It's a glorious way to wake up - in every sense of the word. I do not have to rush out of bed to prepare for the day. I have plenty of time to lie and think about everything and nothing, before I turn to the task of dragging two groggy boys to the breakfast table.
The evenings are equally light. Yesterday, Mike and I went out for a walk at 8:30 pm, and when we returned from an hour-long stroll around our neighbourhood, the sun was still high and bright in the sky.
These long days are one of the biggest benefits of being this far north. Sure, we pay for it during the winter, but it's a trade-off I'm happy to make.
Though there's still frost on the ground each morning, the sun quickly heats up the day and the trees, shrubs and plants are bursting to explode into full spring foliage. It won't be long now, until the last remnants of snow in the sun-deprived areas behind the garage are gone forever.
Transition is in the cards everywhere, as B boy said goodbye to his Norwegian school class yesterday.
After a party day at school, with yummy food, speeches and presents, he came home with letters and drawings from every child in his class, a photo album of his months at the school, not to mention lots and lots of good memories.
The level of success Benjamin's had this year is more gratifying to me than almost anything else we've done, as he was my biggest concern when we embarked on this adventure.
Unlike his big brother who charmed his way through childhood with an easy smile and friendly demeanor, Benjamin can be a bit socially awkward.
While he is the most generous and caring boy I know, when he gets into a group setting, or feels insecure, he starts acting silly and goofy, forgetting any and all manners he may have picked up along the way.
To the uninitiated, he probably seems wild, restless and out of control, when the fact of the matter is that he's shy and unsure about how to handle those feelings of insecurity.
I was worried that coming to a different school, learning another language and having to make new friends would be too much for him. Mike and I had an 'emergency' plan of withdrawing him from school if things didn't work out for him, and simply home-schooling him instead.
But children are so resilient, aren't they? Not only has Benjamin done an excellent job learning a new language, he's also made more friends here than he made in three years of school in Canada.
These last few weeks have been chock-full of playdates for my B boy, eager to squeeze in every last minute of social time with his little buddies. Plans have been made to meet up next time we're in Norway. Email and MSN addresses have been exchanged.
While B boy still suffers from awkwardness and over-excitability in new settings, he really has come such a long way in learning to manage those feelings. He's changed a lot these last 10 months, and I couldn't be prouder of my baby boy.