Summer lovin’ (happened so fast)
August 21, 2014 § 2 Comments
It’s less than two weeks before back-to-school around here, which means another summer is almost over. I also know this to be true because yesterday we were up at 4 a.m. following our return from California to Brussels, and after an ill-advised 3-hour nap in the afternoon, the boys were still up playing at 10:45 last night. You’d think this was the first time we’d done this! They were both great travelers, even though they only slept for two hours (total travel time: 23 hours). Our highly anticipated nearly five-week, bicoastal trek is now behind us.
It’s not easy being so far from family and friends (and believe me, California especially does feel far). There is not enough time with the former, and it’s impossible to find a way to see all of the latter. And yet we feel very lucky to be here: experiencing a different culture, having so many opportunities at our fingertips. While travel possibilities should not be understated, some of my greatest joy of living in this place at this time comes from watching our kids find their legs in a new country. On a practical level, I love that they are soaking up a new language. But they are also (hopefully) learning that they are adaptable, that there is a big world out there and they can make their way anywhere in it, that leaving what is familiar to you isn’t always easy but it is worthwhile—and, often, fun. (Of course our embrace of all things different still leaves room for cursing local quirks such as mind-boggling bureaucracy and stores’ odd opening hours.)
Our one-year anniversary here in June came and went without much fanfare, but it was a moment to pause and think about what this move has meant for us. We left a lot of tangible things behind to embrace mostly intangibles. We are incredibly fortunate that this was our choice, and that we have landed somewhere comfortable, welcoming—a place that feels like home, even if temporary. So far, so good.