We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming. Hej! I’m back! What? Didn’t realize that we were on break? Undskyld. Sorry. (A phrase I am hearing often lately out of my teen’s mouth. I guess I should be happy he is learning Danish? I digress.) But for the past three weeks, my mom and her husband have been visiting us here in Denmark and I haven’t been writing, just enjoying the time with them, sharing our new home and accumulating lots of great new experiences. We’ve been fjording in Norway and fishing in Fyn. I’ll share it all – don’t worry. There were brilliant glimpses of Danish sommer. It was hot! No really – for a couple of days – it was actually really very hot! (For Denmark. Everything is relative.) We’ve also had thunder storms and wind warnings and driving rain. It was a veritable cornucopia of Scandinavian meteorology and tourism.
What it also was – was healing. Five days before my mom’s arrival, I had my (cross-my-fingers, breathe deeply, close my eyes and conjure all the good juju I can) last ankle surgery. Officially de-pinned and de-plated, my ankle is assuredly relocated and ready to rock. So the Danish doctors relay. Crutches are gone and weight-bearing definitively commenced. It wasn’t exactly pretty at first. Even my best friends from afar could tell in pictures that my “Frankencankle” was clearly exhibiting some of the tolls that come with three surgeries and newly touring overuse. Walking all over Oslo one week post-op was probably not the best choice of rehabilitation, but I did it. And it felt like freedom. Painful, swollen, edema-stricken freedom. But it was mine.
And in those three weeks that we explored and shared and learned and saw, it healed. Every day a little more mobility. Every day a little less swelling. Every day a little less hitch in my giddy up. (Don’t know what that means? Ask and I’ll share!) I actually rode a bike recently, for the first time in our expatriation. Biking is a big thing here, if you didn’t know. It took four months for our crate of American personal effects to arrive which included, but was not limited to, our bicycles. Biking actually felt ok on my ankle. Hallelujah! Stopping and getting off the bike, on the other hand, did not feel so great. But I did it. And again. Freedom.
It was healing to have my mom and her husband here. I will admit that we may have been experiencing a collective familial tweak of homesickness watching our families and friends enjoying all the trappings of a familiar and busy and fun American summer back on the West Coast of the USA. Doing and experiencing the things that we would be doing and experiencing had we stayed. Life going on. Without us. We knew it would. But it doesn’t eliminate the pangs. Doesn’t prevent the twinges. Having my mom here helped. Having family here with us on the most American of holidays – the 4th of July – was a saving grace. Was it the most American of experiences here in Copenhagen on that day? No. Not really. But sharing it with part of our own American family felt nice and special and good. And the fireworks display at Tivoli amusement park was beautiful. Maybe the most excellently coordinated music to explosion performance I have ever witnessed in person. Did they play the Star Spangled Banner? Of course not. Did I expect them to? No. Did we maybe sing it anyway? We may have. Sharing all of “our” Copenhagen and Denmark and our neighbor Norway with family was good for us too. Seeing the excitement and delight and “newness” again in someone else’s eyes helped. Playing tour guide. Sharing our town. Not always knowing all the answers to “What King lived there?” or “What is that Church called?” or “What is growing in that field?” But we found ourselves amazed at what we have come to know in our time here since December. We were the experts. Of sorts. And that healed some holes.
My ankle and I still have a long ways to go. My flexibility and range of motion is still very limited. I am working on it. I will work on it. Just like we are working on our life here. It is a process. It always is. Whether you are healing, or expatriating or parenting or just working and living and loving. We are just trying to learn more and experience more and share more here in Copenhagen. Wish us luck. I do to you and yours. Cheers from Denmark! – Erin