We will be living in a small city, approximately fifteen minutes from my husband’s work. It’s a glorious separation, a place where the streets are narrow, the fruita stands are abundant, and the hours are Spanish without apology.
The owners of our rental home are about our age, with three children. Within moments of our arrival, my oldest and their youngest were in the backyard, in pick-up game of futbol.
“Is this a playdate?” he asked, licking chocolate from his fingers during a frequent side trip to the kitchen.
Well, kinda. And kinda a business thing, too, I guess.
Yes, we signed papers and exchanged currency. But we also toasted with champagne. And red wine. Our new landlord made cake, spongey rings of lemon and miracle. The ladies of our rental agency brought olives and pan and cheese that should be illegal.
Our landlord and his family speaks Spanish. We speak English. But we both speak parent, sound effects, and hand gestures. When my youngest drank a glass of sparkling juice, with much gusto, our landlord announced, “Es Espanole!” He’s one of us.
Later in the conversation, I learned that caliente means “sexy” in Spain, and that if I order a borracho in a restaurant, I will get a drunk person, not a sandwich.
It felt good to laugh. We shared a table and a moment; we celebrated a beginning and partnership.
The ladies of our rental agency, joy personified, gifted us with Spanish tiles, spelling out our last name. For the rest of our lives, when we see it, we will know we are home.
And as we kissed our landlords and friends goodbye (one on each cheek, a tradition I’m slowly learning), I realized that home is a table, a smile, and familia.
Life doesn’t have to be a checklist and sometimes a Saturday afternoon is reason enough to welcome in joy and bask in the light.