We’ve officially lived in Charlottesville an entire year as a family. We survived the big move and flourished in our careers, both professionally and educationally thoughout the 12 months. Clover adjusted nicely, too, learning after only the first day that our bedroom was not the same place as the backyard. That accomplished, he enjoys the added entertainment value in the actual backyard of those little guys with the long fluffy tails that climb the trees and those giant honking guys who can fly.
The boy has had a good year. He’s as surprised as anyone, we think. His grades have been stellar, he’s gainfully employed, has a girlfriend, has friends, continues his excellent career as the world’s tallest trombone player and seems to be enjoying life. It’s truly amazing how quickly he got over telling us how much we suck, and how much we were ruining his life by moving him 800 miles in the middle of 10th grade. He obtained his driver’s license and has successfully driven hundreds of miles up and down Highway 29. We got to the bottom of his allergy woes (Birch, mostly) and will begin working on restoring peace to his delicately curved spine (physical therapy). Some days, it’s tough to be 6’7″, 190 lbs.
The girl had little trouble adjusting to Charlottesville, as outgoing and friendly as she is, she made friends easily. She still tears up a bit when thinking of her friends back in Missouri, but she e-mails them once in a while and feels great joy when they e-mail back. The tween years are tough for anybody, though, and she had some ups and downs. We’ve hung in there with her, though and found some solutions that restore balance in her life. Two of these are breakfast, most importantly with protein (Zuzu; this is a lesson I learned from you) and the other is an immutable schedule. If she’s to take her shower at 8pm, don’t dare suggest it at 7:59pm. She’s a creature of structure and when respected, is the most amiable child. She has grown significantly the past year, now at 5’3″ and wearing a shoe just a half size smaller than my own. She’s eagerly anticipating a grown up outing with her dad, that promises to be memorable. She’s decided, this year, that she will go to UVA when the time comes, and she will become an archeologist. She adores Thomas Jefferson. We think she’s in the right place.
Mark and I have made a few friends, and grow to love Charlottesville more all the time. It’s difficult to be so far apart from family and friends, but for the most part, we’ve managed to stay in touch and look forward to visits either here, or there. Mark is planning a fishing trip with some scattered friends, with a visit back in Missouri this spring. I continue to travel back to St. Louis for work, anticipating about nine trips in 2007. Our jobs continue to be rewarding and working at home, for me is something I’ve found I enjoy. Unless, of course I’m people starved, and then I get up and get out. Mark continues to enjoy a short commute. We do not take for granted the joy of living and working in the same zip code; a first for both of us.
So a good first year in Charlottesville; we look forward to many more to come.