Tag Archives: moving home

One Month

One month from today we will be sitting on an airplane, getting ready to head back to America.

The grand adventure will be over.

My emotions these days swing like a pendulum, one minute devastated to be leaving and the next ecstatic to be going home.  Nothing I can do but let those emotions be what they are; there’s no changing them and both sides of the swing represent honest feelings.

The kids are still mostly excited, although last week Gabe quietly told me he’s now feeling 50/50 about leaving (and actually more sad than happy, he whispered).  I know, bud.  Right there with you.

The last week or two of school will be hard as they all realize that they really do have to say goodbye. 

But man, what an adventure we’ve had.  Thirteen countries visited, several of them multiple times, and one more trip to Greece before we leave to make the total fourteen.  We’re bigger in thought and feeling and knowledge and experience and that will stay with us all forever.

We’ve made friends here that we’ll hold on to and who give us a reason to come back, and friends that are moving on to other places all over the world who will give us a reason to visit new places and see and learn and do even more.

I would change nothing about this adventure.  How abundantly, ridiculously lucky we are to have had it.  An embarrassment of riches. 

The ending, too, is our chance to really see how it’s changed us: what have we learned that we can carry forward, what have we done that will make our future experiences more interesting, what can we do to hold on to the best parts of our life here as we create our new one there

Thus, the adventure continues.

School Update

This morning at school drop-off, I almost cried.  This is our last week of the term and then we head into the long Easter break (3.5 weeks off!).  When the kids go back to school at the end of April, it will be their last term in England.

While I knew that was going to be hard to handle, I thought I’d make it until June at least before I started crying about it.

Turns out?  I was wrong.

Last week was the sign-up for extracurricular activities for the coming term.  Instead of jumping on the laptop that night and waiting for the activity portal to open, I didn’t manage to sign the boys up for their clubs until the next morning.  When I checked the activity board at school this morning, I saw that Quinn didn’t get into Athletics club, the number one thing he wanted to do this coming term.  He’s on the waiting list, but who knows if five children will drop out in the first week so he can participate.  I haven’t told him yet.

When I realized what had happened, and that it was 100% entirely my own fault, I felt the tears start to well up.  You see, it’s more than him just not being able to do Athletics club (which is basically like track and field – all kinds of running and jumping and throwing).  I realized that if he doesn’t get to do this club this coming term, he never will.  Cause this is our last term here at this amazing, incredible school that offers multiple free after-school clubs every day of the week.

I made it to my car before I cried, thus successfully avoiding embarassing myself or the children.  I’ll save that for later in the school year, as the end truly approaches, when I doubt I’ll make it a single week without crying over leaving this school.

I am so happy to be moving home, truly, in every way.  Until I think about schools. 

I know there’s no school like this in America.  Even the private schools that charge twice as much as our tuition here aren’t as good.  And I just want to scream because I can’t give my children everything I want: this amazing school, but in the location where we want to live permanently.  I want to pick it up and drag it across the ocean with me and plant it in the town where we’re going to live and go on enjoying the fantastic teachers and interesting curricula and amazing sports programs and afterschool clubs and school lunches better than what I cook for myself at home.  Now that we’ve had this, now that we know it exists, how do we leave?

The answer is that we have to, so we do the best we can.  And we go to our new schools with optimism and open minds and hope.  And a plan to join the PTA and run for school board. 

Almost Gone

We have about four months left until we leave England.  Depending on the day — really depending on the hour or the minute — I am in turns devastated or elated about this.

We love it here. We love our house and our neighborhood and our friends.  We love the kids’ sports and the closeness of London and the ease with which we can travel all over Europe.  We especially love the school.  Oh man, do we love the school.  We don’t want to leave this school AT ALL. 

I am so sad when I think about it.

But we’re going HOME!  Where we have tons of friends to see and family so close by and my youngest sister is having another baby and she’s due right after we get back.  And we’ll be in my favorite place on earth (New England), close to my favorite city on earth (Boston).  And there are beaches only 15 minutes away all summer and skiing only 2.5 hours away all winter. 

I am so excited when I think about it.

And therein lies the trouble: I can’t reconcile the two wildly different emotions that pop up every time I think about moving.

So I’ve stopped trying.  I have to be simultaneously broken hearted that we are leaving and overjoyed that we’re going home.  That’s just the way it is.

I will be a soggy mess of tears and hugs and regret for probably the last month we’re here.  Certainly the last week of school is going to be a bit of a mess.  I will cry every day.  The children will be embarrassed.  I already know it.  I will be devastated saying goodbye to our friends here and this lovely old farmhouse and the fairy tale garden.  I will not want to leave.

And then I will get off the plane in Boston and be so filled with happiness that I am really, truly moving home that it will feel like my chest will pop open. 

I know, though, that I will always be homesick for this place and the amazing adventures and opportunities we had here. 

The more places you live, the more little pieces of yourself you have to leave behind, and the more you carry a constant sense of missing somewhere even though you may love the place you are now.  I’ll always miss our neighborhood in Virginia, and I will always miss this home in England, no matter how thrilled I am to be finally going “home” (the place I missed for the last 15 years, every day since I left).

The task then is to remember and appreciate without sadness or remorse and to just be glad for what you had and what it taught you. 

Still working on that.

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