ice first. Our theory being that if he didn’t make it crack then we should all be fine. He didn’t. The kiddies sat in the sled while their Dad, mainly, ran off across the ice. It was a heap of fun. The one scary point I remember was seeing a crack in the ice that had refrozen. I took a picture of it mainly to scare my mum. 🙂
Riding a bike was another first. Not a first exactly as I did ride bikes as a kid. However it had been some years (read decades) since I had last placed my butt on a bicycle seat. I know they say that you never forget how to ride a bike … I was rather frightened that I may be the first to prove it false. Thankfully I didn’t and managed to ride with a trailor my kids to the station each day their first year of school. Thankfully there are no photos to prove this and you will have to take my word.
When we moved to NJ, I learnt to drive on the right (wrong) side of the road and used to kid that I had accomplished everything I needed to in life and could die tomorrow quite satisfied. How wrong was I! It didn’t take me long to realise that it would be so much better if I could not only drive on the wrong side of the road but in a manual as well. That would prove that I am truly very talented. We then moved to Singapore and it seemed as if my dreams would never fruit. But they did. Initially we were not going to get a car in Denmark for many reasons. The main and most honest reason was that we didn’t want to have to take the danish driving test let alone pay for the privilege. When friends left and offered their car for a steal we decided that we were going to embrace our true selves and become car owners again.
After a few worrisome days where I tried to dissolve the lining of my stomach with my fears that I would grab the door handle rather than the gear stick or place the car in 5th gear rather than 1st, I finally managed to get behind the wheel and … like the bike … had no troubles at all. So now I am truly talented (especially since I managed to also pass the danish driving tests) and think I will have it engraved on my tombstone.
This winter is proving to be an icy one as well. I have no plans to walk across the lake again (because I’ve done that) but plan to join the crowd and go stand on the frozen sea and post a pic on Facebook like several of my friends. You don’t get to stand on the sea in Australia and as this is our last winter here, it could be my last chance.