In case you have been wondering, we decided to go to the US en famille. We will spend a week in Boston, seeing friends, attending the memorial service for our dear friend, and most importantly, spending time with his widow and daughters, supporting them however we can. After the week in Boston, we will travel to Chicago for 4 days to see my parents and my 89-year old grandmother, who can no longer travel to see us.
Jade, our ten year old, was super excited when we told her that we would be going back to the States. She has a roster of friends who she wants to see and lots of food that she wants to eat. We decided, after talking to other expat friends, that while going back to the US may make transitioning back to life in Colombia more challenging in the short-term, in the long-term it’s very important that the kids have a sense of roots and see family and friends, especially when tragedy strikes. Fourteen months is a long time to be gone from home.
Siena, our seven year old, seemed confused when we told her, and annoyed at Jade’s joyful yelping and hooting. She only seems to remember one friend and doesn’t really seem to care whether we go back or not. She is much more interested in the equestrian competition, in which she is participating this Sunday. I guess the age at which you move abroad as a child makes a big difference…..
Saige, our two year old, really could care less either way, as you can probably imagine. She is busy learning about the world around her (bugs are endlessly fascinating) and practicing bonus vocabulary words. Just last week she used the word “actualmente” (actually), as in “actually, Mom, I would rather have milk. I will admit it. We were impressed.
As for me, I am excited (to see friends and eat food I have missed) and very sad (for the main reason that we are going, our friend’s death) and nervous (about how it will all work out and the short-term effects on life in Colombia and reverse culture shock). But I guess this is all part and parcel of expat life – going back home.