My kids have this magical place they go to every other year: Summer Land, aka the United States. What would it be like to have an entire country to go to where you just play and go on adventures and eat your weight in popsicles? I don't know. Ask my kids.
They have favorite things to do, places to go, food to eat, games to play, movies/TV shows to watch, and cousins/grandparents/aunts/uncles to see. Today as my mom drove us to the airport in Portland, Miriam exclaimed in dismay, "oh, we didn't do the 4T [trail, tram, trolley, train] hike this year!" The kids have so many favorites these days that there isn't even time to do them all.
This year was extra bittersweet because it's (probably) the last time Miriam will inhabit Summer Land as a child. The next time we're in the US, she'll be almost 14, and who knows if she'll be interested in her old favorites anymore? Maybe the 4T hike and other things will be so lame to her by then.
This year's American Summer just ended. We're on the train home from the Helsinki airport at this very moment. I have all of the feelings about it: sadness that our fun came to an end, of course, but also relief at getting back to everyday life. There's this horrible, unavoidable moment I dread every time we go to Summer Land, and it's the part where we have to say goodbye at the end of our visit. I hate that part so much.
But it's worth it to spend time in Summer Land!