After 40 weeks of wandering the desert–OK, living in Austin–we have returned to a hamish Jewish community that reminds me of when I lived on the Upper West Side. As we drive around exploring the area, we are amazed that we keep driving by synagogues–10 or so at the last count (and this is a relatively small town). Aiven is enrolled for the early childhood program at a great Jewish day school for the fall (hurray for avoiding the train wreck of NYC preschool applications!) and he is finally enjoying the outdoors (it was much too hot and sunny in Texas for my fair-skinned redheaded munchkin).
My vegan husband is amazed at the farms dotting the landscape that offer fresh, local produce and even opportunities to pick the produce yourself (Aiven loves the blueberry picking, although he eats more then he picks). As for me, my BFF lives around the corner, and social media connected me with a cousin of a friend of a friend. We have hit it off and go running twice a week. Double score! Friend and running buddy! (For those of you who know me personally, that is a true statement. Stop laughing. I am actually running.)
But, as with most things, there are a few slight hiccups in this picture-perfect scenario. Everything is so wonderful I feel guilty mentioning the small annoyances that have bugged us (some quite literally), but I also don’t want to ignore my birthright to complain.
Today, we’re taking Aiven to a pediatrician, and there are a couple of things on the agenda. You see, Aiven hasn’t been to a doctor’s office in a year. We don’t know his official height (our diagnosis: tall) or weight (our medical opinion: heavy). He hasn’t had any shots since his last doctor’s visit so we need to get back on track with his vaccinations in order to enroll him in the Early Childhood Program. We need an official stamp of approval on his development (genius!) as well as reassurances that his current naplessness is healthy and temporary. But what I’m really dying to ask about is for the pediatrician to look at his flea bites.
Yes, you read that right, FLEA BITES. We moved into our rental house whereupon Aiven and I were immediately eaten alive by fleas (my husband: nary a bite to be found). The house was infested, crawling with them. I know how uncomfortable it made me, but my poor son, with constellations of bites covering his neck, torso, legs, and arms, did not seem bothered by it… Except at night, he would crawl into bed with us half asleep and start scratching. Non-stop itching and scratching. In the dim glow of the room bathed with our iProducts’ green lights, I would stare, lament, and torment myself. All those ferkakta bug bites! How could I let this happen?!
So we fumigated the f***ers. Then we hired exterminators who napalmed their little asses again. Twice! Most of the fleas are gone, although Aiven keeps getting a couple new bites here and there. The red bumps take a long time to heal and he still scratches at them, breaking my heart. But this too shall pass.
Other than that, I can’t tell you how good it feels to be at peace with my surroundings, to unpack, to hang art on the walls and mezuzahs on the doors, to invest in some pieces of permanent furniture. Our plan was to hang out here for a couple of years until our business takes off and then move back to NYC. My husband, however, is now half-joking about how Aiven can live at home and go to college in the area. I don’t think he has any intention of moving from here. And, quite frankly, neither do I.