First Day of School Tradition

Every year I force/coerce/beg/plead with Tony to allow me to take his first day of school photo. It’s a ritual my mother made me go through each year of grade school and one that I love looking back on as an adult. When I married a teacher, it was a natural decision to take Tony’s photo each year — think how fun his retirement party will be when I can display each of his first day photos for everyone to ooh and aww over.

At first, I worried that the first day of school picture wouldn’t happen this year. We originally expected that Tony would arrive in Abu Dhabi alone and bring Matteo and I over once he could sponsor us on his visa. I was already planning on requesting Tony take a selfie for his first day of school, but wasn’t sure I could get him to agree. Since we already know that our original travel plans changed, I was thrilled to be able to take his picture this morning before he left for his first day.

First day of school 15-16
First day of school 15-16

What makes this picture even more wonderful, besides the fact that my husband is incredibly photogenic and handsome, is that he is well rested. Friends and family, we received consecutive hours of sleep last night! After a week of terrible, interrupted, jet lagged sleep Tony and I decided to do all we could to help little Matteo acclimate. That means even though he’d been awake since 2 AM, we limited him to a two hour nap. It was TOUGH. He was exhausted — we took him to the pool (he nearly fell asleep), we took him to the mall (he tried to fall asleep). After eating dinner and getting back to the hotel, Matteo caught a second wind and played for a few hours before crashing at 8 pm. Tony and I weren’t far behind him. We all slept great until 2 am — when Matteo woke again. I wanted to cry at first, but after a bit of coaxing, I was able to get him back to bed at around 4 am and he slept until just before 6 am. That’s almost 8 hours of sleep!!! Major progress. He’s in such a happy mood today (what a difference sleep makes!) and has yet to ask for his nap today. I think we’re getting there!

This morning Matteo went out to meet a real estate agent and looked at our first Abu Dhabi apartment. The apartment itself was nice, exactly what I was expecting based on the research we’ve done. It was in the part of town we are most interested in as well. The only negative is that it was a low floor with a city/road side view rather than a sea view. We really want that sea view if we can get it. So while this apartment isn’t off the list, we want to see if we can find a place with a sea view if possible. The extra nice plus about this morning’s apartment? It comes with white goods included, which means we won’t have to purchase kitchen appliances/washer/dryer (something that doesn’t typically come with a rental in the UAE). And it had beautiful wood floors!

I think that’s it for now. I am anxiously waiting for Tony to get home from work today so I can hear all about his first day. I couldn’t admire him more — taking on this huge challenge and the added responsibility of now being the sole financial contributor to our family, and did he seem nervous before he left this morning? No. He was confident and ready. He’s amazing. I’ll encourage him to share about his school in his own words in the coming days.

Bye for now,



3 thoughts on “First Day of School Tradition

    1. Indeed it would! House hunting here is stressful — so many hoops to jump through, terrible communication, etc. I can’t wait to find some place so we can get out of this hotel and start to feel settled — it’s hard to feel like we really live here when we’re staying at the Hilton.


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