AutopilotJuly 17, 2012 at 9:27 am | Posted in Giggles, Lollipop, Photo Tuesday, Transylvania | 17 Comments
Tags: Challenges, Children, Culture Shock, Expats, Family, Home, Motherhood, Perspectives, Romania
My older two children arrived home on Saturday after two weeks with their grandparents. In theory, we were to have spent those two weeks easily parenting one child while unpacking, discarding, rearranging, and regrouping. We had 14 whole days to get our American life back in order.
Instead, we fixed a broken AC and garbage disposal. We marveled at how the shed door had fallen completely off its hinges. And we wracked our brains trying to remember where we had put the car battery.
A mere 42 hours before the children were due back, three large men unloaded 13 very large boxes from a very, very large truck. Then they ferried them into my living room. Have a nice day, ma’am, they said, closing the door and leaving me blinking in the semi-darkness surrounded by Sharpied words like TOYS, BEDDING, POTS.
I peered into untidy closets and sticky dresser drawers. I wondered where on earth I would put nine pairs of mittens and a green cheese grater, among other artifacts from our Romanian life. But before I could decide — before I could even formulate wise-sounding reflections on the intermingling of our two existences — Lollipop and Giggles arrived.
They leapt from my dad’s truck and tumbled shoeless into their old living room. They exclaimed over the dog’s insistent full-face licks and the goldfish crackers they had been without for a year. They wanted to know whether I had unpacked Candy Land yet and how to flush the toilets. (On the side, not the top.)
As they raced through the house, up and down the hall, in and out of the dress-up box, they churned up fairy wings and very useful engines and lost Chuck E. Cheese coins. They asked if old friends could come over to play right this very minute at 11:39 p.m. And when they paused, briefly, to spin the globe at the top of the stairs, they asked me to show them Romania. And outer space. And home.
Without hesitating, without thinking, I put my finger here. Right here. On this country, this state, this city, this tiny dot on that big pastel sphere.
This is home. I’m starting to remember.
When someone asks you where home is, do you always know what to say? Are certain places forever connected to our subconscious? And, pray tell, how do you organize your family’s mittens?