Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The dam/bubble bursts

After Kadin’s third day of school, his list of French phrases learned from his teacher consists of the following:

Ce n’est pas d’accord!

Ce n’est pas amusant!



Great! Well, that sounds like one skilled teacher. Still, he says he doesn’t mind because he can’t really understand what’s going on, it’s all water under the bridge.

And I can see that. I think it is kind of comforting to be shielded from outside input. We don’t understand conversations going on around us, we can’t comprehend the news, so it all just seems okay. Our buttons aren’t being pushed. We don’t have to debate the merits of the strike, we barely know what it going on. We can’t brood or plan, we can just react in the moment. We are cut off and helpless and in general, people take pity on us and fill in for us. We are like toddlers or old people, where seeing our vulnerability, people are kind and/or deferential. We call it living in the bubble. It has its perks.

Tuesday was a big day. Not only was there a strike and Rees’s orientation, it was also the day we got our mail from America, and, at long last, phone and internet.

Wow. Now we were connected. I was so relieved to get the mail from the US---kind of a minor miracle---but at the same time it was mostly bills and automobile taxes, etc. Dang, I’m connected. (Except for one bright thank-you note from my niece---thanks Erin! That made it so worth it!) Oh, and to update an earlier post, two of the letters were from our lovely friends at HM Revenue and Customs. One saying they had updated our account and we were owed 2 pounds and the other saying we were also owed 75p. Those letters went from England to France via Colorado....

And we were thrilled to be able to have wifi and read the news and research things and use Google translate, but all the news was about terrible fires in Boulder and distressing political elections. And, as soon as we were connected, each family member suddenly retreated into their own respective technological device.

When the green internet light on the “live box” illuminated, Greg said, “Bye!”

It’s true. That sort of signaled the end of the cozy family time we had been having. Though we were cut off and frustrated, it was also really nice. We didn’t have much except each other and it was simple and old fashioned. That ended precipitously.

Not that I’d go back. But it was interesting, and a watershed moment. Now I seem to have more freedom, more agency, but less time.

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