On Wednesday this week, Mateo started school in Spain. I have been more anxious than I care to admit in the weeks leading up to this day but I am so glad to say that I needn't have worried. At least if the first day is anything to go by.
First challenge was getting up early in the morning - achieved.
Second challenge was getting to the school on time - achieved.
Third challenge was surviving the period til he got home - achieved.
And a huge relief to see him coming out of school, chatting away to another boy and looking perfectly happy.
And today, Thursday, he went on the bus and came back on the bus on his own and we had only a minor blip over the homework he had to do... he never did like homework but I had sort of hoped he'd make an effort for the first week or so...still, it's done and he's ready to face his last day of the first week.
Tomorrow, Friday, is Ruy's birthday and he'll be 9! He's so excited and has been counting the days for the past two weeks and can hardly believe that it's now just about here. He's had a few cards arrive from England and Romy has made him a lovely one - and we plan to go bowling in the evening with his cousin. And he had his first - and probably last - Corrida or bullfight this week as a birthday 'treat' - no gory pictures, I promise.
OK, just one - not too gory.
Cesar has bought a gorgeous birthday cake and whilst we must have brought around 50 candles from England, collected over the years from various birthdays, they are, of course, packed away in a box somewhere in Valdepolo, so we'll have to buy yet more. It seems that everything we need just now is in a box too far away to readily access - this week, we've needed card, children's pumps, Mateo's scientific calculator, a specific pair of shoes, dictionaries (though I should have thought of that before!) and my wok. And candles.
Now I must go and blow up lots of balloons - we always have balloons for birthdays - in fact, in our house in Huddersfield, there was nearly always a few stray balloons hanging around in corners, behind sofas or under chairs.. left over from one birthday or another.
The tradition continues.