Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Saying goodbye

When was the last time you said goodbye to someone with the expectation of not seeing them again for months, a year, or even longer? I feel like this is something I do all the time, and it's the reason why I am now on the record as hating saying epic goodbyes. I prefer a hug and a "see you later," even if there is a good chance that I will never see that person again. Perhaps this is my way of insulating myself from the emotional upheaval of constantly saying goodbye to friends and family.

I only wish I could do the same for my kids - insulate them, I mean. When they were younger it wasn't so bad, but by the time we moved away from Ithaca I could tell that I was breaking up some treasured friendships. It's hard to watch. It's hard to know that we parents are the ones responsible for doing it. And it's hard to know that it's going to happen again. Transient friendships are one of the major features of a life abroad - even if you stick around for years and years, not everyone else does.

Most recently, we said goodbye to my family in Oregon. I don't know why it was so hard this time, but it actually made me cry to leave them. I've never been one of those people who needs to live close to family (um, obviously), but that doesn't mean that I love them any less, or that I don't miss them when I leave.

We looked forward to our American summer for so long, and then enjoyed it every single day while we were there. It was hard to see it come to an end. I should take my own children's advice: when I asked Miriam if she was sad to say goodbye to her cousins and grandparents, she told me, "not really, mama, because we're just going to see them again next time we come." Well said, and I'll try to remember that.

August 31st, outsourced

Deception, Scorpio, Bread and butter, Flavia, and a self-severed arm