When friends back in DC would ask me how long will I be gone for, I would say ten weeks but then specify, 'eight out of those are vacation.' I gave myself and especially Alex, two weeks to really get used to the new everything: time change, new crib, new food, new smells even and of course new people.
The first week in Romania I felt a little worried: Alex seemed to be needier and clingier than ever. He didn't want to leave me out of sight and my expectations that he would slowly 'let me go' were kind of crushed. Is it going to be like this for NINE more weeks? When will I have time to recharge a little? Will I actually have a little vacation time, like I've dreamed of?
But then the second week came along and Alex seemed like a different boy. He was totally comfortable with 'bunu' and 'buna' and didn't' seem to need me anymore as much. He would take off with them for walks, parks, visits and shopping. I then remembered my prediction that it would take two weeks and felt foolish that I freaked out a little those first few days.
Here are some of Alex's activities this week where my presence was needed just to take pictures and capture the special moments. My mom was cracking some walnuts shells to take the nutmeat out. (That's how you do it in this part of the world, it's outrageously expensive to buy them already shelled). At the same time he discovered how much fun was to hang out in the balcony so since then, he's been going in there a few times a day.
To get to the balcony however, Alex has to walk through the room which is turned into my dad's little painting studio. It's full of brushes, paint, all sorts of solutions, canvases etc. I remember how enamored I always was with his room growing up, absolutely loved hanging out in there and just poking around, looking at all the interesting things my dad accumulated there over the years.
Alex seems to be as distracted by the room as I was. He stopped a few times to check on what bunu was doing there and inspect his brushes and canvas preparing. My dad got such a kick out of Alex's curiosity, he was patient to grab him and show him how things are done in his artistic world. Now that the canvas is all stretched out, a new painting is ready to be born. Coincidentally, this is a painting that I will be taking to the States with me, it's for a friend of mine.