When we decided to move here, we agreed to that we would not buy a car here and only use public transport. Very logical since we would only be here for a year. I mean come one--I served a walking/bus mission in Brazil--and believe me I did my fair share of walking! I love the thought of being out with everyone, being among them! I also love trains/buses etc. I was ready for this grand experiment...however doing it with a 4 year old and 2 year old in tow is a whole different world! I used to complain about having to buckle the kids in and out of the car...NO MORE will I ever do that. Lets just say wiggly kids! After these many months I am happy to report that our kids are fairly calm on Buses etc. You can only point out so many cows/sheep/tractors on our 2 hours bus ride to church. Try taking your kids to school in the morning, especially when you have to go through 2 countries to get there EVERY DAY. And never ever forget to factor in, that it is cold out here...who would have thought winter in the Alps would be cold!!! My two awesome boys survived all of the elements!!! Rain, Snow, Wind, Shine they did it!!!! I thought I had it bad with New England winters when I had to run and turn on the heat before I had to drive out. Try plowing a stroller through the snow--EVERY DAY! I have new respect for the pioneers!!!
Soooooooo, I have compiled a list of positives from this no car experience with 2 kids here goes:
1. Walking, I walk a lot more and I am sure my body is thankful for it! I mean, we have legs for a reason right.
2. Being out in nature. I love looking at the trees, clouds, leaves. I love to hear the birds and the wind in the trees. It is so beautiful here.
3. It really provides great teaching experiences for me with the boys, they ask me about every flower, bug etc.
4. I am with the people (good and bad), I learn from them!
5. WE ARE PUNCTUAL PEOPLE!! Those who know us well know that this is not easy, but we must be on time to catch every train or bus. We work like clocks now!
6. The shock to learn how many groceries you really CAN fit at the bottom of a stroller!
7. Because of our distance to church, our trains get us into church 40 minutes early--great PIANO practice time!
8. Church--I can't complain about 9 am church anymore--we go from leaving at 7 am- to getting home at 2:30-3:00 pm.
9. Arm strength.
10. MY FAVORITE! QUALITY TIME! I spend anywhere from 2-4 hours on buses or trains EVERY DAY! That means I get to be with my favorite people uninterrupted for all of that time. At first I dreaded this because the boys are busy and not easy to control. However, we use our bus time as reading time!!!! We read everything. We go to the library often and books have become our life. We read them over and over again. My kids are sponges with learning. We get these awesome children dictionaries. They get so sucked into these! They are now experts on bees and pollinating, volcano's, penguins, panda bears, lady bugs (they are fascinating), the growth of trees, hedgehogs, snails, apes, etc, etc. They suck in this knowledge. We love book reading time. I only hope that we can keep it up to this level when we get our car back NEXT WEEK!
There are positives in everything. We just have to find them. I am so thankful for my time to just stop and literally smell the roses! I hope my boys when they are older will be thankful and will continue to love the world as much as they do now!