I've mentioned that I have 3 sons, an (almost) 18-year-old, a 16-year-old and a 13-year-old. Along with C, they are the best (and most challenging) things in my life. Each of these boys has their own unique strengths, weaknesses, and ways to make me crazy.
#1 has an amazing aptitude for languages. He speaks both Mandarin & Hebrew and can pretty easily switch back and forth between the 3 languages. I am constantly amazed by his talent.
#2 is artistic and smart. He skipped 7th grade, so he is young for being in 11th grade having turned 16 only last week. School comes easily to him, and his music and drawing abilities are impressive.
But this post is about #3. #3 is witty, athletic, and personable. He is also compassionate and caring with a heart as big as all outdoors. Of all our children, #3 is the one that is least excited about the move because life for him is all about friends, and they won't be coming to Valencia with us.
It doesn't help that #3 hasn't traveled outside of the USA yet. While both of his older brothers began to travel internationally in 8th grade, #3 will not have the chance for an international trip until we are on the plane to Valencia. So, for #3 this really is stepping off the cliff into the unknown.
Because he has been the most reluctant, C and I have been looking for things in Valencia that will be familiar and comforting for him. One of #3's favorite sports to watch and play is baseball (béisbol) and there is a baseball field in the Turia Gardens which runs through the heart of Valencia. There is a formal club program based out of this park, and #3 will tryout for the age-appropriate club team, I am certain.
We've also spent some time discussing the new freedoms and bedtime that #3 will have. Because we will be living in the city center and will have access to public transportation, the boys will be able to make their own plans; gone are the days of asking Mom to drive somewhere. With the monthly public transport passes, #3 will be able to take the metro, bus or bike (Valenbisi for the win!) to wherever he would like to go.
Not only is there the freedom of getting himself around town without us, #3 will also enjoy the Spanish schedule. For those that aren't familiar with how things are done in Spain, everything is pushed later into the evening. Weeknight dinners sometimes begin at 9:00 pm, though I'm told that 9:30-10:00 pm is more common. Primetime television begins at 10ish, and a midnight bedtime is customary, even during the work week.
With those things in hand, it was surprising that finding a restaurant would be the thing that sent #3 from reluctant to excited. I created an Instagram account for Spanglish Y'all and used #Valencia on one of my posts. Later that evening, I had a new follower, @cerealhouse_valencia2 whose bio is Más de 💯variedades de cereales, milkshakes de oreo, crepes, muffins, gofres, poptarts, zumos, smoothies, helados haägen dazs...😋😋😋 www.cerealhouse.es (More than 100 varieties of cereals, oreo milkshakes, crepes, muffins, waffles, poptarts, juices, smoothies, haagen dazs ice cream) and I showed #3.
His eyes popped out of his head, and he began drooling. This restaurant has made an impact on his state of mind more than anything else that we've found. At least once a week #3 pulls up the Cereal House IG account to show me something new that he's found, including that they have vegan milk options (the boy knows how to close the deal).
I've made the promise that we will go soon after landing...I think I'll have about 4 hours from walking into the flat in June until we have to find our way there.
I'm just excited that we've found a way to put a smile on his face.