Is it August already? Facebook friends are posting back-to-school photos so it must be so. I frankly don't know where the summer went. The cool rainy season in Mexico City probably had a lot to do with it. The hot sunny days along with the accompanying tan lines around my kids' waistlines were largely absent. Before heading back to Colorado two weeks ago for vacation, they were actually looking pretty pale, evidence of being cooped up too much in our apartment. I can't complain too much about the mild weather but I must admit that I did miss a little of the summer vibe.
Another big reason why the summer seems to have passed me by is because a series of life events overtook it. For the past two months, I've neglected to announce that we have had a new member of the family--by which I mean a Shi Tzu puppy named Sushi. I literally grew up next to a dog kennel and haven't had the desire to revisit the sights and smells of dog ownership until recently.
What changed? Part was the observation that Mexico City is extremely dog-friendly and realization that we wouldn't need to go through the stress and hassle of importing a dog if we got one here. More likely was DiploBoy's June birthday and the feeling he and his older brother needed some constant in the nomadic lifestyle we have subjected them to.
Whatever you want to call it, prudence or guilt, we have been dog owners since June 6. Ironically, that date happens to be D-Day, which in the case of Sushi's new parents, stands for Deprivation of Sleep Day. Puppies are devastatingly cute in the pet store but some fawning customers (like us) fail to fully grasp how much hell they can put new owners through during the nighttime hours.
Sushi's sleeping habits have improved markedly over the past month. But June was a haze, a foggy recollection of multiple wake-ups and early morning movie watching. The DiploBoys, on the other hand, somehow managed to sleep blissfully through all the whining and barking. Now that we are getting some decent sleep again, we're more forgiving when Sushi pees on the floor and nips at our heels. The pictures below show how much the boys adore her. How could such a little bundle of cuteness be such pure evil during the early morning hours?
The addition of Sushi wasn't the only news. On a more somber note, this summer was also overtaken by the loss of a family member. My father-in-law passed away in the beginning of July after a steady decline in health. It's tough to think that he is gone but I'm thankful that the boys and I were able to spend some quality time with him last August on home leave. I'm also glad that my wife was able to travel home to be with him in his final days.
As you can see, a lot has gone on this summer and I haven't even mentioned work (or the visit of a high school friend that coincided with a perfect storm of heavy rain, sleep deprivation and emergency travel). DiploMom and I have logged over five months at the mammoth headquarters of Mission Mexico. Consular work has been interesting to say the least. We are both doing our rotations outside the visa section and get to see what happens when people get themselves in all kinds of predicaments. The never ending stream of cases keeps us busy and always provides fodder for conversation on the car ride home.
Outside of the office, Mexico City has so much to offer and we've only just scratched the surface. Just this past weekend, I joined a food tour and sampled some of the best regional varieties of tacos in the city. I've developing a serious taco addiction. On the following day, I unexpectedly joined a 57-kilometer urban expedition with a few thousand of my closest friends on bicycles. I saw parts of the city I would never have gone on foot or in car. As a family, we've taken a few day and weekend trips to areas outside the City and I'm looking forward to more in the near future.
The next few months should be less chaotic but one never knows. My current preoccupation is bidding on my next assignment and hopes of being posted to the same location as DiploMom. That uncertainty will undoubtedly produce a few more sleepless nights, apart from the soft cries of Sushi at 4am.