Leaving our home in London, saying good-bye to all the people we cared about, losing our sense of all things “normal” and familiar was really hard. Living for a month in the basements of family members was hard. Being socially engaged, and being “on” with friends and family day after day was hard. All the flights, road trips, late nights, jet lag, lack of schedules; that was all hard too. House hunting, finding the “right” home only to decide that it wasn’t the “right” home, and starting over. Trying to do right by my 3-5 month old baby. Then living in a temporary apartment for a month, in downtown NYC with five kids where everything was unfamiliar, expensive and, hot. as. Hell. Then finally moving into our house where for five weeks I would spend 24/7 with my five children because there were no more cousins, play dates, activities, summer camps, grandparents, friends, babysitters and my only breaks were a shopping trip to Target, two hours of primary on Sunday or an hour at Smaland in IKEA. Just me and the kids. I love my children SO much, but that was really hard. It was also so hard figuring out a new city; where to shop, how to get around, where to park, etc. Then registering the kids for school, catching up on immunizations and figuring out what to do with Miriam when the school said there was no room for her. So many feelings; sadness, loneliness, anxiety, disappointment, stress, homesickness, fear, apprehension, resentment. It was such a hard summer.
It was also a really amazing summer.
We left London with full and grateful hearts. It was such a privilege to realize how many people cared for US. Richard had nearly six weeks off of work to be right there with us making the first half of this transition. After returning to the U.S, over the course of six weeks my kids got to see all their grandparents, great-grandparents, and all their aunts, uncles and cousins. (Excluding Scott, Clare and Harper unfortunately.) We spent so many quality hours with family we had missed so much while we were abroad. We also got to spend time with so many friends we had missed too. We were able to do just about everything we love to do in Boise and all around Idaho. We ate at our favorite places and played at our favorite parks. We also got to visit some new places and make new friends and visit new cousins that were born while we were away. Then we moved to NYC. NEW YORK CITY! It was so exciting. Our little explorer family has a new chance to learn to love a new city. We found a nice house in a lovely neighborhood in Queens. Many more feelings; joy, gratitude, anticipation, love, friendship, relief, grace and belonging. It was a really amazing summer.
The summer is over now, and once I’ve finished blogging about London I’ll blog about our summer. For now I feel like I’m trying to catch my breath, get my feet under me, and find some kind of new normal.