One twin is precocious and full of life. He jumped from the car the moment they arrived and hugged me. “Babuschka VJ!” he exclaimed.
The other was asleep upon arrival and slept most of the next. He ran away when he saw me at first, and startled at any unexpected noise. “He has regressed,” his mother tells me over Google translate.
It’s been just shy of two weeks since the family arrived from Ukraine and we are slowly establishing routines, getting to know each other. Father started work last week joining nine other Ukrainians hired by a local company. Mom will wait till kids are settled into school before seeking employment. Fourteen-year-old Sofiia eagerly starts school tomorrow having made friends already.
The Ukrainian community here has grown and bonds are forming. Our little town has rallied around them to support in every way they can. Apparently I am now officially known as Babuschka VJ. A proud title.
“This family will soon be on their way,” Ric predicts in a quiet moment between the two of us. “Will we take in another family?”
“Not right away,” I respond. I have thought about it too. To be honest, I am exhausted. I need large chunks of alone time. “Maybe next time, we’ll just take a single person, or a couple. No children.”
But not for a long while.
(Image: Kiril, one of the 4-year-olds, discovering the splash pad.)