Miracle: I’m No Longer Invisible

Portrait of me, courtesy of T-Rex.

The last few weeks completely whizzed by in a traveling blur.  Because of this, I barely had time to realize a very exciting milestone.  We have now lived in Germany for a whole, entire year!

Some days I feel like I’ve lived here for many years.  Other days, especially the ones where I find myself back in the US driving a car and shopping at Target, it seems like I exist in two parallel universes.  One is real and one is fake, only I am at a loss to identify which is which.

I received an unexpected gift on Monday to celebrate the milestone.  The mother of one of T-Rex’s classmates actually talked to me.  Sounds so pathetic, doesn’t it?  Whether she really is nice or just didn’t want to ride the tram in awkward I-know-you-and-I-have-to-say-hi-but-don’t-know-what-else-to-talk-about silence, I’m not sure.  But the fact that she initiated a conversation in German just has me blown away.

I’m thankful for my handful of friends here.  They are wonderful and without them, I could not have made it through the past 365+ days.  I’ve tried to be outgoing (which is unfortunately totally opposite of my personality) and expand my circle of acquaintances, but I wound up discouraged so many times.  Most exchanges begin and end with “hallo” and a smile.  It’s no secret I speak English, and mein Deutsch ist schlecht.  For cultural or personal reasons, it seemed obvious to me that other mamas just didn’t want to make the effort.

So you can only imagine my surprise when this mama not only started talking to me but kept the conversation going and even tried to speak some things in English when I fumbled auf Deutsch.  When I apologized for my horrific German skills, she told me not to worry – last year I didn’t speak ANY German.

How true, and how kind.  Happy one year in Germany to me!


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