I don’t use this word lightly. And my definition of it is a bit loose.
We are coming home! Back to magical ’Merica! Back to multiple brands of garbage bags, Cheerios that don’t cost 15 euros, and the dollar zone at Target.
Just in time for the election. Fuck.
Also in time for American holidays! My kids won’t understand the costume thing or the turkey thing or why Sinterklaas didn’t bother showing up this year, BUT I don’t think any of that will really matter. Because we will get to experience all these fantastic firsts with family: the kind of people that don’t squirm when your hug lingers or doubt your intentions when you can’t stop smiling.
Yes. That definitely sounds like home to me.
How did this happen? How long have we known? Will I miss those silly amazing European wine prices!?! And how long before my son completely loses his superb Dutch/British accent??
It started as a family vacation. We hadn’t been able to visit Louisiana in over a year. My daughter, who recently turned 1, hadn’t met her family yet. She had no idea there was food outside of bread and cheese and cheese and cheesy bread. She was a Dutch broad — through and through. It was way past time to get acquainted with her Cajun roots (and dirty rice). It was only supposed to be a 3 week gig; just a short lil visit.
We knew there was a possibility of a move back to the states in the upcoming months. We just didn’t realize the opportunity would be so soon. October soon. Now.
Our return flights had been booked months ago; we should have been back in Amsterdam by Dawson’s 3rd birthday, August 16. Instead, my husband flew back alone. Too hard on our wee babes to return to the Dam, just to pack up and leave the following month. And putting up with toddler jet-lag is a documented form of torture. I am pretty sure that’s true somewhere.
There are still a lot of uncertain things and this is still just the beginning of our transition. An international move is not all confetti and tulips — it’s mainly just a lot of unknowns, crippling headaches, and not nearly enough good liquor stores within reach.
We are excited. We are happy. And most importantly, we are ready.
The kids and I will likely remain in Lafayette with family for a few months while we pack and move and adjust to life in the US. My husband will commute for work and fly and be superman and work his tail off until we find the perfect home in…
Houston. Texas. Y’all.
A bit different from Europe. Not nearly as flashy, awe-inspiring, or chilly. And I will absolutely miss those weekend train trips to Paris. And our dam friends. And the canals on a sunny day. But it was time for this particular adventure to end and a new one to begin — this one just talks with a drawl and has 3297423874732647263473 discount Outlets and General Dollars. Which I don’t hate. Not one bit. My son thinks they are all candy stores. (They are.)
If I am honest, I think I am still in a bit of shock. It’s very hard for me to accept the fact that our expat life is coming to an end. To go back.
We have already missed so much. I am tired of missing weddings and births and special moments for friends. I am tired of not being there to comfort or celebrate or just play drink the beer with a bestie when mommying overwhelms us. And… I miss all that free babysitting that comes from having the world’s largest, most cuddly family.
SO much has happened in the past 2.5 years and I am not sure how to catch up. I don’t recognize any songs on the radio, any movies in the theater, and what is a Fifth Harmony? And why?!?
And I miss my bike. And I need a car. And a job that requires me to converse with adult humans. I’ll need to invest in fancier leggings…
For now, I will just breathe in and out, rock my babies on the porch, while we figure out how one survives in this heat and super mosquito-friendly land. I also have exactly 2343248972472384734 questions about Texas. Feel free to send me any advice/suggestions (favorite things to do in Houston, best areas to live in, passwords to secret pubs). I’ll need it all.
Shit. I’ll also need a new hashtag. I’ll miss that dam one.