My anxiety for spring to come is even greater this year, than last, because we are leaving at the end of May and hoping for some nice weather before then. Moscow summers are short, but spectacular. The city becomes a huge green park interspersed with buildings and river walks. Sidewalk cafes sprout up all along the pedestrian streets. The sky is blue and the sun shines, and even though it only lasts about eight weeks, it's pretty awesome. Fall's not bad either, but it is over in the blink of an eye.
And with post transitions, too, come regrets. Things we didn't see. Things we didn't do. Why didn't we take walks along the river more often? (Because it's really hard to get down there with the stroller). Why didn't we go to the opera or ballet more often? (Oh, right, because we had a new baby and I was terrified to leave the kids with anyone for the longest time). Why didn't we do the Trans-Siberian Railroad. (Self-explanatory). I think I will need to get used to these sorts of nagging questions, at least as long as we still have small children.
But I will also remember the Russia that we got to see BECAUSE we have small children. How people would actually smile and do us favors while walking around the city (not a common occurrence if you are walking around sans children). How Zoia charmed the candle stand lady at church. How people would nag me to dress my children better for cold weather. OK, that I won't miss, but it's certainly an experience you don't get without kids.
So I can live with all the things we didn't do. My greatest regrets are the people we didn't get to know well enough. The folks I kept meaning to invite over for dinner, but colds or flus or just plain exhaustion intervened. The people with whom I know I could have struck up great friendships, if only there had been more time. I hope that, at our next post, I'll take those opportunities as they come, and not push them aside. And in the meantime, I guess we still have a few weekends left to throw a party.